NOËLLA BÉGIN (née Forget)
July 18, 1918 – August 7, 2020
NOËLLA BÉGIN (née Forget) July 18, 1918 - August 7, 2020 102 years young
It is with profound sadness that we announce the peaceful passing of a wonderful woman and a lovely lady.
Noëlla is predeceased by her late husband Aimé, her daughter Florence, her grandchildren Kirsi, Erik, Martin and Markus, and her many brothers and sisters: Gerald (Lucy), Roland (Mirelle), Simone (Marcel), Violet (Roland), Walter, Henry, Jimmy, Marcel and Guy. She will be so very much missed by her loving children Roger (Linda) and Suzan (Jim), and her son-in-law, Ilkka, her precious grandchildren Nicole (Mike), Daniel (Jen), Andrew (Milena), Laura, and Nicholas (Krissi), and her adorable great-grandchildren Sam and Sofia, Luka and Dejan, and Sienna and Sadie. Also, a very important and loving part of Noëlla’s life were her surviving sisters-in-law Gilberte, Irma, and Celine, and her many, many nieces and nephews, from near and far.
Noëlla was born, in 1918, in St-Bruno-De-Guigues, Quebec, was raised in Lowther, Ontario, and as a young woman, she moved to Toronto with the whole “Forget Clan”. In 1947, she married Aimé Bégin (of Hearst, Ontario), where she/they made a wonderful life that embraced the values of family, loving relationships, forgiveness, the commitment to helping others and church. During the week, Noëlla devoted her life to raising and caring for her family/families on Arlington Ave. Saturday nights, she could be found, sitting around the very large kitchen table on Auburn Ave., with her brothers and sisters, their spouses, her children, and her numerous nieces and nephews, playing cards, laughing, eating, organizing the lotteries we all hoped to win - and just generally enjoying every minute of life! Sundays were all about church and more family! She loved the large family, the closeness we all experienced and the joy we all shared! Noëlla was also one of the 3 sisters (and 7 brothers) who made summers the most special of memories...memories of Thirty-one, In-between, swimming, picnics, bon fires, bingo, corn roasts....oh, we were so blessed! In her later years, she had great fun planning for the annual trip to Las Vegas she enjoyed with her siblings, travelling to far away places with her children, and, like so many seniors, watching the Wheel of Fortune and The Price Is Right. Noëlla called the St. Clair Ave. area, between Dufferin and Bathurst Streets, home, for over 65 years. She loved to walk...and, even into her 90s, walked up to 10km a day. She would shop at and support the small, local businesses that pepper the area and was known and loved by the many shopkeepers she frequented. They loved her quiet and dignified presence. St. Clare’s Catholic Church also played a large part in Noëlla’s religious life: many joyous, but also many sorrowful occasions/events, were celebrated there. Later, when Noëlla moved to the Village of Taunton Mills in Whitby, she was able to rejoin some of the family members who had moved away from the Toronto area, and to remain an important and active participant in their lives. She was able to enjoy visits, dinner dates and special occasions on a more regular basis...and she loved that! Noëlla loved life! We, Noëlla’s family, wish to thank the staff of Taunton Mills for their loving care, compassion, and generosity of heart. They were instrumental in helping to make the last few years of our Mother’s life peaceful and comfortable, and will always hold a special place in our hearts.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at Holy Family Catholic Church, Whitby, on Wednesday, August 12, 2020 at 10:30 a.m.; Interment will follow at Holy Cross Catholic Cemetery in Thornhill. Due to current circumstances, strict face masks and physical distancing requirements will be in place. The following organizations have always held a very special place in our hearts, and so, if you wish to make a donation, please consider the Hospital for Sick Kids (Toronto), the Heart and Stroke Foundation, the Canadian Cancer Society or the War Amps of Canada.
NOËLLA BÉGIN (née Forget)
September 6, 2020
My Memere was an amazing woman, and I am so thankful for having had her in my life. She was gentle, kind, generous, loving and strong. I remember spending days at 28 Arlington where she would wear her apron while making soup and crepes and we cousins would play while the adults chatted and laughed. I remember the cottage and her teaching me how to play numerous card games and letting me use some of her coins to bet, or heading to bingo where I’d get too many cards that she’d end up playing half of them because I couldn’t keep up! I remember how she used to come to our house and visit for a week at a time, and how when I’d come home from school with my friends, that they loved her so much they would call her Memere as well. I was always so proud that they did that…
There is so much that I learned from my Memere: the importance of family, how to be a strong woman, to be hardworking, to be gentle and kind, how to handle difficult times with dignity and grace… and I admire her so much for all that she did and created. I will miss her greatly, but am thankful for the time that I had with her and the memories that will live on in my heart forever.
