OBITUARY: Former Wuesthoff Nurse Marie Marguerite Thérèse Pellerin Lucas, 89, Passed Away
By Space Coast Daily // June 7, 2020
worked at Wuesthoff Hospital in Obstetrics and in Cardiac Care, retired in 1992
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – Marie Marguerite Thérèse Pellerin was born in Shawinigan Falls, Québec, Canada on November 27, 1930, to Antoinette and Albert Pellerin. She was the seventh of fourteen children and she grew up loving her Catholic faith and her French Canadian heritage.
Thérèse often told stories about the idyllic and religious upbringing she had in the big farmhouse on Rang St. Olivier outside the tiny village of Sainte Flore, Québec.
Nearby were many aunts, uncles, and cousins with whom to celebrate every occasion and the hard work of farm life was balanced by the joy and rambunctiousness of her big extended family. Thérèse and her siblings were very athletic and she excelled at ice skating, skiing, biking, canoeing, hiking, and tennis.
Thérèse was an exemplary student as a child and she was challenged and educated by the Ursuline nuns. She graduated with distinction from l’Ecole d’Infirmières de l’Hôpital Sainte-Thérèse de Shawinigan and the Université Laval in Québec City.
After her nurses training, she completed an additional certification in infectious diseases at Pasteur’s hospital in Montréal.
Thérèse loved music, art, and interior design but she really loved being outside around nature, birds, and especially the beach and sunshine! When word came that the United States desperately needed nurses (even if they spoke no English), she packed away her coats and boots, bought a convertible automobile and headed south.
She met her husband Harry W. Lucas, Jr. when he changed a flat tire for her in Jacksonville, Florida and she began work at St. Vincent’s Hospital. After marrying in 1955, they moved to Cocoa and then Rockledge, Florida where Thérèse worked at Wuesthoff Hospital in Obstetrics and in Cardiac Care for many years until her retirement in 1992.
In addition to her dedication to her nursing career, Thérèse was a nurturing and inspirational mother to her ten children. She was a stickler for good manners, cooked delicious dishes with exotic names, sewed beautiful dresses for her daughters and taught all of the kids to craft and create because she did not allow television in the house!
Her children adored her and Thérèse proudly became naturalized as a US citizen in 1962 in order to have the same citizenship as her children.
She was a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church congregation for over 60 years and enrolled her children in St. Mary’s school for faith-based education.
She volunteered at the school as a nurse, a substitute teacher and homeroom mother for many years.
Everyone knew that Thérèse, the little French nurse, the mother of all of those kids, was a dynamo who could be depended on if parental support was required! She took off from work every summer so that she could take the children to Québec to have a taste of the life she enjoyed while growing up there.
She delighted in sharing adventures like pilgrimages to Cap de la Madeleine and St. Anne de Beaupré, trips to Gaspé, hiking through the woods, making nightly campfires at the chaâet, and just being with her beloved Canadian relatives.
In later years, she enthusiastically did the very same with her grandchildren. She was the dearest Memère who had an infectious laugh and the ability to make any time special.
Thérèse enjoyed an amazing retirement traveling in her camper with her family, sisters, and girlfriends visiting many National parks across the United States and Canada.
While at home, she volunteered with hospice and cared for neighbors who were old and failing. When she recognized signs of dementia in herself, she remained strong in her faith and counseled her children to love each other, pray, and thank God for His blessings.
Her journey with dementia was long but through it all, her beautiful smile remained and she continued to inspire and unify her family.
Thérèse Pellerin Lucas passed peacefully from this life into God’s arms on May 23, 2020. She was predeceased by her husband, Harry W. Lucas Jr., and two sons, Harry W. Lucas III, and Paul A. Lucas.
She is survived by two sisters Jacqueline Pellerin and Nicole Pellerin and sister-in-law, Gisèle Girard-Pellerin, all of Québec. She is also survived by children, Renée Pascale (Mark), Nicole Hirst (Blaine), Lise Sanchez (Juan), Michèle Moore (Maurice), Daniel L. Lucas (Petra), Richard P. Lucas, Angèle Lovett (Paul), and J. Benjamin Lucas; sixteen beloved grandchildren and their spouses; eleven great-grandchildren; a host of nieces and nephews in Québec, and many friends, neighbors, and nurses who helped support and love her during the end of her journey.
There will be a private funeral Mass at St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Rockledge, Florida with interment at Florida Memorial Gardens. In lieu of flowers, the family requests memorial gifts to St. Mary’s Catholic School, Brevard Mental Health Association or your local Alzheimer’s Association in honor of Thérèse Pellerin Lucas.
“Her children rise up and call her blessed; her husband, too, praises her: Many are the women of proven worth, but you have excelled them all. Charm is deceptive and beauty fleeting; the woman who fears the Lord is to be praised. Acclaim her for the work of her hands, and let her deeds praise her at the city gates.” Proverbs 31, 1-9.
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