In Memory of



Obituary for Yvette Babin

Obituary of Yvette Babin

Yvette passed away peacefully February 22, 2022 at Bridlewood Manor in Brockville, Ontario.

Yvette was born in Fauvel, QC, outside of Bonaventure, the fourth child of nine on September 11, 1926. At the age of 8, her father Philippe died of pneumonia after going fishing in November. Her mother Justine Arsenault went to work as a seamstress for families in New Carlisle to support her children. A young neighbour, Angéline, came to look after the family while Maman Justine worked.

At the age of 13, a fire in the garage next door almost burned down the house and the children were all sent to different family, neighbours,and religious instutions, with Yvette landing in a convent in Nominingue where her aunt Elmina was a nun. There she finished high school before returning to Bonaventure to teach in a one-room schoolhouse.

At 18, in 1944, Yvette moved to Montreal to join her sister, Lina, and a few cousins. With good work to be had for an English-speaking Quebecoise, Yvette found employment as a housekeeper for the Bings, a Jewish family who owned a children’s clothing manufacture.

The Bings encouraged her to take a commercial course and Yvette eventually left service to work as a cashier at Steinberg’s, eventually becoming a secretary in private food brands, an innovation of its time. At 65 she retired and enjoyed traveling with her family and friends. Highlights included vacations to a cross-Canada trip, France, Spain and Italy. From the early 1950’s she was very involved in the lives of Coral and Marcel Arsenault and their five girls as well as Jake and Gilberte Jacobs and their three boys. She was a second mother to them all and later a surrogate grandmother to the next generation.

At 84, she moved to Brockville to be closer to family. She lived independently in her apartment for five years. After a fall, she moved to Bridlewood Retirement Home where she enjoyed her final years.

Yvette was a wonderful hostess and cook. She was known as a well-dressed woman, preferring pencil skirts and cashmere sweaters, even in her retirement. Despite decades of attempts from various nieces and great-nieces, no one has ever managed to recreate her sucre à la crème recipe. Only Yvette had the magic touch. Her quick laugh and “joie de vivre” will be a lasting memory for many of us.

She leaves her sister Lina and her brother Conrad as well as many nephews and nieces in Quebec, Ontario, British Columbia and the United States.