When we think of our Grande-Memere what we remember most is the feeling of love that she gave us. Whenever we would go to visit her, we would be surrounded by family. We would play with our cousins, we would read books, we would eat delicious food and laugh and share stories. We would hold her hand and kiss her forehead and listen to stories about her when she was younger. Our Grande-Memere was a beautiful person and we will remember her always and the love she gave us.
-Sam and Sofia
August 28, 2020
I was thinking of you the other day, and how it was always apparent how proud you were of your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren. You had an abundance of love to give, and we all felt its strength. It’s a privilege for me to be a part of a family that you helped create.
Daniel often shared with me his memories of living on and off with you during his high school years. He said that what stood out to him was your selflessness, hospitality, and the genuine interest you showed in him. It gave him a glimpse of what his Dad and Aunts had growing up; a close-knit and loving family.
Your memory lives on with your children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.
Our family has so much love for you, Mémère. You will be greatly missed.
With all of our love,
Jen, Daniel, Sienna, and Sadie.
Nicholas and Krissi Holmes
August 23, 2020
We know that you know how much we love and appreciate you. We will love you forever and are so sad you're gone.
Nicholas : My memories of Mémère and Pépère are very many and very fond; from the cottage, cedar beach, Christmas at their house and many many more but later on I had the amazing opportunity to spend time with Mémère on a regular basis.
For a few years I went to college in Toronto and then for many years after that I worked primarily downtown. Every 3 to 4 weeks I would pick Mémère up from her apartment on St. Clair Ave. and take her to my parents' house in Whitby, then drive her back on my way to work a few days later. We would agree on a time and she would always be in the foyer early to ensure I didn't have to wait on the road. I would get out to help her into the truck and every time I was greeted with a big hug and a kiss. I always made sure the radio was off because we would talk the entire (sometimes more than an hour) drive to my parents'. When Mémère's health started declining a bit I began going up to her apartment instead of making her come down on her own. It was always spotless, just like 28 Arlington, and had the mini cans of ginger ale in the fridge. I'm very grateful for this time I got to spend with her. I enjoyed every minute of our time together and I know she did too.
Mémère, we'll love and miss you forever.
Nicholas and Krissi.
August 19, 2020
I have not seen Memere for many years but I have wonderful memories of her from my childhood. Her distinct voice would always welcome me with a, "Hello" as she was usually found in the kitchen. She was an incredible person who always made everyone feel welcomed. Sorry for your loss and thinking of you at this time.
August 17, 2020
I’m very sorry to hear of Memere’s passing. While it’s been a number of years since I’ve seen Mémère, I remember how friendly and welcoming she was at the different gatherings my family attended at Suzan and Jim’s over the years. Mémère had such a warm presence about her and she was so full of life and laughter.
August 17, 2020
I first met Noella over 30 years ago when Ken and I became neighbours and life long friends with Suzan and Jim. Over the course of numerous family celebrations, holidays and times on the porch or by the pool, Noella was always charming, upbeat, interested in life and others , warm, inclusionary, helpful and frequently very funny.
Noella clearly delighted in both her immediate and extended family. She had the incredible gift of making you feel as if she was absolutely delighted to see you!
Noella was an incredibly strong ( both physically and emotionally) individual who simply was the epitome of kindness, tolerance and forgiveness. Despite many personal losses and sorrows, never once did I hear even a hint of self-pity.
We spent many an hour together sipping hot beverages on Suzan's front porch while we solved the world's problems. ( cups of hot cream with a dab of coffee for Suzan and I) and Noella's ever-indulgent cup of hot water)
Ken and I were delighted to join in Noella's 90th birthday trip to Las Vegas in 2008 where she outdid every one of us with her enthusiasm and energy for the slot machines. I'm not convinced she slept at all for the 3 days. One of my favourite memories of that trip occurred when Suzan and I were supporting and guiding Noella through the Las Vegas airport for the return home. Despite the fact that she was this tiny 90 year old woman, I could feel this constant gentle pressure moving me towards the right which then became consistently more forceful. While Suzan and I hadn't noticed , Noella had heard the enticing call of the slots and intended to spend her last few Las Vegas minutes there which she did!
Our family have been so fortunate to have had Noella in our lives and send our condolences to Suzan and Jim, Roger and Linda and their families.
