Rolande Dionne Morency, age 98, beloved sister, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother, entered eternal rest peacefully of natural causes on October 21, 2020, in her daughter’s home. She was preceded in death by her parents, Nazaire and Florence Dionne; her sisters Beatrice, Rose Eva, Marie-Marthe and Anne Marie Dionne; and her brothers Leo Paul and Raymond Dionne. She is survived by 5 siblings: Therese, Marie-Flore, Lucille, Ernest, and Jaqueline Dionne: her children; Serge (Ismene) Morency, Danielle (John) Shillcock, Jocelyne Sade, and Christian Morency; and 14 grandchildren and 25 great-grandchildren (ages 2-20).
Rolande was born January 25, 1922, the oldest of twelve in Manitoba, Canada on a farm and was the quintessential farm girl… bringing in the cows on horseback, milking the cows while singing, helping in the garden and on the fields. She also helped her mom care for her 11 siblings. She eventually worked for the Bell Company as an operator and later as a live-in maid to a wealthy family doing the cooking, laundry, and housekeeping. Rolande was a hardworking woman, never able to just sit for long without being engaged in some project with her hands.
She met her husband, Claude, at a political event. They married on her birthday, January 25, 1950. They both shared a love of music – as well as an adventurous spirit – which eventually took them from Montreal, Canada to Long Beach, California in 1960, with 4 children in tow. It was not easy leaving a large extended family, but the rewards were many, with family summer vacations to Mexico and many other tourist attractions found in California and neighboring states. Eventually, after the children were raised, Rolande became an interior decorator for Barker Brothers serving many Southern California clients. Her adventures also took her to several European countries. After her career, she settled once again in Montreal with many of her siblings living nearby. Rolande enjoyed at least one more birthday-gift adventure at 75 years old, and that was a parachute jump from an airplane over the Monterey Bay in California! Yes, she was adventurous…. and gutsy!
Rolande loved stimulating conversations – engaging in political and spiritual discussions, and always had an open and curious mind. One hobby she loved was making cards decorated with her own pressed flowers, and another was sewing from scratch and/or altering and embellishing clothes she would buy to make fit her petite frame. She loved music, playing the piano and the autoharp, and singing at church and with her musical family. You could always hear Rolande singing or whistling as she worked. Yoga and 2-mile walks were daily occurrences for her well into her 80’s. She traveled regularly to visit her children and grandchildren. Up until the last days, Rolande’s joie-de-vivre and beautiful soul affected everyone she met. What a vibrant and beautiful legacy she left behind. A private memorial life celebration will be held by family. Please direct condolences to:
301 Madison St. #105
Iron Mountain, MI 49801