Mary-Louise Sirois 19432020

Mary-Louise Sirois
1943-2020
It is with deep sadness and no small trepidation that the
family of Mary-Louise Sirois announces her passing, less than a week
before her 77th birthday: sadness because all of us and so many others
will miss her incisive wit, her remarkable powers of observation, and
her indomitable sense of how uniquely human social graces –
obituaries, for instance – ought to be carried out;
trepidation because we know she’s watching.
Mary-Louise was an accomplished and outspoken authority on
manners and etiquette, one who never tired of showing her family how
to do or say the right thing, how to compose a proper letter for any
and all occasions, how to eat with the correct utensil, or how to find
humour in any situation. We are certain that none of her children ever
measured up to her exacting standards in this regard, but all of them
are better human beings for having made the attempt.
Our sister/wife/mother/grandmother/great grandmother was born
in Moncton on December 20, 1943, to the late Hugh and the late
Florence (Walton) Reardon. She married in August 1963 at age 19 and
gave birth to her first child in May 1964. The Sixties did not reach
New Brunswick until the Seventies, so although she studied to be a
teacher, Mary-Louise set aside any aspirations of her own career and
became a full-time homemaker. She would raise four very active
children in different parts of the province with her husband, the
Honourable Jacques A. Sirois, a now-retired former Justice of the New
Brunswick Court of Queen’s Bench. His studies and work as a
lawyer and later judge took them to Fredericton, Edmundston,
Fredericton again, Moncton, Bathurst, Moncton again, Edmundston again,
and then a final judicial posting back in Moncton.
By far the longest (more than 20 years) and most difficult
stretch was the second one in Edmundston. Mary-Louise did not like the
idea of leaving her social milieu in Moncton again. She still had
three children at home who needed to enrol in new schools, she arrived
with an ankle injury that never fully healed, and the area’s
unilingual Francophone environment made her feel
isolated.
Nonetheless, she eventually found and befriended an eclectic
mix of likeminded people from different backgrounds, from all walks of
life, and from places as far-flung as Britain, South Africa, Hong Kong
– even Campbellton. They would come to call themselves the
« United Nations », and meetings of some sort were almost
always in session, from quick coffees and lazy brunches to merciless
curry cook-offs and multi-family barbecues. A natural host and highly
talented cook, Mary-Louise thrived in these kinds of settings, and by
the time she and Jacques finally returned to Moncton during the winter
of 2005-2006, they had formed numerous lasting friendships that
sustained her for years and endure to this day.
Mary-Louise was a voracious reader whose appetite for fiction
– good and bad alike – made librarians feel wanted
and necessary wherever she lived. She genuinely valued their opinions,
remembered their names and birthdays, noted how many children they
had, and added some of them to the long list of people she called
« friends ». Her memory was boundless, her goodwill unlimited,
so she did the same for almost everyone with whom she interacted: from
waiters and salespeople to electricians and postal workers, as well as
the beggars who so often approached her outside the post office in
Moncton. If you wanted to talk, Mary-Louise would listen –
and retain. All of it. Forever. But still keep it secret if
that’s what you wanted.
These traits made her a valuable source of advice and support
for friends, relatives, acquaintances, and the unending stream of
strangers – census-takers, grocery clerks, the old lady
sitting next to her on a plane, etc – who instinctively
trusted both her judgment and her discretion. More friends, even if
not all of them made it onto the official birthday card
roster.
If you really knew Mary-Louise, you also know that she loved
to drive, especially over long distances and mainly because so few
others knew how to do it properly. In fairness, she was an excellent
driver who took very few chances and operated within her limitations,
which obviously were a bit beyond those of the lesser mortals for whom
posted speed limits were intended. Fortunately for her, even cops were
not immune to her warmth and charm, which almost always secured a
warning instead of a fine, or a small fine instead of a big
one.
This could go on and on, but Mary-Louise – who KNEW
about such things – had certain strict rules about
obituaries, one of which was « no more than 750 words of
text » (not including survivors, funeral or memorial information,
and instructions for flowers or donations) « unless
you’re famous. Maybe 800 if you were really special. »
If you’re counting, this brings us to just over 800, all of
them richly deserved.
In addition to her beloved sister Patricia (now resident in
Toronto, Ontario), Mary-Louise is survived by her devoted husband
Jacques, who stood by her through all the ups and downs that life can
throw at a couple over the course of more than 50 years, and their
four children: son George (Tracey) of Calgary, Alberta; daughter
Elizabeth (John) of Houston, Texas; son Marc (Marilyn) of Calamba
City, Philippines; and son Martin (Lise) of Moncton. She also leaves
behind 11 grandchildren (Jacques, Brendan, Monika, Brett, Jessica,
Cassandra, Yasmine, Mona, Jean-Jacques, Erin, and Evelyn) and one
great-grandson (Wyatt). She will be mourned, too, by a long list of
cousins, nieces, nephews, and all those friends.
The family plans to hold a celebration of
Mary-Louise’s life, details of which will be announced when
they have been finalized.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the
Canadian Cancer Society, the Heart and Stroke Foundation of Canada,
and/or the Humanity Project homeless shelter in
Moncton.
Arrangements have been entrusted to Tuttle Brothers Riverview
Funeral Home 214 Pine Glen Rd. Riverview, NB (506)857-9544
Online condolences can be made
at www.tuttlefuneralhome.ca

19432020
Nos plus sincères sympathies à la famille et aux amis de Mary-Louise Sirois 19432020..

tuttle funeral home

Décès pour la Ville: Riverview, Province: Nouveau-Brunswick

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