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Gilles Hebert, 78, passed away Saturday, May 22, 2010 at the Riverside Health Care Facility in Fort Frances, Ont.

Gilles was born Nov. 2, 1931 in Arntfield, Que. to the late Edgar and Lucienne Hebert.

Gilles and his nine siblings grew up in Rouyn, Que. At the age of 14, he struck out on his own and began work diamond drilling throughout Quebec and Ontario.

In 1954, he married Cecile Auger. They moved to Atikokan, Ont., where Gilles continued in diamond drilling.

He was hired on at Caland Ore as a rock driller but soon changed to pit mechanic. In later years, he worked as a millwright upon acquiring certification.

He worked there until its closing—21 years.

In the next two years, after miscellaneous jobs, Gilles took a welding course and received certification.

In 1982, Gilles and Cecile moved to Fort Frances, where he had secured a position at Boise Cascade as a millwright. He was a workaholic, and the socializing he was able to have on the job was an added bonus.

So it was that he reluctantly retired in 1996 at the age of 65.

Gilles began his grandfathering role in 1989, with 13-year-old Bobbi-Lynn. In her he found a captive audience for his many jokes and stories. In him she found a loving and generous grandfather.

Four years later, she was off to university.

In January, 1997, Hannah was born. Hannah brought new purpose to him and was the light of his heart. He visited with her pretty well every day.

“You couldn’t have gotten a better child,” he would say.

Later in the year, he suffered a heart attack and slowed his pace, although he and Cecile could be seen each morning having their coffee time at McDonald’s.

In 2006, he thrilled at the arrival of Madeline. The sun rose and set on his granddaughters. Maddie absolutely loved her grandpa.

“You couldn’t have gotten a better child,” he would say.

These girls are where his heart showed its greatest outpouring of love and gentleness.

Gilles leaves behind to mourn his passing his loving wife, Cecile; son, Robert (Raylene); and granddaughters, Bobbi (Victoria, Ashlyn, and Stephanie), Hannah, and Madeline.

He also leaves his siblings, Carmelle, Florence, Raymond, Doris, Harvey, and Fred; brothers-in-law, George and Phil Auger; and sisters-in-law, Jeanne, Theresa, and Alice and their families.

Gilles was predeceased by his son, Paul (1987); granddaughter, Paige (1994); parents, Edgar and Lucienne; and brothers, Lorenzo, Onil, and Silvio Hebert.

A funeral mass will take place Friday, May 28, 2010 at 11 a.m. at St. Mary’s Roman Catholic Church in Fort Frances, with Fr. Francis Pudicherry officiating.

The pallbearers will be Gary Barker, Fred Grozelle, Monty Howarth, Phil Lorette, Kevin Marusyk, and David Whalen.

Friends with a story or thoughts about Gilles are invited to share in person or in writing at the service.

Internment will take place after the service in Riverview Cemetery in Fort Frances.

A luncheon will follow at St. Mary’s Church Hall.

If desired, in memoriam donations may be made to the Gideons International in Canada c/o Northridge Funeral Home, P.O. Box 89, Emo, Ont., P0W 1E0.

Online condolences may be offered at

“Better is one day in your courts than a thousand elsewhere.” Psalm 84:10a