Thompson Funeral Home

530 Industrial Parkway South, Aurora, ON


Pierre Joseph Bissonnette

21 octubre , 194922 junio , 2020
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It is with great sadness to announce the passing of Pierre peacefully in his sleep at Soldiers Memorial hospital in Orillia on Monday June 22nd in his 70th year. Devoted husband and soulmate of Sandra for 45 years. Pierre will be greatly missed by his son Rene, daughter-in-law Jennifer and grandchildren Mackenzie and Jaelyn who he adored. Will also be missed by sister-in-law Joan Porter and brother-in-law Alan Porter and nieces Alyssa and Laura Porter. Pierre attended Toronto Teachers College and received his Bachelor of Arts degree from York University. He enjoyed his long teaching career especially the last 13 years at Sacred Heart High School in Newmarket and was highly respected by his students, parents and fellow colleagues. He was a mentor to many and touched many lives. He was affectionately called "Mr. B" by his students. He loved teaching drama and special education. Pierre retired from teaching in 2004 and a few years later moved from Aurora to Orillia to enjoy retirement with Sandra.

He played golf for many years and enjoyed many golf vacations to Myrtle Beach with friends. Pierre and Sandra enjoyed going to many theatre productions and live music concerts especially at Rama, the Orillia Opera House, the Kingswharf Theatre, the Gayety Theatre in Collingwood and Music on the Barge in Gravenhurst.

Pierre enjoyed many timeshare vacations with his family and he so loved spending time with his son Rene, his daughter-in-law Jennifer and his grandchildren Mackenzie and Jaelyn. Pierre was grateful that he was able to go to the Willowdale Boys Reunion in Collingwood (one year ago). He was so happy to see all his old friends who he grew up with (and their wives). Though Pierre's health had been declining for years, few people knew to the extent of which he struggled. His joy for life and impressive spirit kept him pushing through the pain. No matter the circumstances, he was always determined. When anyone else would have broken, he stayed strong.

A sincere thank you to the following people: Dr. Nitasha Anand, Maddie, Helmi, Dr. Karim Dharssi, Dr. John MacFayden, Andrea (Bayshore Nurse), Linsey O'Donnell (Palliative Care Coordinator), Claire Towns, Natalie (Pro Resp Care), Faye, and all the wonderful staff at Soldiers Memorial Hospital in Orillia and RVH for all their kind and compassionate care. Also want to thank friends and family for all your E-Mails, phone calls and support. A special thank you to Rene and Jennifer for all your love and support and daily phone calls and visits to Orillia with Mackenzie and Jaelyn which always lifted his spirits. Pierre loved those long daily chats with you Rene - thank you so much for your thoughtfulness. You always brightened his day. Pierre will be dearly missed by all those who knew and loved him and by all those who were touched by his generosity and kindness. He never missed a chance to tell his family how much he loved them. Pierre was a beautiful person and he will be missed by family, friends, co-workers and former students and he will remain forever in our hearts.

Contributions in Pierre's memory may be made to Diabetes Canada, www.diabetes.ca

Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.ThompsonFH-Aurora.com for the Bissonnette family.


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Pierre Joseph Bissonnette


colette shorter

12 julio , 2020

Dear Sandra, Rene and family,
Please accept my deepest sympathy. Pierre was a lovely man and will be missed as he was loved by his family and friends.
You are in my thoughts and prayers at this sad time.
Sincerely, Colette Shorter

Taryn Read

9 julio , 2020

My deepest sympathies to you, Sandra, Rene and family, and friends. I will remember Mr. B and all of you in my prayers.

It makes me very sad to hear of Mr. B’s passing. I have so many good memories of him! I was privileged to be a student in his gr. 7 class at Notre Dame in ‘89-‘90, but I remember him from earlier when he taught at Canadian Martyrs. I visited his gr. 7 classroom once to get some math help for a science project and his students were all over the place, having so much fun! I thought to myself, “I hope I get to be in his class some day!” What an amazing teacher! So creative! His projects for us were diverse, challenging and unforgettable, in all subjects. He is one of the teachers who inspired me to become a teacher too, and I had the pleasure of being his colleague at Sacred Heart in his last year before his retirement. And, like years before, I saw his students were having so much fun!

Mr. B was a very kind, patient, generous, gentle and loving teacher. He had a big smile, a big heart and a good sense of humour. He genuinely cared about us all as though we were his family, and he would tell us that he loved us too, even when we messed up. What a blessing his life was to so many.

