In Memory of




Obituary for Merle Ethel Therien

Merle Ethel Therien (La Clair)
With great sadness, the Therien family announces the death of Merle Therien. Merle was born in Toronto, the first of two children, where she was raised by her grandmother. She and her sister Carol remained inseparable even after both were married, spending summers and holidays together. Merle met her husband, Louis Therien when she was 13 years old. Engaged at 15, married at 17, with her first child at 19, Merle had to teach herself the skills of parenting, cooking, sewing, and keeping a home.

Merle and Lou went on to have 4 children, and spent the last of their years together on the river, at their family cottage. Merle made a living cleaning and cooking, but her heart was with her family. She loved hosting large family gatherings, where she and her sister would cook for 30+ people without flinching an eye. Dances at the Legion and house parties were a regular part of life. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren became the centre of her life, and she really lit up when she was with them.

Merle collected stories of people around her, whether it was her neighbours, customers at the restaurant, or caretakers at the hospital. A real people person, she really remembered the details of others’ lives, and loved to sit with her friends and PSW workers, sharing stories, and having a good chin wag. She was fortunate to surround herself with loving careworkers, and looked forward to their visits.

As Merle’s health challenges increased with her COPD, she started spending lengthier stays at Ross Memorial Hospital, where she always received amazing care. Her last days were spent in palliative care at the hospital, where she was surrounded by efficient, tender caregivers, from housekeeping staff to nurses to orderlies to her favourite hospital ‘forever’ doctor. Feisty, strong, and fun, Merle kept her sharp mind right up until the end, joking with hospital staff, and remembering minute details. She continued to have hope, and faced each new challenge (of which there were many) bravely. In these strange COVID times, she was unable to physically see everyone in her entourage, but the video calls and messages really helped tremendously. She passed away peacefully in her sleep, in the way she had hoped for, the night of August 14th, at 78 years old.

Predeceased by her husband, Louis John Robert Therien (1995), Merle leaves behind her four children, Vern Therien (Karen Jones), Tina Therien (Denis Drouin), Ken Therien, Dave Therien (Tracy Belton), eleven grandchildren, and three great grandchildren. Her ashes will be buried in the family plot at the Fenelon Falls Cemetery. A celebration of life will be announced.

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If so desired, a donation may be made to Palliative Care at the Ross Memorial Hospital.

In memory, and with thanks,

The Therien family