August 16, 2020
I will always remember Noella when Florence introduced me to her wonderful bubbly mother that she talked so highly about. Noella was thrilled to finally meet me and thank me that I encouraged strongly Florence to continue to speak French. Than I understood right away where Florence inherited the “joie de vivre” and her strength....Noella was all that and more. I recalled couple of time that I had the pleasure to have breakfast with her and Aimé at Florence’s favorite place “Markham Station”. We sure enjoyed our long conversations full of laugh and kinds words of wisdom . We will deeply missed that amazing kind woman. My sympathy to the whole family. Francine ( Florence’s colleague and girlfriend). Xox
Jeanne Predovich (Jenkinson)
August 15, 2020
I was a good friend of Florence, and I was honoured to meet her beautiful mother, Noella. She had such a warm and welcoming manner. She always had a beautiful smile and made you feel special.
I went once to the casino with Florence and Ilkka, Noella and Aimee. We had such a good time. At dinner, Noella and Aimee shared a meal between them. I never knew if they were saving money to spend at the casino, or if they just had small appetites.
Noella was blessed with a long life and now she is with her husband, her daughter, her grandchildren, her siblings, and her friends. May she rest in peace.
August 15, 2020
I first met dearest Mémère when she was 94 and living on St Clair Ave in her own apartment. At the time, Andrew and I lived for a full year a couple blocks away on Watford Ave. It was such a gift for us to be living so close to her. We had the opportunity to visit often and to go out for many dinner dates at the restaurants in the neighbourhood.
One memorable winter night after dinner, Andrew and I decided that we should get Mémère a new pair of boots. We went in to this old school shoe store on St Clair and of course Mémère selected the most fashionable pair of camel knock off Uggs. The three of us were delighted with the purchase, Mémère was especially excited about how soft and comfortable they were. Imagine our dismay finding out a week later that the flat-soled boots had been confiscated by Roger because they were deemed "too dangerous" for walking around in the ice and snow!! He was quite right, but I will never forget our collective joy and excitement at the purchase, the three of us (Mémère most of all) completely forgetting how impossible they were.
My favourite thing to do with Mémère was to ask her about her life and her family history. I loved hearing the stories about how she met Aimé at a dance.. And how handsome he was. And her stories of her Mother and Father. She always said that her father Thomas was the loveliest man. And she never got tired of reciting the names of all of her brothers and sisters for me, going one by one across the group photos.
Thank you Mémère for giving yourself to me as a grandmother, almost 20 years after I had lost both of mine. You were at our wedding, you met our boys. Luka will grow up remembering his Grande-Mémère. Even in your last year, you had the strength to look at our little guy Dejan and say out loud "Cute Baby!!!" Thank you for giving me the pleasure of knowing and loving you and being loved by you. Your children, grandchildren and great grandchildren will have your love in their hearts forever.
August 15, 2020
Mes sympathies Susan et Roger et vos familles. J'ai de très beaux souvenirs de vos parents,. Ma tante Noella était pour moi une personne bien spéciale chaleureuse et accueillante toujours de bonne humeur. Je vais payer une messe a sa mémoire
August 15, 2020
Suzan & Roger,
Moms are special people who care deeply for their families and hold a special place in the hearts of their children.
I am truly sorry for your loss and my thoughts are with you and your families at this sad time.
It was our pleasure (mom and I) to enjoy the past two Christmas dinners with you and your mom on Claremont.
With deepest sympathy,
August 15, 2020
It’s hard to believe you’re gone......it’s hard to believe that all of the siblings are gone! Our comfort is knowing that you are all together again......have a game of 31 for us....💗
You were always the energizer bunny, always busy, always active, always so involved in planning for your own family and the whole family. Your family and the whole family was your whole world!
We all knew that and always appreciated your guidance, strength and eternal love.
The memories are endless.....from “28”, Memere’s house, and of course the cottage....all the card games, the corn roasts.....knowing you could drop in at Memere’s, or wherever the card game was being held, or the cottage on a Sunday afternoon and know that you would see some of the family or if lucky, see lots!! I miss those days sooo much!!
The relationship between siblings is always special.....the one between you and my Dad was very special. It was obvious how much you meant to each other.....you always looked out for and took care of each other. After Dad lost his wife/our Mother, you were there for him and for all of his children. I thank you from the bottom of my heart for being there for all of us! 🥰💗💕🥰
Once I was an adult, and went to visit my Dad, I would also visit you upstairs. We would have a cup of tea and have a great time catching up on everything.
Aunty Noella, I will miss you forever, I will love you forever. I am so sad you are gone, but I am glad that you are at peace and are now with God and all of your family.
Vaillancourt Roger Gaëtane
August 14, 2020
Pour nous tante Noëlla signifie une personne au coeur d'or, une personne exceptionnelle avec tellement de belles qualités: chaleureuse,accueillante,souriante,attentive, douce,joviale,positive,généreuse et.. .
Une personne chère ne nous quitte jamais. Elle vit au plus profond de notre coeur et pour la revoir et se rappeler les belles visites à Ryland l'été et à Noël ainsi que nos visites à Toronto il suffit de fermer les yeux.
