Trudé Zenert was born Gertrude Rheta Lafontaine in Toronto on March 12, 1920, to her parents Pauline and John Lafontaine, 10 minutes after her beloved identical twin sister Margie. She had a wonderful childhood growing up in Outremont in Montreal, and spent her summers at the family cottage at Rideau Lake near Smith’s Falls in Ontario. She graduated from Luke Callahan High in 1939.
In 1944 Trudé and Margie graduated as Registered Nurses from the Royal Victoria Hospital, where later she nursed with Dr. Wilder Penfield at the Montréal Neurological Institute. In 1945, she joined Trans Canada Air Lines as a stewardess where she met her first husband, Ron James a flight dispatcher. They were married in 1946 and moved to Winnipeg where they raised their two children, Terrel and Pauline.
Trudé worked on-call as a special duty nurse and had many friends and hobbies throughout her life. She collected antiques, especially dolls, and spent endless hours designing and sewing their clothes.
Later, when she and Ron parted, Trudé moved to Saskatoon where she met Ed Zenert. They were married in 1985 and lived in Chilliwack BC until Ed’s passing in 1997. Those years were very happy and fulfilling for Trudé where she and Ed together served the Stroke Club, the Lions’ Club, the Chilliwack Legion, AA and Alanon, where they were sought-after speakers and sponsors to help people find their way.
In 1998, Trudé moved to Victoria to spend her remaining years near her daughter Pauline. As an eternal optimist and not one to “sit around” at the age of 78 (despite progressing memory loss due to mini-strokes)
Trudé met George Humphreys through a senior’s dating service!
For the next eight years and with George’s devoted care, they travelled to exotic places including Puerto Vallarta, California, Hawaii and lastly Cuba in 2004. In 2005, Trudé entered Beckley Farm Lodge where she remained there until her passing at 3:19 p.m. on Monday, May 4, 2009 with Terrel and Pauline at her side.
Trudé was predeceased by her parents, Ron James, Ed Zenert, her sister Margie and George Humphreys, of whom all are dearly remembered. Her remaining family, including Terrel (Lorna) and Pauline (Lee) and their families, Margie’s daughters and families in California, and Ed Zenert’s 12 children and their families all remember Trudé as a warm, inviting and classy lady who will be dearly missed.
Special acknowledgements and thanks are given to Rachel Stouwer who was Trudé’s faithful friendly visitor and companion since 1999, the staff at Beckley Farm Lodge, and to Mariko Matsumoto and Dr. Meir for their loving care and attention.
Family and friends may pay their respect at McCall Bros., Johnson and Vancouver Street on Thursday, May 7, 2009 from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m.
A funeral to celebrate Trudé’s life will be held Friday, May 8, 2009 at 2 p.m. in McCall Bros. Floral Chapel. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Recreation Program at Beckley Farm Lodge, 530 Simcoe Street, Victoria, BC V8V 4W4 would be gratefully accepted.
Condolences may be offered to the family at www.mccallbros.com