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It is with heavy hearts that the family of Marie Agnes Ballinckx Gavel share the news of her passing on Sept. 12, 2019, after a brief illness, with her family by her side.

Marie was born Dec. 22, 1930 in Ghent, Belgium and in 1955 moved to Canada as a young woman to marry the love of her life, John Gavel. Together, they settled in Pinewood and raised five amazing children on the farm.

Life as a pioneer in Canada was challenging, but Marie took the challenge in stride and rose to the occasion as farm wife and mother.

As the children got older, Marie became the postmaster for the Pinewood post office, and a proud representative for the Rainy River-Fort Frances Separate School Board.

Marie had a passion for living life, and moved to Thunder Bay in 1980 to explore more opportunities and to enjoy the city comforts.

She proudly worked at Canada Post, making many new friends.

It was in Thunder Bay that Marie met her second love, Don Howard. Marie and Don enjoyed golfing, travelling, and many laughs together.

Marie was most proud of her family. She could often be overheard singing the praises of her grandchildren's latest accomplishments, bragging about the number of great grandchildren she had, and talking about her own children's successes and latest adventures.

Marie had a strong Catholic faith and was thankful for every one of her 88 years, and made sure those closest to her knew the abundance of her love.

She leaves behind her loving children, Brigitte Kellar, Anne (Mike) Long, Phil (Max) Gavel, John (Janette) Gavel and Frances (Ben) Grant; grandchildren, Mara Porietis, Paula (Stephane) Joly, Michelle (Andrew) Bak, Mike (Sonja), Danny (Arisa), Rob (Cassie), Kyle (Lindsay), Donnie (Sammi) Gavel, Casey (Kait) and Ian Grant, and great-grandchildren, Isabelle Joly, Abigail, Hayden, Gabriel and Finley Bak, Trenten Scott and Payten, Reid and Troy, Jayce and Cody and Liam Gavel.

Funeral services were held on Monday, Sept. 16 at 11:30 a.m. at Our Lady of Loretto Roman Catholic Church, 290 Grenville Avenue, Thunder Bay.

If so desired, donations may be made to Our Lady of Loretto Church.