Thank you Mr. B so very much for all your lessons and guidance. May you rest in peace.

Sincerely, Taryn Read and family

Deney Delfosse

7 julio , 2020

On Saturday night we had friends over for dinner and I was telling them about my favourite elementary teacher, Mr. Bissonnette. I told them how we had fun spelling his last name really fast. I also told them his was the only elementary teacher's name that I remembered. The next day my husband showed me the obituaries in the Toronto Star and he asked if Pierre had been my teacher and there he was smiling. I was in grade six in 1976 at Kenton Public school. My memory is that I was invited to his house (basement apartment?) with some friends to write a test for 'Old Man and the Sea'. I remember feeling so special to be picked and very lucky to get perfect on the test! He was very warm and caring and just the fact that I have good memories of that year tells me he was a great teacher. I am truly sorry for your loss. Best regards, Deney

Janis Fairservice

6 julio , 2020

Dear Sandra and family,
Thinking of you as you celebrate Pierre's remarkable life.

Janis Fairservice
Formerly of Genesis

Brandon Gingras

4 julio , 2020

My condolenses go out to the family of Mr. Bissonnette. This is so sad to read. Reading all the memories people had of Mr. B, and thinking about all the positive memories I had of him, shows how great a person he was and the positive influence he had on people's lives. Mr B. taught me in Grade 7 PACE at Notre Dame and drama at Sacred Heart in subsequent years. His influence on my life was great and I am truly grateful to his presence. I'll always remember his guided meditations, the trip to watch Hunt for Red October, and his amazing approach to teaching. He will be truly missed by me and my family. My heart goes out to his family in this trying time.

Lindy Hollefriend (Preston)

3 julio , 2020

My thoughts and prayers are with your entire family. I am truly saddened to hear of Pierre’s passing.

Gail Baldeo

3 julio , 2020

Our prayers are with you all at this time. Mr.B taught 2 of my children, Andy and Sherene Shaw, at Notre Dame in the early 1990's. This was a very challenging time for our family as a little sibling of our children Pierre taught was diagnosed in 1990 and passed away in 1991 with a rare childhood cancer while they were in their Gr.7+8 years. Mr. B's kindness and compassion towards them, and our entire family will never be forgotten. He was an amazing teacher and a sweet, kind man. Three of my children went on to teaching careers, one of them in special ed., and our family believe teaching is a gifted calling, not just a profession. Mr. B certainly personified everything a gifted, called teacher could be. Take comfort in knowing he was such an amazing influence on so many lives. May Jesus comfort you all in your sorrow.

Tina Kenny

3 julio , 2020

Remembered fondly as a great teacher and mentor, his kind nature was so greatly appreciated. Praying for his family! Great memories of a great man!

Lori Boshan

2 julio , 2020

Mr. B .... I'm very saddened to hear of his passing. He was an extraordinary teacher. Hands down, my favourite teacher, of all time! He had the rare ability to get the best out of everyone. He was such a caring, fun, charismatic, encouraging and dedicated man. Loved by everyone. He will be fondly remembered and sadly missed.

Maggie Nagy

2 julio , 2020

Kenton Public School. I remember his smile, his laugh and the most fun I had with a teacher. Rest In Peace. ❤️🌺



Eulogy of Pierre Joseph Bissonnette

• Our families would like to thank everyone present to celebrate the life of Pierre Joseph Bissonnette

• Pierre was born on October 21, 1949 and passed on June 22, 2020

• Husband of Sandra and father of his son René, father-in-law of Jennifer and grandpa of his grandchildren Mackenzie and Jaelyn.

• Pierre was a kind, gentle, loving person, and loved spending time with his wife, Son, grand-children and family

• Pierre had a passion for life, and left this earth living a full good life, loving his family.

• Pierre, as we all know, suffered a number of health issues over the years and most recently over the past year and a half, was diagnosed with cancer. However, this did not stop him from enjoying life, spending time with his family, which was the most important thing to him.

• He grew up as a child close to his father, Leo and they did many things together, such as golfing and trips together, and even worked together at one point, when Leo got Pierre a job at Maple Leaf Gardens in his teenage years.

