Claude J. Labelle

November 23, 2020 21 Condolences Print Obituary

Claude Joseph Labelle, 77 years of age, of Grande Cache, Alberta, passed away peacefully in his sleep after a battle with Alzheimer’s on Thursday November 19, 2020.

He was predeceased by his parents, Andre and Marguerite (nee Ipperciel) Labelle.

Claude leaves behind a large family. He is survived by his wife Ginette (nee St. Gelais) Labelle; his three children - Brigitte Labelle, Donald (Jennifer) Labelle and Daniel Labelle; four grandchildren - Natasha, Brendon, Justine and Zach; and Hudson - his only great-grandchild.

He is also survived by his three sisters - Denise (Wayne) Rutledge, Madeline (Franco) Piccolo, Andrea (Francesco, dec.) Piccolo and four brothers - Gerry (Maria) Labelle, Serge (Jan) Labelle, Gilbert (Judy) Labelle and Henri (Linda) Labelle as well as many loved nieces and nephews.

Claude was born on May 14, 1943 in Granada, Quebec and grew up in Quebec and Ontario. As a young adult Claude enlisted in the army, eventually progressing to be a guard in the Royal 22nd Regiment stationed at the Citadel in Quebec City. After leaving the army he moved to Windsor, ON, then met his bride Ginette and started a family. He had always loved pictures of the Canadian Rockies and felt like the West was calling for him. With this dream in mind, he found a welding job at a mine in the remote coastal outpost of Stewart, BC, and in 1972 he packed up his young family to start this new life.

By 1974, Claude (who became known to many as C.J.) was recruited by a coal mine in the mountain town of Grande Cache, Alberta which remained his home for the rest of his life. After 12 years he left the boom/bust cycles of mining and bought the local Shell gas station. As he did with everything in his life, he jumped in with both feet, put in many dedicated hours and operated a successful auto service and towing business for almost 30 years.

If you were ever waiting on a tow call, you could probably find Claude on the golf course, trying to finish up his round before he had to get on the highway! Golf was hands down his favorite activity and there were many of us who spent time with him at the local course.

Some things that we loved about Claude:
• He loved kids and supported kids’ sports. He spent many years at the rink coaching hockey, assisting in all levels of the local minor hockey association and along with Ginette was involved in the local figure skating club.
• He was such a good sport. Like that time at a family Christmas gathering when he fell backwards into the tree. Well his nieces couldn’t let this go without photographic proof, so the tree was quickly reassembled, and Claude happily re-enacted the whole scene!
• He loved to talk to people. If you said hi to him, he may have told you he was too busy, but he would still talk your ear off.
• He loved to entertain! If you attended one of Claude and Ginette’s many parties (New Years, Christmas, Staff Parties, Murder Mysteries, the list goes on) he certainly would have made you a delicious Caesar, or if he had enough time, he would put on a real show and make his signature cocktail - The Unknown Soldier (created by melting a sugar cube on a fork over a shot of vodka and Cointreau that caused mini “explosions” that sounded like a soldier firing his rifle). Claude loved this, even though his wife has indicated several forks were burned in the making of these cocktails.
• He was first and foremost a family man. He worked extremely hard, so that he could provide for Ginette and the kids and be with them. Much time was spent on activities such camping, fishing, golfing, skiing, snowmobiling – usually outdoors and always together with family and friends.

Claude was an outgoing, generous, dedicated man who was visibly proud of his family. Now they can show their pride for him by sharing these memories with all the people whose lives he touched.

We would love to gather all Claude’s friends and family to hold a celebration of life, but due to the pandemic, he will be commemorated with an online memorial soon. For now we can all honor Claude by remembering him through our stories and doing our best to live life in a way that he would be proud of.

Claude’s family wishes to thank everyone for their support and well wishes. In lieu of flowers donations can be made to the Alzheimer’s Society of Canada in Claude’s memory.

