With great sadness, we announce the passing of our dear father, grandfather and great grandfather, Gilbert Theodore Vermette. Dad was born in Lac Cheval near Duck Lake, which is where he first learned the value of hard work. Dad met our mom, Shirley, when his sister Angie invited her to the family farm. They fell in love and were married on July 21, 1956, in Saskatoon. They were blessed with three children, Lonnie, Joan, and Sandy.
Dad began working at SaskTel in 1957, first as a lineman, then as a construction foreman. He loved his job and had many great memories of his co-workers and his crew. It was important for Dad to gain the respect of the people he managed, often making deals with them to finish work at noon on Fridays to go fishing, in exchange for their hard work throughout the week. Dad retired from SaskTel but had no intentions of slowing down. Along with his wife and brothers, he established several businesses in the forestry, fisheries, entertainment, and gaming sectors.
Dad was a devout Catholic, committed to keeping his family's tradition of attending church at the St. Laurent Shrine. He would often tell stories of the old days, how they would travel by horse and buggy and take part in the annual pilgrimage. His dedication to the shrine as a board member spanned decades. He was instrumental in the restoration of the original little log church, although it tragically burned to the ground shortly after. While gazing upon the ashes, when most would feel discouraged or hopeless, he stated "…it was all worth it.” His optimism and persistence flourished in the most difficult times, knowing there would be better days ahead. He committed to rebuilding the log church, and he made it happen through organizing, fundraising and providing equipment, and material. The little log church that currently stands will be a continual reminder of his passion and perseverance, which has allowed ours, and many others’ family traditions to endure.
Dad was always very social and had many hobbies and interests. Growing up on the farm, dad often travelled with his team of horses to work and help provide for his family. Later in life, Dad found an interest in watching the horseraces with his wife, children, and grandchildren. Dad owned racing horses, and many fond memories were made spending weekends at Marquis Downs in Saskatoon, watching his horses race.
Dad took pride in his family and enjoyed telling stories and laughing around the kitchen table. We all have memories of him telling funny stories, laughing too hard to finish. When we think of Dad, we remember him with his sparkling blue eyes and smile that lit up the room.
His pets lived luxurious lives, warm inside and fed on a diet of fried steaks, rib bones, bung bologna and sugared doughnuts. His compassion shined in everything he did. One fond memory is being at a local restaurant for his birthday, where he shared his birthday cake with a group of people trying to stay warm inside. Growing up poor, Dad showed his generosity in many ways, finding a way to slip a loved one a note or two, or helping in any way he could. He wore his heart on his sleeve and was uninhibited in expressing his emotions. He loved conversation, and his private office at Vermette Wood Preservers sat unused. He could always be found sitting at the table in the main room, drinking coffee and talking business and life with his staff and everyone who came into the business. Dad instilled in us the values of hard work, generosity, unconditional love, and compassion.
After Mom passed, Dad decided to slowly retire from his many business ventures and partnerships. His retirement allowed more time to enjoy his favourite pastimes, including spending time at the casino. He enjoyed socializing over playing, always having the many people he knew walking up to have a chat. During this time, he found companionship with his partner Aline, and they supported and took care of each other in many ways throughout the years. They were often seen shuffling slowly along, leaning on one another for support.
Gilbert is survived by his son Lonnie (Mary) Vermette and daughters Joan (Frank) Nicolas and Sandy (Mike) Semilet; grandchildren Ryan Vermette, Ashley (Trent) Sorenson, Chad Hansen, Saige Semilet, and Misha Semilet; great-grandchildren Keeley-Rae Vermette, Layne Vermette, Brielle Sorenson, and Myles Semilet; partner Aline Rabut and her children, Tammy, Darcy, and Leanne; sisters Ilene Sauve and Claire Bazylak; brother Bev (Elaine) Vermette; sisters-in-law Phyllis Hourie, Dorothy Hourie, and Linda Vermette; brothers-in-law Walter (Gloria) Hourie, Arnold Monsebroten, and Lawrence Debray; and numerous nieces and nephews. Gilbert is predeceased by his wife Shirley Vermette (nee Hourie); father Alexander Vermette; mother Lena Vermette (nee Smith); brothers Joe Vermette, Archie Vermette, and Leonel Vermette in infancy; sisters Angeline Nicolas, and Delores Debray; mother-in-law Elizabeth (nee Anderson) Hourie; father-in-law Harry Hourie; brothers-in-law Joe Sauve, Frank Bazylak, Bob Nicolas, Ole Hourie, Floyd Hourie, Joe Hourie, Mervin Hourie, Gordon Hourie, and Bud Hourie; sisters-in-law Jean Monsebroten, Dorothy Lawman, Shug Sumners, Clora Sumners, and Irene Hourie
In lieu of flowers, we ask that a random act of kindness is performed in Dad’s memory.
A Private Family Mass will be held at 10:00 a.m. on Saturday, April 17, 2021. A link to view the live stream of the service is listed below.
There is a saying that God never gives us more burdens than we can bear. And if that is true, then God must think you are very, very strong because this surely hasn’t been an easy time for you. You are a child of God. He made you, he loves you, and he will not forsake you, that I know for sure. So, hang on, keep your faith, and know that you are loved.
Family and friends wishing to send online condolences are welcome to visit www.beaulacfuneralhome.com. Arrangements have been entrusted to the care of Beau “Lac” Funeral Home, Lorne Adams, Funeral Director, Prince Albert, SK 306-763-3322.
The live stream of the service may be viewed at: https://youtu.be/-4dxgqkw_9o
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Gilbert T. Vermette, please visit our floral store.