French, Alice Masak

Alice Masak French nee Smith, Beloved Wife of Dominick French

Alice Masak French, born on June 29, 1930 at Baille Island, NWT, died on July 5, 2013 at the Souris Health Centre near her home in Souris, Manitoba. She is mourned by her beloved husband of 53 years, Dominick, her surviving sons Charles (Rosie) and Daniel Nahogaloak of Cambridge Bay, Nunavut, daughter Carole (David) Kravitz of Yellowknife, NT, son Barry (Ann) French of Stockton, Manitoba and daughter Katherine (Colin) Goring of Alexander, Manitoba. She has numerous grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

She was a wise and wonderful lady who will be sorely missed. In addition to her many accomplishments as an artist and craftsperson, she was also the author of two books, My Name is Masak and The Restless Nomad, that told the story of her early life growing up in the Mackenzie Delta Region of the Northwest Territories and her later life, adventures and travels. Included in her stories is a recounting of her life in the Anglican Mission residential school system in Aklavik. She is also the author of numerous poems.

Masak was pleased to share her story and the culture of the Inuit with school children in the Manitoba, Alberta, Nunavut and the Northwest Territories. She was an enthusiastic supporter of Aboriginal Day ceremonies wherever she was living which included Souris for the last six years. She was well known in the other places she lived including Churchill, Grand Rapids, Boissevain, Pinawa and Lac Du Bonnet in Manitoba and Medicine Hat, Alberta, Wexford, Ireland and all around the Mackenzie Delta and Cambridge Bay.

She is also survived by her brothers Tommy and Duane Smith, sister Vicky of Inuvik, NT, sisters Lily and Rhoda of Alaska, and her two special nieces, Laverna Smith of Tuktoyaktuk, NT and Shirley Smith.

Funeral service was held on Tuesday, July 9, 2013 at the Faith Community Baptist Church Souris, Manitoba with Rev. Don Oddie officiating. In memory of Alice donations may be made to the Souris Health Centre c/o ARHA Box 10 Souris, Manitoba R0K 2C0.

7 thoughts on “French, Alice Masak”

  1. Our sincere condolences to Dominick and family on Alice’s passing.
    May your memories give you comfort at this difficult time.
    Alberta & Ron Somers.

  2. Condolences to Dom & family on loosing Alice. Fond memories from my time in Boissevain and you visits in Churchill.
    Thinking of you at this difficult time.
    Pierre & Dolores Cyr
    Ottawa.

  3. So sorry to hear of Alice’s passing. I will always have fond Churchill memories and later reading her books.My condolences to Dom and family at this difficult time.
    Mike Ferguson
    Estevan, SK

  4. She was a special lady with a love for everyone. I enjoyed reading and hearing her tales. She had a gift for telling stories. Children and adults were drawn in as she spoke, making you feel that you were with her on her travels. She was patient as she answered questions from children, her kindness and loving spirit always coming through. I appreciated her willingness to share her experiences with my students in Medicine Hat year after year. A generous heart.

  5. Dear Dominick, Bernadette, Barry: It seems like such a long time since Deep River days and, like water under the bridge, so much of life has flowed by us. I too have been bereaved since March, 2012 so I fully understand the sorrow you are enduring and deeply sympathize. I have found that time is a healer that makes our losses bearable but never quite
    forgotten. I have found comfort in remembering the good times and in the
    conquering of the few not so good times. I hope that in time you can all come to appreciate the gift of Life and conclude that, whatever it brought you, it was all worth it. Best wishes always.

    I , too, have been bereaved since March, 2012, so that I fully understand the
    sorrow you are enduring

  6. We were so sorry to read about Alice in the Medicine Hat obituaries.
    She was a very interesting lady…..but I had no idea how interesting until yesterday, when I read both of her books. She said her goal in writing the books was to educate those of us who live “outside”. She certainly accomplished her goal. We are in awe of her courage and adventurous life.. She will be sadly missed. Know that we are keeping you and your family in our prayers as you continue to deal with your sorrow and loss.
    Les and Louise Pearson

  7. So very sorry to hear of your loss Dom. Alice was very special as anyone who met her could attest. We have fond memories of both of you from our Lac du Bonnet days any my occasional duty of babysitting your kids. Once again, deepest sympathies Dom.

    Al & Marj Moffat
    Cambridge, Ontario.

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