Alexandre Gaston Samoisette was born on February 10, 1928 on the family homestead, west of Gravelbourg. He was the second born of Oscar Samoisette and Rosa Tetreault’s eight children. He had four brothers - Louis, Leonard, Raymond and André and three sisters – Armande, Gracia and Claire.
Neighbours at the Samoisette farm were the Lorrain, Pinsonneault and Bourgeois, Bouvier, Mercier and Chevrier families. Alex often spoke of the how these families were pioneers in the Gravelbourg area.
He attended Arland Country School until Grade 8, then worked on the family farm alongside his father, uncles and brothers. Alex was very close to his uncles who came from Quebec and homesteaded here. "Historian” of the family, he shared the history and photos of the Samoisette family who came from the St. Blaise region in Québec. He made several trips down east with his father and uncles to meet family from there. He brought news from Gravelbourg to St. Blaise and from St. Blaise to Gravelbourg.
"Oublier ses ancêtres, c’est être un arbre sans racine, un ruisseau sans source”
"Forgetting our ancestors, is like a tree without roots, a spring without water”
As a young man, Alex was adventurous and spent winters in BC working in the lumber camps trucking. He also went down East to Quebec and worked alongside the Samoisette family during the maple sugar season in the sugar shacks.
Alex was a strong, hardworking man who had farming in his veins. He purchased the Juneau farm north of Gravelbourg and farmed many years until his retirement. Retirement didn’t mean you had to stop farming though, as he would run the combine at harvest, helping his brother Leonard and nephew Claude. His last "shift” on the combine was in 2014 at the age of 86.
On March 12, 1968, Alex married Germaine Brisebois and enjoyed 36 happy years together. Although they had no children of their own, their many nephews and nieces became a very integral part of their lives. Their family grew infinitely. When nieces and nephews married that just meant more people in "their” family. Their family grew even bigger as neighbours and their children also became cherished family members to them. Plenty of photos of all these special people adorned their home and they spoke lovingly about each and every one of them.
Alex and Germaine travelled and wintered in Mesa, Arizona. They made many new friends and enjoyed the company of friends from Gravelbourg who wintered there as well.
While in Arizona, Alex picked up the game of golf, which became a favourite pass time. He enjoyed the company of fellow golfers of all ages. Nephews and nieces and even great nephews golfed with Alex. He enjoyed the game till the age 88.
Bowling also became a regular activity, bowling till 2017. He entered many tournaments in the region and his name often appeared on the billboard as top score.
He also entered the Senior Games and brought back a medal, which he proudly displayed in his treasured car, the black Marauder. A regular sight around Gravelbourg, was Alex cruising the streets and country roads in his car.
He enjoyed fishing and hunting. One of his greatest prides was the moose he shot in 1966.
Coffee with his buddies was a regular activity. It is at one of these coffee sessions that Alex was challenged to grow a moustache for "Movember”. He took the challenge and couldn’t believe when the guys around the coffee shop and around town just handed him money. He proudly raised over $250 for prostate cancer.
He was a lifelong member of the Knights of Columbus, attending many functions and meeting more friends.
In 2013, Alex decided to downsize from his home and moved into a suite at the Pioneer Villa, where friends became family. He played cards, joined into the coffee routine, enjoyed ice cream sundae afternoons and other activities.
The family would like to extend their deep-felt gratitude for all the wonderful care Alex received. Special mention to Drs. Pillay and Ramlakhan, the locums, the wonderful staff at St. Joseph Hospital and Foyer d’Youville, as well as the home care staff who tended to Alex.
Alexandre Gaston, Samoisette passed away Friday, July 5, 2019 surrounded by loving family. Funeral services took place at the Co-Cathedral in Gravelbourg, Thursday, July 11 at 11:00 a.m.
Survived by: Armande Bouvier; Leonard Samoisette; Gracia and Larry Bekker; Claire and Arthur Privé.
Predeceased by his wife Germaine Samoisette; parents Oscar Samoisette and Rosa Tetreault; brother Louis and wife Alice (Bouvier); brother Raymond and wife Mildred (Miller); brother André and Marlene (Bekker). Germaine’s family - parents: Henri et Rose (Préfontaine); brothers: Nap Brisebois and wife Lucie (Deshaye); Laurent Brisebois and Lillian (Tremblay) and sisters: Rita Brisebois and Ernest Beauchesne; Dorothy Brisebois and Damien Dufresne.