Valley Lives - Laurette Gingras Gauvreau

The following article first appeared in "The Low Down to Hull and Back News" in the November 12, 2014 issue. Reprinted with permission.

The fastest strawberry picker around

by Tyler Dawson

Laurette Gingras Gauvreau's daughters often said they had more wrinkles than she did.

They described her as a beautiful, hard-working woman.

Award Images
Laurette Gingras Gauvreau, celebrating her birthday. Photo courtesy Linda Gauvreau

She passed away on Oct. 15. Gingras Gauvreau was born on May 16, 1930, and grew up in Ste. Cecile de Masham. For two years, she lived in Rapide des Joachin before returning to Masham. Growing up, she was an excellent cook, having learned to make pie dough at age seven. She would continue to cook up until the last years of her life.

In an email to the Low Down, Linda and Zoé Gauvreau said that Laurette Gingras Gauvreau was always a hard-working woman. She was very dedicated to her 14 children - spoiling, especially, her twin boys.

"At one time in her life, she had four babies in diapers, and Pampers hadn't been invented yet," her daughters said.

In fact, those 14 children went on to have 26 grandchildren, and 21 great grandchildren. After the death of her husband, Gilbert, Gingras Gauvreau - at 79 - continued to manage the family businesses and real estate holdings. No decision was ever made without consulting her first.

She was a quiet woman, her daughters said, and was gentle, strong, and generous. She also had an excellent sense of humour, and was way ahead of her time: her daughters said she was recycling at home long before it became popular. They fondly remember her passion for strawberries, which she picked until she was 70 years old - and she could pick them faster than anyone. She was known to have said: "I am happy in a field of strawberries."

Gingras Gauvreau did all this despite being ill for much of her life, though she never complained and went through two open-heart surgeries. But it was cancer that eventually claimed her life. Her daughters said many will remember her generosity, and she leaves behind a great void.

Return to list.