  1. RIP Claude. I’ll always remember you and your kindness

  2. Mes sincère condoléances Ginette je suis de tout coeur avec toi et ta famille…

  3. Nous t’envoyons nos sincère sympathies Tante Ginette à toi et tes proches 💞

    De moi Nathalie , mon conjoint Guy et les enfants 💞

    Gros câlin à vous tous 💞

  4. Heartbreaking news, Claude was one of the kindest souls I had the pleasure of knowing. Much love goes out to you all xo

  5. I will greatly miss my oldest brother. As a person, Claude was dignified and proud yet warm, funny, humble and kind.
    I respected my brother for his honesty, courage and wisdom.
    Although he is gone in physical form; his presence in my life live on in the values he taught me.
    He is known for the great tracks he leaves behind.

  6. What a beautiful story to honour Claude’s life, his ‘joie de vivre’ and the knack of making memories for everyone. I especially remember his smile, the love of laughter and his ‘mascara around his eyes’ when he would come home from the mine. Sending you all a huge hug and my deepest sympathy.

  7. It is with great sadness to hear about Uncle Claude’s passing and heartbreaking a disease took him, too soon! I did have an opportunity to hear Uncle’s voice before the disease progressed when organizing Claude & Ginette’s copy of their wedding video that my Dad took with his video camera. The two siblings in our family that knew him the best were Gilles and Sylvie, they lived with Ginette and Claude in the earlier days when Gilles was apprenticing certification of a heavy-duty diesel mechanic, and he succeeded, and Claude gave him the break! We had and will continue to respect Claude and Ginette, my Dad’s youngest and beautiful Lil sister always. We all agree Claude was a good man and tonight I will raise a glass for him! RIP Uncle Claude, Thank-you for everything and for being part of our lives. Claude and Ginette made a fun-loving couple and those are my fondest memories! With Respect, we are sending our deepest sympathy to Ginette, Brigette, Donald, et Dan and to all the families that circle. With our Loving friendship, always! Lise (niece), et Aline St. Gelais (sister-in-law).

  8. Hi Brigitte,

    With deepest sympathy as you remember your Dad. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

    Love,
    Ledcor – Information Services

  9. Brigitte and Don, I am so very sad to hear this news about your dad. My condolences to you both and your family.

    • Thank you so much for your kind words.

  10. I am a niece of Claude. Whenever he visited us, I was over the moon excited. His signature drink with me as a child was Shirley Temples. I visited him a few years ago and when he looked at me, he confirmed that he remembered all those drinks with me….it warmed my heart. You will always be loved, may you rest in peace and warmest hugs are sent to the entire family.

  11. Condolence Brigitte & Don, may the lord Jesus Christ repose his soul in the paradise of Joy and give you and whole family peace and comfort.

  12. Our deepest sympathies to all the family. We remember Claude well.

  13. Our condolences to the family. Claude was a great person to work with.

  14. R.I.P my friend.

  15. Our thoughts and prayers are with the Labelle family, always had a few chuckles with Claude when we met up.R.I.P.

  16. Sorry to hear of Claudes passing. He was always a big supporter of sports for the youth of Grande Cache. RIP. Barrie and Lorna McClarty

  17. We remember the Labelle family well. Sending our condolences to Ginette, Brigette, Don and Dan. Hugs to all.

  18. Quelle surprise aujourd’hui de savoir que tu as perdu ton cher mari! Ca me rend triste. Je ne savais pas qu’il etait malade. Je suis contente de t’avoir connue. Ecris-moi plus souvent. Je te souhaite plein de courage Ginette . Pas facile ce que tu vis. RIP Claude.

  19. We are so very sorry to hear the sad news about Claude. He was such a kind , thoughtful , nice man. He will be missed by all who knew and loved him. Sending our deepest condolences, hugs and prayers to Ginette and all his family.
    Bob & Denise Hagg

  20. My wife Carm and I have many fond memories of Claude during our time in Grande Cache (1978-86) and our interactions with him either at Knights of Columbus functions, at the Shell station or just bumping into him around town. It is always hearbreaking to lose a family member but particularly so when the dreaded Alzheimers takes over the person that everyone knew in the past. Our condolences to his wife and family.
    Frank & Carm Dolan,
    Prince Edward Island.

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