Marie Lucie Dubois was born 15 December 1886 in Ste Agathe, Manitoba, daughter of John Dubois and Angelique Lamirande. She married Francois Xavier Berthelette dit Savoyard, 29 September, 1903 in Labroquerie, Manitoba. Francois was born 7 March 1883 in St Jean Baptiste, Manitoba to Francois Berthelette and Melanie Ducharme. Lucie was a few months shy of 18 years, my grandfather just a few months past his 20th birthday when they married. Family story has it Lucie and Francois were in love several years before they were married, but Lucie's father forbade her to see Francois because with no permanent job he had no future. Francois loved her dearly and persisted until he landed a job with the railroad. This must have impressed Lucie's father, John Dubois because the two were married one year later. Lucie bore 11 children and outlived four of them. Times were hard and their first loss was in 1911 when a child passed on at less then a year old. The next was Melanie who died at 17 when struck by lightning. Then the eldest son Frank was killed by a train and one other son was killed in Europe in World War II. Lucie raised five of her grandchildren in a one-room log house. She worked hard with the children, directing the older children to haul the water from the well on laundry day. Lucie would scrub the clothes bent over a scrub board and wash tub, soaking the whites in boiling water and bluing to get them sparkling white. She hung the clothes outdoors on makeshift lines that went from tree to tree. She would take the children on walks to look for various berries and roots. No matter the season, with the hard times, Lucie and the children would gather lumps of coal along the railroad tracks, storing them for the cold winter. Lucie loved her grandchildren dearly and when it came time for them to leave her home after the war ended, she was reluctant to let them go. Lucie was heart broken and Francois had to console her. At age eleven, one of her grandchildren went to spend the summer with her. They played cards almost endlessly, talked for hours, but Kokum would not talk of her early years to her curious grandchild. Lucie seemed to have blocked that out of her mind, not wanting to remember those hard days. At age 14, her curious grandchild once again came to live with her and did so for the next two years until her passing. She passed away in June of 1956.
In memory of Marie Lucie Dubois, my Kokum; whenever I injured myself, you were my soother, during stormy times you were my safe haven, my guiding light when I was wrong.
Bio by Larry Haag, the curious grandchild