December 10, 1921 – April 15, 2020
Flavia was born in Boggy Creek, (The Unorganised territory), later called the Grand Prairie District, on December 10, 1921. Flavia was the seventh of thirteen children born to Joseph George Poitra and Adele Mary Adeline (Enno) Poitra.
Flavia had 12 siblings: Clara, Joseph, Louis, Laura, Lillian, David, Alex, Albertine, Ernestine, Josephine, David Jacob, and Arthur. Louis and David Jacob passed in there first few years of life.
Her father trapped in the Duck Mountains and they lived on a small farm in the valley of Boggy Creek. Her education consisted of grades one and two. She still remembers the song they learnt in school, “All things Bright and Beautiful” She then stayed home to help with children and work. She also spent a lot of time at her sister Clara’s home helping her with her children.
On April 22, 1942 Flavia married Jules Larocque at which time they found that she had never been registered. No identity, and so they had to use her baptism papers. With a cow and calf, given to her by her parents they started their life together.
This happened once again when she applied for her Old Age Pension. They had to go to the priest for a Baptism affidavit in order for her to receive her pension. Where an error of her birthdate became December 12th and not the 10th.
They had 8 children: Yvette, Mary, Ralph, Gerald, Vivian, Ruth, Roland, and Alvin.
Once married they worked in the bush camps for Cockerill’s and McBride’s in the sawmills, bmom helping cook and Dad in the mills.
Jules and Flavia lived in a few places between the camp jobs and in 1945 they bought the NW 21-30-28 quarter in Boggy Creek where they lived until they retired to Roblin in 1993.
Mom enjoyed living in town because she could walk any where she wanted to go, since she didn’t drive. She especially enjoyed garage sales and its appropriate that today is a biggest garage sale day in town. Should be good deals, Auntie Bea, did you at least stop at one before you came.
She loved planting a huge garden, which we found out early that meant work for us. I hated shelling peas and once when we were left alone. There were wash tubs full to shell. Florence Burwash had told us you could do them with the ringer washer. We tried and ended up with peas plastered all over the walls and floor of the basement. To late we found out, we couldn’t sit well for awhile an had to wash walls. Never did that again.
Summers we loved to go to the lake, mostly Child’s Lake, so off we’d go. Sitting in the back of the truck along with pails, buckets, washtubs. Anything that would hold berries. Yes, we always had to fill the containers with blueberries, saskatoons, raspberries, cranberries, what ever the seasonal fruit at the moment was.
She enjoyed cooking and company to celebrate with. When her dad, George Poitra, came to live with us, she took over making New Years Eve supper, it was a family tradition. It happened at 12 midnight, but you cooked for days before. Later in life the supper time got earlier and sometimes we could sneak off to the New Years Eve dance if you were lucky. Some of her dishes that we all remember was her chicken fried rice, cream onion gravy, ham patties. She had the most fun when she fed you something that you didn’t know what it was, like beaver, bear, or tame rabbits, thinking it was chicken. When Len and I started to have bull sales she always came and cooked meals for us. She was already in her 80s. She and Dad mostly enjoyed the times when there hunting friends would come to stay during the hunting seasons and they would hunt, eat, and exchange stories of the day or passed hunting events.
When we were young, she always sewed us our mitts, and slippers. Dad would get a moose, Elk, or Deer and they would have the hide tanned. With the knitted mitts and socks she made; we were very fortunate. She would later make these items for our husbands, or wives, and for the grandchildren and great grandchildren. Mom also sewed all of us quilts, and blankets. Len especially appreciated the socks she would knit him with raw wool after he had his foot injury.
Mom had an interest in plants and medicine that you could find in your own back yard. If we were sick, she would make you eat something or make a polis’s or two.
She always sang when she was doing things. Len found that out when his first camp over. He woke up to a crack of an axle splitting in the basement below his bed and singing at the top of her lungs, I’ve Never been this far before. Pum Pum Pum.
Mom always like to sew all kinds of things. She used to sew us leather slippers and mitts, and made knitted socks and mitts for liners. In the last 20 years or so, she knitted many pair for family and friends.
Mom always had her favorites. But they somehow changed every week or so. Some of the grandkids would joke and phone or text each other and let the other know that they were her favorite. She always seemed to be at odds with one of us. But Clayton was very faithful and would go each day and visit with her and say the Rosary with her. And even if she would get grouchy with him, he’d be there the next day. Jay-Dean spent many hours with her at home and in the personal care. If I’d come in, she always asked where she was and what she was doing because she hadn’t been there in a long time, but usually it was only a couple of days.
I do have to tell Veronica the really way to keep wrinkles at bay. Veronica had asked her once. How she kept her skin so smooth and wrinkle free. Mom told her all she did is wash her face in real cold water. She may have washed in cool water. But I think it may have been all the Oil of Olay that she used faithfully for the last 50 plus years that help make her skin so soft and wrinkle free.
Flavia Marie Leonor (Poitra) Larocque is the last of her family, only one sister in law remains; Jean Poitras. She is predeceased by her new born daughter Mary, husband Jules, Mother Adele and father George, son Gerald, her great grandsons, Christopher Bouvier, Jordan Larocque, and all of her siblings.
Flavia was layed to rest with her husband on Saturday June 27, 2020 at 11:00 am in the Roblin Catholic Cemetery with a full Christian Mass. Special Music by her God child Alvin Henry. Mass music by Connie Henry Paul, and Ruth Sang a Song at Flavia’s request, “All Things Bright and Beautiful” Memorial Donations may go to Pastoral Intentions of the Sacred Heart Church or Mass Offerings.
Funeral arrangements entrusted to NairnChyz-Wolkowski Funeral Chapel of Roblin, MB.
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