Florence Lalonde (Hatch)
Florence Lalonde (nee Hatch) passed away peacefully on June 8, 2018 at the age of 72. She was predeceased by her parents, William Hatch and Elizabeth May Bryden; an older sister, Georgina; and her husband of 39 years, Jean Lalonde. She is survived by her daughters Leslie (Lorene) Lalonde and Anne (Ron) Thompson; and her two brothers, Gerald (Joanne) and Robert (Bev).
Florence was born on May 11, 1946 in Prince Albert, SK. She grew up on a farm near Shellbrook, where she graduated from high school. She went to the Saskatchewan Teachers’ College, and thereafter taught mostly elementary school in small, northern, or First Nations communities. While teaching in Isle a la Cross, she met Jean Lalonde, who was a clerk with the Hudson’s Bay Company. They were married in 1974 in Shellbrook. Jean’s work took them all across the provincial north, from Ontario across to Saskatchewan. In 1988 the family settled in Birch Hills, SK. With teaching work hard to come by, Florence returned to school and completed her Masters in Exceptional Education. She accepted a job in the Kelsey Trail Health Region as the Early Childhood Psychologist, commuting daily until 1997 when she and Jean moved to Melfort, SK.
Florence loved her family, her garden, and working with children…in that order. She became Jean’s caregiver as his health declined, tackling each new challenge with a very stiff upper lip and a breaking heart. She spent her summer leisure time tending her garden (flirting with heat-stroke), and her evenings and winter leisure time curled up with her cats, reading science fiction, fantasy, and garden catalogues (surely another form of fantasy reading).
Shortly after Jean’s death in 2014, Florence was diagnosed with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis. This condition gradually eroded her stamina and strength, but never her calm, practical determination. In 2017 Florence left her beautiful gardens and moved to Saskatoon.
Throughout her career as a teacher, and as an Early Childhood Psychologist, Florence helped countless children and their families. She was especially passionate about giving parents the tools and guidance to help their children thrive.
The family would like to thank the staff of Preston Park for their exemplary care of Mom, and a special thank you to the Home Care staff who did so much for her and her family in her final days.