(Joseph Berchmans) Lionel Boyer was born January 25, 1927, the eldest son of the six children born on the family farm, to Jean and Leonie (née Regnier) Boyer. Typical of the time, Lionel attended a country school near St. Louis, and then went to Edmonton for high school and university at College St. Jean, obtaining a Bachelor of Arts, working to pay his way through school.
During his college years and afterwards, he volunteered with the Catholic Youth Organization (CYO). While working with the CYO, he regularly went to Morinville, Alberta, to help with the program. This is where he met his future wife, Gertrude Tellier, who was president of the CYO there. They were married August 11th, 1952. Lionel worked in banking until the couple returned to St. Louis, Saskatchewan, to help his father sell the farm and open a grocery store and bulk fuel business. Lionel and Gertrude had seven children during this time, Louise, Paul, Lucie, Maurice, Denise, Cecile and Jocelyne. Although he was involved in several business ventures, when he was asked to substitute for a teacher at the school for a few months, he discovered that he loved teaching, so went back to university in Regina to get his education degree. In his first year of teaching, he was the vice-principal and in charge of all the sports in the St. Louis School. In his third year, 1968, he was recruited to St. Brieux School as its principal, where he taught until his retirement in 1982.
While in St. Brieux, Lionel was involved with many community projects and organizations, such as the Church Choir, the Curling Club, the Golf Course, the Planning Committee for Chateau Providence, and the Health District Board, to name a few.
Lionel loved sports and competition – sports was his passion. He played, umpired, coached and watched many sports throughout his life. He especially loved ball, curling and golf. Back in the day, he would watch one hockey game on the English channel, switch to the French channel to watch the Habs playing, and also have the radio on, listening to another game, all at the same time.
Lionel was a self-taught carpenter and loved building, especially if he could incorporate previously-used materials into his projects. He had grown up in the “dirty thirties” during which time he learned to re-cycle as a way of life. He built five homes and completed many renovation projects, including helping his children with their construction and renovation.
Music was an important part of the Boyer family life. Lionel and Gertrude always encouraged and supported participation in music related activities, including the Church Choir. Both logged countless miles driving the children to lessons, festivals, practices, concerts, etc. Holiday times always included singing and dancing.
In the last twenty years, Lionel developed a passion for dabbling in the stock market. Every morning when they woke up, Jocelyne’s children were accustomed to finding Pe-Père in their living room at the computer with their dad, Dale, working on stock related issues. Since he was legally blind, Gertrude also provided invaluable assistance as “his eyes” with all these projects as well as with the activities of daily living.
Lionel was pre-deceased by numerous family members and friends. He will be lovingly remembered by his devoted wife, Gertrude, of over sixty-five years; his children, Louise (Gerry) Bourgault, Paul (Pauline) Boyer, Lucie (Edouard) Coquet, Maurice (Pauline) Boyer, Denise (Bruce) Bortis, Cecile (Guy) Thomas, and Jocelyne (Dale) Bortis; twenty-three grandchildren; thirty-two great-grandchildren; three brothers, Gerald, Ovide and Nelson, and their spouses; the Tellier in-laws; as well as extended family and friends.