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Hon. Joseph William Mombourquette

1922-2007

Hon. Joseph William Mombourquette
MOMBOURQUETTE, Hon. Joseph William (Capt. Ret’d; C.D.) … 85, Oromocto, New Brunswick. Joe died peacefully on November 27, 2007, at the Oromocto Public Hospital, in the presence of his loving wife Theresa. Joe was born on September 9, 1922 in Lower L’Ardoise, Richmond Country Cape Breton. He was the eldest son of the late Anthony and Clara (Sampson) Mombourquette, whom he dearly adored and honoured all the days of his life. He grew up in the small fishing community of L’Ardoise and began full-time work at the age of 13. Although only 17, he joined the Canadian Army in Halifax in 1940, as a member of the Princess Louise Fusilliers Regiment (PLF). The PLF saw action in Italy and Holland from late 1943 until May 1945, ending the war after freeing the coastal town of Dalfziel, Holland. His younger brother, Frank, died in action in Dalfziel on May 1, 1945 as a member of the Cape Breton Highlanders. At war’s end Joe had earned the rank of Sergeant and remained with the PLF until 1947, when he returned to school at College Ste. Anne in Church Point, NS. Upon graduation, he entered St. Francis Xavier University in Antigonish, NS, graduating with his Bachelor of Arts degree in 1952. During his years at St. F.X. Joe participated in every aspect of university life, including student government, the Co-op Society, Reserve Officer Training, the Varsity track and field team, intramural sports and the school’s religious activities. Joe was Student Council President in his senior year and was elected Life President of the St. F.X. Class of 52’. With his good friend, Frank “Fa Fa” MacNeil, he was co-recipient of the prestigious Larkin Trophy, awarded to students with the best all around commitment to academics, athletics, campus and religious life. He remained a dedicated alumnus and passionate supporter of St. F.X. and its sports teams, faithfully attending his 5-year reunions and keeping in touch with his fellow alumni. After graduating from St. F.X., Joe rejoined the Canadian Army as an officer and immediately began training to join the Canadian Forces, then fighting in the Korean War. Before going overseas, he married the love of his life, Theresa Marion Clannon, to whom he remained faithful and devoted during the 55 years of their marriage. Joe was in Korea from late 1952 until early 1954, when he returned to Canada and met his first child, Colin, who had been born while he was away. During Joe’s time in the military, he and Theresa were stationed in Petawawa, ON, Chatham, NB (where Peter and Kevin were born), Oromocto (where Michael and David were born), Montreal (where Maureen was born), finally returning to Oromocto in 1964. Joe retired from the military in 1973 with the rank of Captain, having served for many years as the Base Personnel Selection Officer. He moved with his family to Burton, NB, where he and Theresa have continued to live among wonderful friends and neighbours. Joe began a new career in 1973, as the Manager of the Manpower office in Minto, NB, where he made many new friends. He eventually transferred to the Fredericton Manpower office and was assigned responsibility for Project Second Career at C.F.B. Gagetown, assisting retiring soldiers find civilian work. A long-time supporter of the Progressive Conservative Party, Joe finally answered the call to political life in 1982 and was elected MLA for Oromocto-Burton-Geary. He was appointed to the Provincial Cabinet as Minister of Labour in 1982 and in 1985 was appointed to the Executive Committee of Cabinet. He did his best to serve his constituents with honour, ability and integrity, fulfilling the pledge he made during his first campaign. Following the 1987 election, Joe remained active in the Oromocto area community, continuing a life of service he had begun during the 1950’s. During his almost 50 years in the area, Joe served on the School Board, was a member of the Oromocto Lions Club and then the Burton Lions Club, was actively involved with the First Oromocto Scout troop, was an organizer for the Oromocto Winter Carnival, was the Master of Ceremonies for the Oromocto Pioneer Days for more than 10 years, was on the founding Board of Directors of the Oromocto VON, was a frequent canvasser for the Heart Foundation and Cancer Society and generally pitched in whenever anyone asked for his assistance or the use of his commanding voice. He was proud of his military service and loyal to his comrades, honouring their service through his participation in Branch No. 93 (Oromocto) Royal Canadian Legion, the RCR Association, the Korean Veterans Association, the Federal Superannuates National Association (FSNA) and by regularly attending reunions of his wartime regiment, the PLF. An avid sportsman and conservationist, Joe was President of the C.F.B. Gagetown Fish and Game Club in the 1960s and for many years was a member of Ducks Unlimited. He enjoyed hunting and especially fishing, spending many days during his retirement years on the water with his buddies and his son Peter. In his earlier years in Oromocto, Joe enjoyed playing hockey and golf, and was a competitive curler and bowler. A faithful servant of his God and Saviour, Joe was a dedicated member of St. Mary’s Parish at C.F.B. Gagetown and then St. Vincent de Paul Parish in Oromocto. He was a member of the Parish Council at St. Mary’s and became its first Eucharistic Minister. At St. Vincent de Paul he was again involved in the Parish Council, serving several years as President of the Council. He was also an usher, reader and Eucharistic Minister and a 4th degree member of the Donald Clattenburg Assembly 1991 (Oromocto) Knights of Columbus and the Msgr. Boyd Council 6774 Knights of Columbus. In later years he was an auxilliary member of the Legion of Mary and a member of the Cursillo Community. After this remarkable life of accomplishment and service to his Church, community, friends and family, Joe has entered eternity to reunite with his family and friends who have gone before him. He will be deeply missed by Theresa, his loving wife, companion and soul mate of 55 years; his children: Colin (Arlene Pyke), Peter, Kevin (Jean Campbell), Michael (Beverly Edwards), David (Deborah Fraser) and Maureen (Dale Cook); his grandchildren: Steven, Alex, Neil, Nicole, Patrick, Mandy, Emily, Gabrielle, Spencer, Hailey and William; his great-grandchildren: Rachael, Alexander Joseph and Caylene; his brothers Danny (Anna), Walter (Nora May) and Freddie (Margaret), and his sister, Sister Rosemary, f.j.; his Goddaughters Marie (Clannon) Mombourquette and Barbara Ireland, as well as many beloved nieces, nephews, cousins, friends and neighbours. He was predeceased by his brothers Frank and Raymond (Irene), his brother in law Joe Clannon (Kay), his sisters-in-law Mary “Minnie Kate” Briand (Jim), Elizabeth Briand (Alfred), Agnes Birrette (Peter) and Ann, and his granddaughter Catherine Fay. Joe loved his first home L’Ardoise and his adopted home Oromocto and cherished both for the opportunities and support which the good people in these communities gave to him and his family. Visitation will be held at the Oromocto Select Community Funeral Home, 108 Winnebago Street, Oromocto, NB, on Thursday, November 29th from 2-4 and 7-9 with a tribute service held by the Burton Lion’s Club at 7 pm; and on Friday, November 30th, from 2-4 and 7-9, with a tribute service held by the Royal Canadian Legion Branch Number 93 at 6:45 pm. Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated at St. Vincent de Paul Parish, Oromocto, on Saturday, December 1st at 11:00 am, with Father Ken Weir as celebrant. Interment will take place immediately after the Mass in the adjoining cemetery. A reception will take place in the Church Hall following the burial. Online condolences can be made through www.oromoctofh.com. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made to the St. Vincent de Paul Building Fund or the Heart and Stroke Foundation, or to a charity of your choice.