Madeleine Belisle

Obituary of Madeleine Mary Theresa Belisle

August 14, 1933 – Lestock, Saskatchewan

May 3, 2024 – Calgary, Alberta


Our beloved grandmother and matriarch, Madeleine Mary Theresa Belisle (nee Jean), passed away suddenly in her home in Calgary, AB, on Friday, May 3, 2024, at the age of 90 years. We are sure she is upset that she didn’t have time to plan a coordinating outfit and jewellery for the event! Madeleine, better known as Grandma Maddy to the younger generation, will be remembered as having a flair for fashion, always beautifully dressed and accessorized. She was a pioneer for women, the foundation of her family, a pillar of her many communities throughout her life, and the best pie maker there ever was! She worked tirelessly and effortlessly to ensure that all people in her small part of the world were cared for and looked after, which in effect made a big impact.


Grandma Maddy was born on August 14, 1933, at her family home, close to Lestock, SK, to her parents, Seraphin and Seraphine Jean. She was one of seventeen children. She was born a twin, her twin sister died at birth, making her the baby of the family. Grandma describes her childhood as being spoiled rotten by her siblings, especially by her dear sister Simone. She was happiest at home with her musically talented family, singing and playing musical instruments. She remembered fondly Sunday picnics where her mother would prepare a feast, and winters travelling to church by sleigh. She often talked about all the fun antics she would get up to with her nieces and she fondly remembered her childhood pet dog, Teddy.


Grandma Maddy moved with her family to Ontario in 1941 and at the young age of twelve, her mother passed away. She described it as “a life-altering event”. Grandma Maddy had to mature as a young girl, after the death of her mother, and so she started her life of independence and resilience. She was sent to a convent in St. Boniface, MB, only a few months after her mother’s passing. She stayed for one year, never to return, at her request. She returned to Ontario and moved back in with her “patient and gentle” dad during the summer of 1947 and they lived, just the two of them, in a house with no inside plumbing or telephone, and no vehicle. In the fall of 1947, Grandma went to live with her sister Laurette and husband Omer, to go to school in town. Her first job was as a nanny. She eventually moved into an apartment with her niece Jean Skinner and worked at the General Hospital in Port Arthur, ON.


In 1950, Grandma Maddy was swept off her feet by the charming and handsome Ernest Matthew Belisle (Grampa Ernie). Their first kiss was an eventful one – Grampa Ernie falling backwards and landing at the bottom of the stairs. In Grandma Maddy’s words, “You could say he fell hard for me, or as he likes to tell the kids, I jumped into his arms at the thought of kissing such a handsome guy.” Soon after, they were married on August 3, 1950, in Port Arthur. Together they worked hard to build a home and a family. Grandma Maddy raised her first two children, Claude and Richard, in a 12’ x 16’ log cabin, built by Grampa Ernie in rural Ontario. She described it as a simple time in her life, even though she worked hard at learning to drive a truck and haul wood for Grandpa Ernie’s company. Grandma and Grampa had their share of challenges and hardships. Another life-altering event for Grandma Maddy was the death of her beloved baby girl, Joanne. She was Grandma’s third child and only lived months before she passed away of pneumonia in the summer of 1954. Grandma carried on, her unwavering faith perservering, and eventually gave birth to Connie, and then Garry, followed by Louise and Leora, before moving to Caramat, ON, where Grandma had her last baby, Michele. They lived in Caramat for twenty years, with Grandma keeping busy doing work in the community (some might say she ran the town), all while raising her large family. She was a pillar in the community, always involved and organizing community events such as the annual fish derby, curling banquets, Christmas concerts, weekly movie nights, managing and cooking at the community hall canteen, cooking at the Texaco Centre, applying and obtaining summer job opportunities for high school students, bringing TV Stations to her remote community, and an integral force in “Unorganized Communities of Northern Ontario”. Her kids describe her as a tough-love kind of mom, keeping them all in line as best she could. She raised her kids to be hard workers and encouraged them to meet challenges in life. Grandma loved hard and fierce and ultimately didn’t want anyone to be hurt.


Grandma Maddy is survived by her children, Claude (Nicole) Belisle, Richard (Maureen) Belisle, Connie (Fred) Winfield, Garry (Suzanne) Belisle, Louise (Robert) Bailot, Leora (Terence) Cavanagh, and Michele (Randy) Belisle, whom she loved and cherished very much. We also cannot forget her beloved pets, Tauriel and Abbey, whom she might argue she loved and cherished even more! We know that Grandma Maddy was most proud of her family and all their accomplishments. She especially loved that she had so many grandkids and often bragged about her fifteen grandchildren, Brenda Lee, Claudette, Dana, Patrick, Jennifer, Melissa, Genina, Brandon, Jacob, Joshua, Robert John, Leanna, Michael, Jarad, and Ashley; her twenty-seven great-grandchildren, Devin, Desiree, Madison, Kelirae, Dayna, Genna, Anamika, Korum, Julien, Rylan, Devin, Lucas, Hannah, Tristan, Owen, Logan, Felix, Russell, Avery, Andi Rose, Amelia, Ashley, Clementine, Lilith, Ryker, Kalliope, and Adelaide; and two great-great-grandchildren, Talia and Maddox. It was always a big deal for Grandma to hold all our babies, as early as possible. To Grandma, every baby was a blessing and was loved unconditionally. We can still feel her loving arms around us, always excited to give us the biggest hug and tell us she loves us more. Not to mention that incredibly comfy bosom, which made it almost impossible to leave her arms once your head was rested on it. She remembered every single birthday and anniversary. You could always expect a phone call from Grandma on your birthday, where she would sing Happy Birthday to you with her beautiful singing voice. There is no doubt that she made each and every one of us feel incredibly special.


