With broken hearts the family of Maurice (Noir, Moe, Morris) Grondin announce his peaceful passing November 10, 2023, at Pine Grove Nursing Home.
The thirteenth of fourteen children of Jean (Johnny) and Marguerite (Martin) Grondin, Maurice was born in Grand Falls, New Brunswick, August 29th, 1936. Sadly, he was the last surviving member of his immediate family.
Maurice, our dad, is survived by his partner in love and in life, our mom, Greta (Chamberland) Grondin, we, his children, Lynn (Howard) Callahan, Kim (Dana), Gregory, and Priscilla (Paul) Sherwood. So blessed, our father’s spirit continues on in the hearts and souls of his 17 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren.
Sadly, he was predeceased by our sister, Pamela Marie Prince, August 2nd, 2023. Separated in life, the father and daughter have now been returned together in death.
Our Dad was very proud of his roots and proud of his French Canadian heritage. He shared a closeknit, loving relationship with all of the Grondin family members, notably Tante Clara, Uncle Tony, Uncle Rudy, Uncle Bob and Uncle Pete.
The stories he could tell about his youth!
But it was his relationship with his widowed mother that transcended all. He loved her unconditionally, respected her without question; working hard to make her proud of all of his accomplishments. Until Grammie Grondin’s death, and despite the distances, maybe because of the distances, Dad remained in constant communication with her.
At 17 years of age, Dad left his small hometown, seeking adventure; joining the military, only to return to complete his education and graduate from high school. Newly married and starting a family, Dad re-enlisted with the military, beginning a career as an Air Frame Technician.
His career with the Canadian Air Force took him from Chatham, New Brunswick to North Bay, Ontario, to Shearwater, Nova Scotia to Gagetown, New Brunswick and finally retirement in Fredericton, New Brunswick.
Moving from posting to posting was exciting to Dad. He loved the newness, and freshness that the moves brought. He accepted new career challenges; welcomed new people into his life, and immersed himself and his family within his adopted community.
Despite his travels, his heart had never left New Brunswick.
After a 35 year military career, Dad decided to follow his lifelong dream of a university education. At the age of 54, he attended St. Thomas University, graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Gerontology. Dad couldn’t have been more proud! He had lived vicariously through each of us, as we furthered our own education. He had finally succeeded in living out his own dream. WE couldn’t have been more proud of our Dad! And we have the dozens of photos for proof!
With his degree in hand, Dad began a second career with the Third Age Center, developing and promoting programs to assist seniors to age in place. As one of the youngest members of his family, he had first hand experience of the benefits of assisting seniors to remain in their own homes. This was work he was passionate about. Many of the programs developed by the Third Age Centre were well ahead of their time.
Recognizing the work Dad had done with the Third Age Centre, Dad would later accept a position with Nursing Home Services NB.
Dad’s life was not all work, no play.
As important as an education was to Dad, sports had always been a big part of his life. As a young man, he played hockey and baseball. When he could no longer play the sports he loved, he coached our brothers’ sports teams.
Dad instilled the same love for sports in each of us. He supported and encouraged our active participation in sports, any way he could.
He was an avid golfer. The serenity he experienced walking the courses, communing with nature........what was there not to enjoy about the great outdoors, when so much of your time was spent walking through brush, sand pits and waterholes to retrieve the errant golf ball!
Dad was a fisherman, at heart. One of his greatest pleasures was being in a boat, on a lake; in hip-waders on the river; on a rock on the shore, casting for whatever fish that would bite.
Dad possessed a joie de vivre, to which people were naturally drawn to. The natural warmth of his personality made you feel like you were the only person in his world. Nothing was more important to him than sharing time with those he loved. He enjoyed being surrounded by both family and friends. He especially enjoyed spending time with teenagers and young adults. He took great interest in their view of our world.
Anyone who has spent any time with our dad can confirm our dad was happy for the opportunity of a visit, a captive audience, perhaps, to regale the listener with dad jokes, stories,....their authenticity suspect.
Dad was not a prideful man, but he was extremely proud of his family and the life he and mom built together. He worked hard for his family and without complaint, doing whatever was necessary to make our family lives happy ones. For many years he worked 3 jobs. Two for financial reasons, the third, a mission to fulfill mom desires. Somehow, he was always there for us kids, whether we wanted him to be, or not. Patience with us was one of his strongest virtues.
He was a self-taught man, learning the skills of many trades out of necessity. How to remodel a kitchen on moving-in day, because the refrigerator will not fit in its alloted spot. How to add extra bedrooms soon after moving-in day because you bought a 3 bedroom house and you have 5 children (twice). How to repair the electronic operation of the car windows because his kids are fascinated by the magical up-and-down motion of the windows by a push of a button.
Dad was a man of great faith. His faith was very personal and very private. Those closest to him witnessed his trust in God by how he lived his life. The simplicity of his faith was inspirational. He so loved his church community, he undertook studies to complete the Lay Formation Program, allowing him to fully participate in the celebration of Mass.
Dad so loved the world he lived in that he gave back by singing in the Church choir, by teaching the RCIA course for new Catholics, by volunteering at the Everett Chalmers Hospital, by being a good neighbour, giving a helping hand when and where needed.
Slowly, the man known to everyone of us, wasn’t anymore. The twinkle in his eye, the sparkle of his smile, the melody of his laugh and the song in his soul were steadily eroded by Alzheimer’s. His descent ending in his death.
Our family is forever grateful to both Greg and Kim whose care for our father in their homes allowed him to continue his life with family until the demands of his care became overwhelming. Our family is grateful for the superb care provided by Pine Grove Nursing Home for the last 2 years of Dad’s life.
His was a life well-lived. Never far from our thoughts, always in our hearts.
Visitation for Maurice will be held at Bishop’s Funeral Home, 540 Woodstock Road, Fredericton NB, on Monday November 13th from 2-4pm and 7-9pm. A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday November 14th at St’s John and Paul Catholic Church in New Maryland, NB, at Noon, followed by a reception. The burial will take place in the Hermitage cemetery following the reception.
For those who wish to make a memorial donation in Maurice’s memory, the family have suggested the St. Mary Magdalene Parish or the Pine Grove Foundation. Online condolences and sharing of memories may be made at www.bishopsfuneralhome.com