• Pierre’s father and mother had a cottage in Virginia and went to the Twin seasons as it was the hot spot then to listen to live bands. Sandra’s parents Tom and Anne, would bring their daughter Sandra and her other sisters there was well. Pierre and Sandra met one evening, and the rest would be history. Sandra said after their first date, Pierre, will I see you tomorrow. Pierre, answered, I will see you tomorrow, which he did. They were in love from there onwards.

• Pierre decided as a young adult, that he wanted to teach self-defense, so he pursued two black-belt degrees. One in Self-defense and one in Karate. Once he obtained his black belt degrees, he opened his own martial arts studio, where he taught as an instructor for several years. A short story that he shared with Sandra and Rene was one evening after teaching martial arts, he went out the back door of his studio and he saw a man aggressively hitting a woman. Knowing Pierre, he had to be involved, so he quickly told the man to leave the woman alone, and the man approached Pierre.

Of course, it did not end well for the man. One of Pierre’s instructors came out the back door of the martial arts studio to see Pierre holding the man upside down and bopping the man’s head of the curb.

• After several years of martial arts instruction, he decided he wanted to be a teacher, so, if you can believe it, was awarded a wrestling scholarship, while attending school at the Ohio University, in the united states. He attained a lower spine injury, resulting him to stop wrestling, and then move back to Canada and Finished his Bachelor of Arts degree from York University as attended Toronto’s Teacher College, where he became a certified Teacher. He obtained his first teaching contract at Kenton Public School in North York, and his teaching career would evolve from there.

• One of Pierre’s many highlights with students that they still talk about it to this day, where in Pierre’s gym class, he would have several of his students line up behind the heavy punching bag, and Pierre would deliver one heck of a punch, knocking several students down on a floor mat, which the students loved!

• After several years of teaching in elementary school, he then was ready for a new challenge, to teach as a Secondary School Teacher, where he would teach as a Drama Teacher, Science Teacher and as a Special Education Teacher, working with students with special needs.

• Pierre had a passion to teach and loved each and every student he had ever taught and also had a memory like an index where he remembered each student he had ever taught. He always had students refer to him as “Mr B” and was adored and loved by many students, and many of them still connected with him years later to tell him of how much they enjoyed him as a teacher and would refer him to them as a great mentor! A perfect example is the beautiful friendship of Pierre and Michelle Daniels (Brennan) as they kept in touch over the years, and attended Pierre’s retirement and so-on.

• Pierre had the privilege of serving as Principal Designate as acting Principal and Vice-Principal in their absence at Sacred Heart High School, which was an honour.

• Rene enjoyed having his father teach at the same high school he attended, although many friends did not think so....lol. They spent many lunches together, as they would go out to Burger King in Newmarket together and talk and enjoy some time together, as father and son.

• As time went on, their friendship would only continue to strengthen and evolve.

• Pierre enjoyed spending time with his son, daughter-in-law and his grand-children when they visited. Rene would take Mackenzie and Jaelyn for sleep-overs which warmed Pierre’s heart.

• Pierre showed amazing strength with liver failure. Although not well, he would not let go of his priorities of spending time with his family

• Although he was taken early from us, he has outlived many of his close long-time friends such as Terry Haworth and his best-friend Dennis Haworth (who was his best-man at his wedding), Paul Kelly, to name a few.

• Pierre was very close to his late father Leo.

• Pierre had many great times with his father Leo and Rene such as fishing, vacations and lots of golf to name a few. This includes the time that Pierre came home from University one summer with Dennis and they went to the bar with Pierre’s father Leo and had a few drinks together and started to walk home and made quick stop for a pee. It turns out that a policeman caught Pierre and Dennis peeing on a side of a church and tried to charge them for public urination. Leo, having the gift of the gab, talked to the policeman not to charge Dennis and Pierre, because they were on their way to becoming licensed teachers, and did not want any charges against them, that could affect their future teaching career. They were lucky!

• A couple of years before Leo’s passing, Pierre had taken his father to Fernier, the town of which Leo was born and was raised in. This would be an incredible trip, between father and son, which meant everything to Pierre.

• Pierre also took on roles as “Santa Claus” and also Rene’s soccer coach, and also assistant coach on Rene’s High School hockey team, where Rene was a back-up goaltender for the Crusaders at one point and John Bartlett (the voice of the Montreal Canadiens) was the primary goalie.

