I never knew my great-grandfather Philippe Theriault but over the past five years – through conversations with distant relatives, and records including his first wife’s early death and his children’s baptisms from a succession of parishes across two provinces, I’ve built the picture of a man who did lead The Noble Life.
He had a hard work life, marred first by the failure of his own lumber business in the Gaspe and then by a succession of jobs in lumber mills from the Matapedia (Quebec) to Dalhousie and Edmunston (New Brunswick) as he struggled throughout the depression years to raise his 11 children by his first wife and 10 more by his second.
What I’m sharing here is one of only two photographs I’ve ever seen of my great grandfather. It’s his mortuary card and translates as follows:
To the tender memory of Philippe Theriault, husband of Martine Theriault, who died on April 24th, 1942 at the age of 90 years. Rest In Peace.
Note: The card contains an error because his wife’s name was actually Mathilde Theriault.