7:30 a.m., Aug. 8)
Belcourt resident celebrates 100th birthday
By Fred Sherwin
Belcourt resident Yvette Demers celebrated her 100th birthday
on July 28 surrounded by family members, fellow residents
and staff at the retirement residence on St. Joseph Blvd.
was born in Hammond, Ontario on July 28, 1917. She and
her husband Gaëtan Demers started their family in the
Eastern Ontario village before eventually moving to Ottawa.
Yvette Demers is dwarfed by her birthday cake
during a celebration held in her honour at Chartwell
Belcourt. Fred Sherwin/Photo
couple was married 42 years before Gaëten passed away
in 1981. They had five children together and six grandchildren,
who in turn have given birth to nine great-grandchildren.
Yvette’s daughter, Suzanne Demers Copping, says her mother
has always been a very determined woman and extremely
devoted to her family.
loved playing chef. She was an incredible cook,” says
Suzanne. “My parents used to entertain people all the
time. The house was always full and most of the parties
were in the kitchen.”
her husband died, Yvette lived on her own in a three-storey
house until she was 93 when her children were able to
convince her to move in with Suzanne and her family.
tried to get her into a retirement residence, but she
said she was too young to go into a residence,” recalls
Suzanne. “She stayed with us until she turned 98 and then
she said, ‘You know what? I think I’m old enough now.’”
cooking, Yvette also loves to go shopping for new clothes.
One of the “non-negotiable” items on her wish list for
a room at Chartwell Belcourt was a walk-in closet.
buys a new item every couple of weeks,” says Suzanne.
“She’s always impeccably dressed, even in here when she
goes for lunch or dinner.”
of the secrets to Yvette’s longevity, according to her
daughter, is her temperment.
always in a good mood and stays away from anything negative,”
says Suzanne. “Even when we were kids, she never raised
her voice in anger.”
only vice was smoking which she took up at the age of
39 and then quit cold turkey at 72. For her part, Yvette
credits always being in good humour, eating properly,
getting the right amount of sleep, and drinking a small
glass of cognac every day. “Everything in moderation,”
probably the best explanation for Yvette’s longevity and
continued vitality is good genes. Her sister Jeanne d’Arc,
who also lives at Belcourt, is 98. Their oldest brother
passed away at 90 and the youngest sister died two years
ago at 85. A third sister recently celebrated her 90th
guess there’s something to be said for that,” says Suzanne
who is hoping the same genes have passed down to herself
and her siblings.
story was made possible thanks to their generous support
of our local business
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