1931 ~ 2012
Violet Mary Letendre, or “Vi” as many called her, was born In Rio Grande, Alberta on July 12, 1931. She was one of 11 siblings born to Roland and Ida Letendre . Aspart of a Métis family growing up in Canada, Vi had to learn to live with very little money and had lots of responsibility as a young woman. She had to learn how to hunt and trap at a young age and asthe oldest daughter had the responsibility of helping her mother look after the rest of the children. She could not attend school given her responsibilities and was sad when the majority of her siblings left for Edmonton to attend school. As a result she never learned to read and write and could only speak Cree during the early years of her life.
Vi married quite young at the age of 17. She was married George Belcourt in Moberly Lake Church in 1948. She lived in a variety of places including Jack Fish, Little Prairie, Mount LaMorey, and Chetwynd before settling down in Dawson Creek. She had nine children (Ralph, Eunice, Clifford, Janice, Wilbur, Sharron, Judy, Karen and Larry).
Vi ended up finding love again and married Hubert Cooper, as many of us knew, as Grandpa. They moved to a hobby farm in Fort St. John. Sadly, In April 1987 Grandpa Cooper passed away after he lost his battle with Cancer, leaving Grandma on her own. It was very difficult for her, but her strength and faith kept her going. She was active with the Native Women’s Society, the Friendship Center and country dancing. She even went back to school in her 60’s to finally learn how to read and write.It was an accomplishment she was very proud of.
After sometime Vi made the tough decision to sell her hobby farm as it was difficult for her to maintain. She ended up moving to Dawson Creek, BC where lived in a small two bedroom home which she maintained until her passing. She ended up finding love again with BillSopko who she met at a dance, they were together for 8 years until Grandmas passing.They both enjoyed camping and attending dances.With Bill,Grandma was not alone and was able to find companionship with someone who made her happy.She had found her true love.
She loved to sew, collect teapots, and loved to socialize with people. She loved hockey, and was an avid Canucks fan - very rarely missing a game with family. Her favorite players were the Sedins, who she would refer to as, "her twins." She watched hockey up until the last few days of her life.
There are so many qualities that made Grandma special. She wascaring,had agreat sense of humor, was endearing, loving,incredibly hard working, and........resilient. Overall, I think Vi will be remembered for her zest for life. Despite life's challenges and loss she faced over the years, she always had a smile, could crack a joke, and found joy in her country music and dancing.
Violet passed away on Wednesday, March 7, 2012 in Dawson Creek, at the age of 80 years.
A prayer service was held on Tuesday, March 13, 2012 at 6:00 pm at the Notre Dame Catholic Church in Dawson Creek.
A Funeral Mass was held on Wednesday, March 14, 2012 at 11:00 am at Notre Dame Catholic Church. Fr Michael Anyasoro officiated, Interment followed in the Brookside Cemetery.
Violet is predeceased by her loving parents; Roland & Ida Letendre, Husbands; Hubert Cooper, George Belcourt, Sons; Ralph Belcourt, Clifford Belcourt, Brothers; Walter Letendre, Douglas Letendre, Sisters; Mildred Letendre and Madeline Supernant.
She leaves behind her partner; Bill Sopko, Sons; Willy Belcourt, Larry Belcourt, Daughters; Janice Wagar, Eunice Hagens, Judy Belcourt, Sharon Belcourt, Karen Belcourt, Brothers; Clarence Letendre, Ronnie Letendre, Sisters; Dorothy Belcourt, Gene Letendre, ElsieCalliou and Edith Paquette, numerous grandchildren, greatgrandchildren, nieces, nephews, great-nieces, great-nephews and many special friends.
Memories Presented by; Candice Massy.
For friends so wishing, donations may be made in memory of Violet to the BC Children's Hospital Foundation, 938 West 28th Avenue, Vancouver, BC V5Z 4H4
Very Respectfully Reynars Funeral Home & Crematorium