Sincères condoléances Suzan,Jim, Roger,Linda,les petits enfants ainsi que la famille Forget
Nous vous aimons
Nicole Begin & Mike Peelar
August 14, 2020
Mémère, I will miss you!!
I can recall a time when Mémère and Pépère were coming up to my parents’ place on a Saturday night visit. They were going to stay over and told me that Mémère had talked to the priest and went to church before coming to our place to let the priest know they were going to miss Sunday mass. Mémère was into her faith, church and family (definitely not in that order!)
I also know Mémère was always adding us to her prayers! I know her prayers brought me Mike and the kids together. When Mémère moved from Arlington Avenue to right on St. Clair Avenue - I had a sleepover with her. We had a great dinner, went for a short walk, came back and had a great time chatting and looking through old pictures…just the two of us!
Just last Christmas you met Mike, and I have a nice photo that I will cherish forever!
Love you forever!!
Nicole, Mike, Lorne, Vera and Michael Jr.
Aline and Real Levesque
August 14, 2020
tante Noëlla était une personne extraordinaire, accueillante joviale et intentionnée. Nous nous sentions tellement bien en sa présence car elle savais nous montrez que nous étions importants. Je garderai toujours des bons souvenirs d'elle. Mes sympathies a la famille. Je sais qu'elle laissera un grand vide et que nous la manquerons.
Butch and Lynn Begin
August 12, 2020
Our condolences. We are sad to hear of her passing.
Butch and Lynn
Lorraine & Maurice Lemaire & Roy
August 11, 2020
Tante Noëlla was a wonderful aunt. We greatly enjoyed our visit with her every time we were in Toronto. Our sincere condolences to Suzanne, Roger and family. Our thoughts and prayers are with you.
August 10, 2020
I always thought of Aunty Noëlla and Aunty Simone as my second and third mothers. I spent so much time with them growing up as my mother and I visited Mémère every day. Watching them doing pin curls in their hair, playing 31 in the afternoon, going for long walks on St. Clair and having lunch at Woolworth's. Each spring, the three of them, Mom, Aunty Simone and Aunty Noëlla, would each do a spring cleaning in each of their houses together. They gave each other such support and unconditional love. A true inspiration for all of us... and every Saturday would be poker night and every holiday, (Easter, Thanksgiving and Christmas) were spent together and eating in turns; even with 2 long tables, we were that many. All of us!... it was a magical childhood during the many years of having 3 Mom's to look up to and respect.
Our summers, as we all looked forward to them, were even more special. From the annual opening and a good scrub and clean, we blissfully enjoyed two months of shared camaraderie, festive family celebrations with corn roasts, weekend parties when most were there, Aunty Noëlla's and Dad's birthdays, many meals shared in a buffet-style with everyone contributing a dish or two, weekly afternoon bingos, numerous bonfires and let's not forget the square dancing at Cedar Beach...what fun! except for the night Aunty Noëlla broke her wrist from a too-slippery floor one night while she was spinning around. At the head of ALL these events and gatherings was Aunty Noëlla, Aunty Simone and my Mom; making decisions to ensure all the details were taken care of and that everyone had a good time.
I will remember all of them with such fond memories and much much love for giving me a wonderful foundation of what it meant to be a good person with thoughtfulness, understanding and compassion.
I miss all of you!
August 10, 2020
She was the family matriarch for many years. Her siblings looked to her for leadership and advice as did the entire family. Fun loving, no nonsense, sense of humor, strong, sympathetic, giving, were just some of her qualities. Wise. She gave good advice but never interfered. With only a few words, she could make you see something in a different light. I wanted to be a better person knowing she was watching.
I will be eternally grateful for her phone calls, checking on me after my mother passed away. So gentle, she gave me a feeling of a loving hand on my shoulder while allowing me to replace my mothers ear with hers as I expressed my grief. On one particular call, with the gentlest of coaxing, she left me nowhere to go but to decide, not want or try but DECIDE to quit my 40 year smoking habit. What an amazing gift she gave me.
It broke my heart that her last years were forgotten. She had a full and wonderful life. I will remember some her memories for her forever. Arlington, Auburn, Hillview, all the Easter and Xmas parties. Her birthdays were always so well celebrated because she saw that day as yet another opportunity to have the entire family together.
Goodbye Matante. You will be missed.
August 9, 2020
When I think of Aunty Noella, I think of how devoted she was with her immediate family and extended family. She spent a good part of her life helping others and not once did I hear her say how hard or overwhelming it must of been. Also what comes to mind that was outstanding is she NEVER expected or wanted anything in return. I love you Aunty Noella, God bless you! Dianne Johnston