• Pierre and Rene would speak each and every day talking on the way to Rene’s work in the morning and on the way home and would await Rene’s phone call or text during the day for a “daily check-in” on what his son was doing for the day, as he loved hearing what type of HVAC jobs Rene was doing for the day.

• Nothing pleased Pierre more, than knowing his son and family were happy.

• He would often tell Sandra that he has a little more time, and was not ready to leave this world yet. He wanted to make it to Rene’s 40th birthday, Jennifers birthday and the grand-kids birthdays and his and Sandra’s 45th Anniversary on June 7th, which he did. This just showed what type of person he was.

• Pierre always told his family each and every day that he loved them. Sandra made it all possible by being Pierre’s stone, his care provider and loving wife that she is, by taking the responsibility so Pierre could stay with us as long as he did.

• Pierre shared with Sandra and Rene of how happy he was to see the “Willow-dale boys” by being there at the Reunions over the years. It warmed his heart by seeing the gang and striking up conversations about the good old days. He loved all his friends. Pierre specifically mentioned of how happy he was able to see the boys one last time in Collingwood last year with Sandra.

• Thank you to the “Collingwood boys”, who emailed several pictures to Sandra and Rene of Pierre, in his early teen years from the 60’s until the present time from some of their reunions.

• The last two years, Pierre has suffered serious health issues and hospitalizations, but he kept bouncing back until a week before he passed.

• Pierre often enjoyed going to Rock-and-roll concerts and tribute band concerts with Sandra, and Rene on a few occasions. He had a true passion for the arts and music and enjoyed staying at bed and breakfast stays with Sandra after late evening concerts.

• Nothing made Pierre happier than spending time with his grand-children. Almost each and every time, Mackenzie and Jaelyn would ask Grampa to take them for a ride on his electric recliner chair….up…..and down! The girls would just laugh and giggle and Pierre would just laugh and the girls would say “do it again grampa….do it again! So he would.

• And Mackenzie at the age of 3 to 4 years old at the time, sitting on Pierre’s lap at the computer desk, asking Grampa to show her “hockey fights”on you-tube. So, he did!

• Pierre was one of a kind. He was a beautiful man, a man of strength, a mentor, a teacher, and a friend to many. He was a real father and inspiration to Rene.

• It warmed Pierre’s heart, that Rene’s wife Jennifer got him back into playing hockey as a goaltender, after approx 10 years of not playing. Pierre, would often drive to the arena’s to watch his son play pick-up with his friends.

• Although his health was not well, he did it, while he could, as it warmed his heart.

• It also warmed Pierre’s heart, that Jennifer was able to organize several
co-ed hockey tournaments each year where many of their best friends could play together such as Jessie, Jeremy, PJ, Laura, James and Kim, to name a few.

• When Rene first met Jessie and Jeremy during Friday night hockey, years ago, Jeremy said to Rene, is your Dad....Mr. B.....Teacher from Sacred Heart. Rene answered yes. Not to our surprise......Pierre taught Jeremy years ago in high school, as was one of his favourites. What a small world!

• One of Rene’s fond memories of Pierre and his grand-father Leo, was golf they played together. Rene would be getting ready to hit the ball, and Pierre would often say to Rene, to make sure the ball was on the inside of his stance and make sure you don’t slice it and keep your eyes on the ball. Leo would say to his son, “Pierre, shut-up and leave him alone”. Rene, your riding with me. Nothing worst than someone telling you what to do. Rene would laugh and thought that was hilarious as Pierre’s father was telling him off, to leave his grand-child alone. Great memories.

• One of Pierre’s final requests, that he asked for his Driver and his putter be placed next to him, as golf was his favourite past time, which he enjoyed playing with Rene, his late father Leo, and friends, and even Sandra a few times.

• Pierre in his final days, said that he hopes that there are golf courses in heaven, because he would love to play some rounds with his late Father Leo, his best friend Dennis and Terry, Paul and others.

• We are forever grateful of the time that we had with Pierre. As Pierre’s health declined, his bond with his family would only continue to strengthen.

• In closing, a gift that Rene had given to Pierre a number of years ago, was a pillow that had a beautiful embroidery inscription written on it. It stated “anyone can be a dad, but it takes a man, to be a father. This is exactly the type of man he was. He always looked after this family first, before himself.

• We know that, Pierre, is with us today, and smiling at some of the beautiful memories we’ve shared.

• Now, Pierre is at peace and will be forever in our hearts.

• Love, your family!

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