My grandfather, Roch Dallaire, passed away on the 7th of November, 2011. He was 87.
At my grandmother’s wake, her daughter played classical music to celebrate her love of music and the cello. At his, they displayed all the pieces he had stitched, both for my grandmother, himself and for the rest of his family. There were baby samplers, a few sailboats, a pair of pieces showing women working in fields and even a large, pretty Sun-Bonnet Sue type piece which my grandmother had loved. It was an eclectic mix of large pieces, stitched on 14 and 16 count aida, which was as small as he could work, considering how most of them were done quite late in his life. Some were framed professionally, some had the aida stuck together with tape behind the frames.
My dad asked me if I could speak at the funeral. I did, drawing people’s attention back to the pieces which had been mentionned a few times before already. I told the small group, which consisted mostly of family, that there were hundreds of hours in those works, and that, especially when you stitch something for someone else, a tiny bit of love and a tiny bit of thought goes into every stitch, into every cross, and that love and thought was always for his family. He never sold any of his pieces, always gave them to family or to his wife.
He is remembered by five children, twelve grandchildren, and the community he contributed to in Chicoutimi, Québec.