Anyone who knew Grandma Maddy knew that she was not only the life of the party – she was the party. She was the delicious food, the fun games, the entertainment, the laughter, and the jokes (some of which should not be repeated). She was also the organizer, the leader, and all the hard work behind the scenes. Her blue eyes sparkled with love, life, and mischief, and became even brighter when she was in a social setting. Her last big hoorah was her 90th birthday party, where she kept up with the best of us, singing, laughing, dancing, and telling stories until all hours of the night. When Grandma was asked if it was too much, if she was too tired, she replied, “No, I am at peace because all my children are here with me.”


Our grandparents moved to Thunder Bay, ON, then Whitehorse, YK, finally landing in Calgary where Grandma Maddy lived out the rest of her years with her daughter, Michele, and her two fur babies. Michele was an excellent caregiver to Grandma, coordinating and taking her to all of her appointments, shopping, church, and the millions of family functions. She kept herself busy in seniors’ groups (Golden Age Senior’s Whitehorse, YK, and Father Lacombe Adult Day Program Calgary, AB), attending church services (Catholic Women’s League Lifetime Member), playing games and finishing puzzles, baking when she could, and trying to make the best of the limited mobility she had. Our grandma was a talented seamstress, an amazing knitter, and a delicate crocheter. She made First Communion dresses and graduation dresses for our parents and even wedding dresses. For us grandkids and great-grandkids she made baptismal gowns. She lovingly and ambitiously made many gifts for us that we still cherish and will continue to pass down to future generations! In the past years, she became a fixture on her lounge chair in her bedroom, where she spent countless hours praying the Rosary and lifting us up all in prayer. Grandma had lots of family nearby and always looked forward to visits from us. She was often visited by her out-of-town family, with Michele and her hosting many of their stays. Our family also deeply appreciates the help and companionship Grandma received from her caregivers, Alyssa, Renee, Mary Jane, Sandi, Mary Rose, Barb, and Josephine, through Granddaughter Care over the past year.


Grandma was predeceased by her parents, Seraphin and Seraphine Jean; her proud and loving husband, Grampa Ernie, all sixteen of her siblings, daughter Mary Jean Joanne, and her son-in-law Randall Joseph (Michele Belisle) Plumley.


Grandma’s departure comes as a great shock, even at 90 years of age. We thought she would outlive us all! Her hugs, stories, cooking, tell-it-like-it-is attitude, and sassiness will be sorely missed. This loss is felt by her entire family and countless others, who loved her deeply, in her wide network of community. Just like her large family, Grandma lived a large life. We could write a book about it, but she beat us to that! The family deeply appreciates your support during this difficult time.


Prayers and Tributes will be held at St. Gerard’s Catholic Church (8944 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB) on Friday, May 17, 2024, at 7:00 p.m.


Funeral Mass will be celebrated at St. Gerard’s Catholic Church (8944 Elbow Drive SW, Calgary, AB) on Saturday, May 18, 2024, at 11:00 a.m. Reception to follow in the Parish Hall at the Church.


Family and friends who are unable to attend in person are invited to join Madeleine’s service streamed live on YouTube here:


If friends so desire, memorial tributes may be made directly to the Brown Bagging for Calgary’s Kids, a not-for-profit, that makes and delivers lunches to kids in schools, in honour of Grandma’s wish to feed everyone at, (#110 909 11 Ave SW, Calgary, AB, T2R 1L7), or an EFT (Memo: “In Honour of Madeleine Belisle”) to, or to the Canadian Animal Task Force, her grandson RJ’s Organization (311 34 Avenue SE, Calgary, AB, T2G 1T7), in honour of her beloved fur babies at


Condolences, memories, and photos may be shared and viewed with Grandma Maddy’s family here.


In living memory of Madeleine Belisle, a tree will be planted in the Ann & Sandy Cross Conservation Area by McInnis & Holloway Funeral Homes, Fish Creek, 14441 Bannister Road SE, Calgary, Ab t2x 3j3, Telephone: 403-256-9575.


Prayers and Tributes

7:00 pm
Friday, May 17, 2024
St Gerard's Catholic Church
8944 Elbow Dr SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 253-2251

Funeral Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, May 18, 2024
St Gerard's Catholic Church
8944 Elbow Dr SW
Calgary, Alberta, Canada
(403) 253-2251
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