Peacefully, with his children and sister by his side, George passed away on Tuesday, August 29, 2023 at the age of 83 years at Portage La Prairie District General Hospital. Moments before his journey into Heaven, George found strength in the love that surrounded him long enough to open his beautiful eyes to gaze lovingly upon us and flash his famous Clint Eastwood smile.
George was predeceased by his parents Myrtle and Edmond Lavallee, wife Maria Lavallee, son in law Robert Boudreau, partner Rosemarie Ducharme and brothers Wilfred, Leonard and Aime. Left to honour his life and cherish his memory are his children Amanda, Edwin, Claudette (Randy), Melinda (Chris), Jessica (Carl), Rosanne (Kim) along with grandchildren Crystal, Bradley, Hunter, Ashley, Elysia, Shane, Vanessa, Jaden, Brett and Taliah, as well as, great grandchildren Adam, Thomas, Dylan, Evangeline, Hadley and Ariah. George also leaves his sister Blanche and brother John. He also shared a very close and special bond with his nephews Larry, Jeff and Jamie who are also left to mourn his loss.
George was born on October 25, 1939 in the small Métis Community of St. Ambroise, Manitoba. He grew up speaking Michif and at the age of 10 years old was taught the Métis traditional cultures of hunting, fishing and trapping by his father Edmond. Hunting became his life-long passion and he took great pride in passing this legacy onto his son Edwin and his Grandson Bradley. George married his first love, Maria, on July 3, 1965 and they went on to have two children Amanda and Edwin. Our family looked forward to the weekends as these were always reserved for fishing and camping where everyone looked forward to George’s camp breakfasts – they were the best. George and Maria were gifted with their first grandchild Crystal in 1984 and second grandchild Bradley in 1994. It was with great sadness when the family lost Maria in 1991 after a brave and courageous battle with cancer.
In 1994, George found his second happiness and love with Rosemarie Ducharme. The family welcomed Rosemarie and her 4 daughters – Claudette, Melinda, Jessica and Rosanne. George and Rosemarie enjoyed attending MMF gatherings and functions and made many new friends along the way. Laughing, watching movies and going to Assiniboia Downs were times they spent lovingly together. George and Rosemarie were inseparable from the moment they found each other to the moment Rosemarie left us in 2021 after a courageous and brave battle with cancer.
George enlisted in the Army in the late 1950’s and trained as a Militia Rifleman in Ontario. Upon his return to Manitoba, he obtained his Bachelor of Education at Brandon University and went onto teach in St. Ambroise, St. Laurent and Portage La Prairie. Although proud of his profession, it was not quite what he felt was his calling. He then took on a career of long-distance truck driver for a couple years, well that wasn’t what fitted him either. After some soul searching, George came to the conclusion that he needed to be working outdoors – in his element – as he often said. He found that career with Natural Resources, Province of Manitoba – a career he held for 35 plus years before his retirement.
Being a Proud Métis Man, George wanted to help move the Manitoba Red River Métis Government forward. George was elected to the Local Executive as Chairperson of St. Ambroise Local – a position he held for 12 years. In addition to Local Executive, he also sat as member of the Michif Language Revitalization Committee from 2003 to 2010. Serving his Manitoba Red River Métis Government was a position he held with great pride and honour.
To all who knew George Lavallee – his passion and love of hunting was the topic of discussion always. This was his legacy. An expert marksman – there was seldom a duck left flying, a goose left laying, a deer left running or a moose left grazing. George and his SSG shells (Sure Shot George) were always on mark. George was the Canadian Duck Calling Champion for 6 consecutive years and represented Manitoba proudly. George became a Hunting Guide at the age of 15 years which he continued to do until his final year of hunting in 2022 at age 83.
George loved spending time with his family and that was all he needed to be happy in life. Cherished memories of family barbeques, gatherings playing guitar and singing, hunting, fishing, and most of all – trap shoot with his boys.
Dad, you left us much too soon and we will miss you always and forever. The memories, love and legacy that is George Lavallee will remain in our hearts forever. You’ve earned your wings and now it is time for you to fly. We take solace knowing that our loved ones who left us earlier in life all welcomed you with open arms and hearts full of love. Forever in our hearts – Always to be remembered.
A celebration of George’s life will take place at McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel on Sunday, September 3, 2023 at 11:00 am.
The family wishes to extend sincere thanks and appreciation to Dr. Van Ginkle and all the Nurses, Health Care Aides and staff at Portage District General Hospital who took such great care of George.
As expressions of sympathy, donations may be made in George’s memory to Central Plains Cancer Services, 318 Saskatchewan Ave. E., Portage la Prairie, MB R1N 0K8.
A tree will be planted in memory and cared for by McKenzies Portage Funeral Chapel. www.mckenziesportagefuneralchapel.com