Outstanding Morinville citizen passes

by Lucie Roy

Raymonde Riopel (nee Perras) passed away May 8 leaving a legacy of volunteerism and devotion to family and community.

Riopel was born, raised and lived her life in Morinville and was a great spokesperson for the community.

Her father Joseph H. Perras came from a pioneer founding family who had established a homestead originally five miles outside of Morinville.

Joseph Perras was a community builder, contributing to the development of Morinville for more than 40 years. He and his wife Rose-Anna Huot raised a family of eight children.

From 1920 to 1985 the Perras family owned the residence on 100 Avenue now known as Perras Place, which houses the Morinville & District Chamber of Commerce.

Raymonde became a teacher in 1939 at the age of 19 years and continued in the profession for 45 years, retiring in 1985. She taught many students and many generations within the same family.

After her retirement, Raymonde was a trustee for the Thibault School District from 1986 to 1989, and also served as a member of the Sturgeon Regional Recreation Council for three years.

She was also a General Insurance Agent in Morinville for 37 years and a life member of the Alberta Teachers Association.

Raymonde was always actively involved in the community and was awarded the Queen’s Golden Jubilee Medal in 2002 for “having made a significant contribution to her community in the field of French and Catholic education.” She was a member of Les Femmes Chretienne (Christian Ladies) group, the Catholic Women’s League, and was also made an honourary member of the Conseil des Sages de la Francophonie Albertaine in October of 2004. Additionally, Riopel was a member of the committee who published the third Pictorial History book of the Town, was a member of the Morinville Naming Committee and the Morinville Historical & Cultural Society, and served as a consultant on many various committees.

During Morinville’s Centennial Year in 2011, she was presented with the Town’s Legacy Award for her long-standing contributions to the community.

Raymonde married her husband Roland Riopel in 1946, a man who was a descendant of a founding family (Armand Riopel). The couple raised five children.

Raymonde is survived by her five children: Paul (Debbie) , Jeanne (Gary) Nash, Robert (Bernice), Rita and Suzanne (Larry) Farrell, and ten grandchildren: Genevieve Gray, Luc and Jordan Riopel, Christine Allaby, Karen Nash, Nicole Kuzio, Reece Riopel, Jacqueline Geinger, Celine and Liam Farrell. Also left to mourn are 11 great grandchildren.

A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Church in Morinville on Saturday, May 14th, at 10:30 AM, with interment to follow in the St. Jean Baptiste Catholic Cemetery.

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