Grace Maillet

Grace Maillet

1943 - 2024

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Grace

Obituary of Grace Maillet

Grace Agnes Maillet (nee Pritchard)

November 8, 1943 – May 13, 2024

 

Grace said farewell to family and friends, settling into a peaceful rest on Monday, May 13, 2024. Among her many roles in life, Grace was loved and cherished as a wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, daughter, granddaughter, sister, cousin, niece, auntie, friend, homemaker, entrepreneur, registered psychiatric nurse, community volunteer, and elder. She had an 80-year journey of life experiences, residing all her adult life Brandon, MB.

 

We think of Mom as our Amazing Grace, a song she sang often. Like the song, she was elegant in a humble way. She had the most beautiful, warm smile, usually adorned in the brightest red lipstick. She was smart and witty, relishing in the occasional naughty joke. Our Mom was also talented with textiles and crocheted baby blankets and christening gowns. As a seamstress, she made many of our childhood clothes from scratch, followed by 2 wedding dresses, graduation gowns and bridesmaids’ dresses for a handful of our dear friends. As a songstress, she and our Auntie Elizabeth could be heard at cabarets, singing to the melodies of Patsy Cline, Tammy Wynette, Dolly Parton, and Anne Murray to name a few. She enjoyed long visits over tea or a glass of white wine, good treats and a game or two. In her later days, she particularly enjoyed reminiscing. She had an incredible sense of responsibility for her loved ones, wanting nothing more than for all to enjoy life in a good way.

 

Grace was born in the Qu’Appelle Valley near Welby, SK. Her grandmother, Marie Jeanne Pritchard (nee Piche), was the midwife for her birth. She and her younger sister Elizabeth were both raised by their grandparents, Marie Jeanne and Amable, down in the Valley. Her aunties were like her sisters in many ways. Her mother, Margaret Lamanes (nee Pritchard), brought 3 more sisters into Grace’s life. Over the years, Grace kept loving relationships with all her sisters and aunties.  Later in life, Grace learned more about her father, Amable Hayden, and had the joy of building relationships with the extended Hayden family in the last decades of her life. 

 

Grace enjoyed and excelled in her education. Caregiving was her calling. She enjoyed baby sitting and being a mother’s helper to busy farm families in her teen years.  She started psychiatric nurses training in the early 1960’s but suspended her career ambitions to raise her family. As an enterprising entrepreneur, she set up a licensed home daycare, represented Amway and Sarah Coventry, and created a seamstress business, calling it “Graceful Sewlutions”. Once her children reached school age, she returned to complete her nursing education and graduated from the School of Psychiatric Nursing at Brandon Mental Health Center in 1982. Over her career, she worked at the old Assiniboine Centre, Ninette Sanatorium, BGH, BMHC, and Rideau Park PCH.

 

 

It was Mom’s nursing knowledge that supported resilience in her years of ill health. Dad’s training as a nurse attendant also proved essential. In the later years Mom had homecare services and the support of family. She lived her final year and a half at Dinsdale and Rideau Park PCHs. She saw a role for herself in health care even in her final days, watching closely as service unfolded. Mom was not shy to share her ideas on how things should be done. It won’t surprise you that Mom expressed concern for the state of the health care system.

 

Grace was active in community, making many friends along the way. She was a Girl Guide leader, supporter of the NDP, BMHC Nurses Alumni, IOF and local Manitoba Métis Federation. She enjoyed many years as part of the Lion’s Manor community, and thoroughly enjoyed staying connected with friends and family using social media platforms.

 

Grace especially enjoyed traveling to visit family coast-to-coast in Canada and the Northern US. They spent countless summers camping along the way, meeting many people who came to be friends. She also enjoyed weekend adventures at a variety of Métis Festivals in Manitoba where she began reclaiming and practicing her ancestral traditions.  

 

 

Celebrating Grace’s life are her husband of 62 years, Armand, along with their 3 daughters and one son, Patsy Searle (Brandon), Mary Jane Brownscombe (Richard – Winnipeg), Renee Maillet (Brandon), Marcel Maillet (Chilliwack, BC); her 7 Grandchildren, Monika Taylor (Mike), Nicholas Searle (Kim), Madison Halford (Graham), Christopher Searle (Ryan), Ramona Maillet, AJ Maillet and Russell Maillet; her 6 Great Grandchildren, Charlotte, Tia, Lyla, Boris, Nora and Stella, and there are two more great grandchildren on the way.

 

Also celebrating Grace’s life are her 2 sisters and their families in Calgary, Edith Tyndall and Anna Langley-Butt. Grace cherished her nieces and nephews as her own children. Robert Jessup and Myrna Law (Elizabeth’s son and daughter) were exceptionally close with our family. In our childhood we had a relationship more like siblings, son and daughter, sometimes living together, and being together for many important celebrations. Grace also has many cousins, extended family and friends who she loved in a way that is in keeping with “All My Relations”.

 

Grace is lovingly remembered by the Maritime Maillet families, and she especially appreciated her relationship with “sister by marriage and friend by choice,” Donna Maillet (Rene).

 

Grace is predeceased by her grandparents Marie Jeanne and Amable, her mother Margaret, her sister Elizabeth, her sister Mary Jane, her son in law Kevin Searle and many family members and friends whom she held dear to her heart.

 

We express gratitude to all who supported Mom over the years. Her love will surround us always. We are thankful for the memories with our “Amazing Grace.” As our Mother, she shared a life full and rich in experiences.

 

A Celebration of Life will be held later this Summer.

 

In honour of Grace, the family is establishing a scholarship in her name. If you wish to join us in this honouring of Grace please make a donation to Brandon University Foundation and state that you wish your gift to be directed towards the soon to be established Grace Agnes Maillet Award in Psychiatric Nursing.  Donations may be made:  Room 114 Clark Hall, 270 – 18th Street, Brandon, MB, R7A 6A9, at 1-877-282-4483 or online at https://www.brandonu.ca/give/donate/

 

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