ESCANABA - Evelyn M. (Bellefeuille-LaFleur) Elie, 99, Escanaba died on Saturday, Sept. 1, 2012, at Bishop Noa Home in Escanaba with her son by her side. She had lived at the West Highland Apartment Complex for over 33 years.
Evelyn was born on June 16, 1913, in Salva (Cornell Township) to Archille and Dinas (Jenny Gardner) Bellefeuille. Evelyn's mother died on June 19, 1913, as a result of childbirth and Evelyn was raised by Marcel and Roseanna (Gardner) LaFleur. Dinas (called Jenny) was a sister to Roseanna.
Evelyn was officially adopted by Marcel and Roseanna LaFleur on May 16, 1922. She attended St Anne's school.
Evelyn M. (Bellefeuille-LaFleur) Elie
Evelyn M. (Bellefeuille-LaFleur) Elie
She married Lawrence J. Elie on June 16, 1937, at St Anne's Catholic Church and lived in Escanaba.
Evelyn and Lawrence Elie had four children. They had a still-born son in 1938, son Lawrence J. Elie in 1939, son John W. Elie in 1940, and a daughter Mary Rose Elie in 1943.
Evelyn was an active member of organizations such as Catholic Order of Foresters, Daughters of Isabella, and Third Order of St. France, some of which she was a charter member.
In 1944 the family moved to Arnold and lived in the home and dry goods store which was built by her father-in-law Joseph Elie and is now the Knotty Pine Bar.
Evelyn was the first organist for St. Joseph Church in Northland and also played for weddings and funerals.
Evelyn's husband Lawrence drowned while fishing at Goose Lake near Negaunee Sept. 25, 1949, and she moved her family and mother Roseanna LaFleur back to Escanaba the summer of 1950.
She was a member of St Thomas Church in Escanaba from 1950 to 1970. She also was a cook's assistant at the parochial school which was active at St Thomas on the north side of Escanaba. She also worked at Family Bakery, House of Ludington, and also St Francis Hospital.
She sold her home, which was on the present site of the AmVets on Lincoln Road, and moved to the southside. She joined St Patricks Catholic Church, and was the organist from 1970 to 1978.
In October 1978, Evelyn moved to the new West Highland Apartment Complex and lived there until May 2012. She lived there for 33 and a half years, and she loved her apartment and the facility.
Evelyn got her first drivers license when she was 55, and that opened up her world. She traveled to visit her daughter living in Holland, Mich. Thursdays were always interesting because Evelyn and her friends would decide where they wanted to go for the day someplace in the U.P. or Wisconsin to shop, just look around, and always go and eat at different restaurants. When she finally had to give up driving in her 80s she still always enjoyed going for a ride and seeing the sights, visiting relatives like Ed and Bev Colegrove, her niece, in Iron Mountain, and stopping to eat somewhere.
She really enjoyed playing her piano and singing. She would always play requests and her children always wanted to hear "Barney Google With the Goo-Goo Googlie Eyes." She always had to play and sing it at least two or 3 times and she loved doing it.
One of her favorite hobbies was doing hand embroidery as long as she was able to and gave the items to her children, and grandchildren. Evelyn liked playing cards and played a variety of them, especially single and double solitaire. She loved working puzzles but she especially loved doing word search puzzles for hours on end even at 99.
Her favorite TV programs that she loved to watch on a regular basis were: The Price is Right, Jeopardy, Wheel of Fortune, Lawrence Welk, and EWTN. If you were going to take her for a walk you had to wait until those shows were done. One of her favorite sayings whenever you went to see her was "What would we do without TV?" If you caught her sleeping and woke her she always said "I wasn't sleeping I was just resting my eyes."
Evelyn Elie is survived by one son, Lawrence (Victoria) Elie II; 11 grandchildren, Rick Granskog (Holland), Kathy Granskog (Holland), Jay (Julie) Mokma (Holland), Renee (Mokma) George (Holland), Lawrence (Lura) Elie III (Portage, Mich.), James (Patti) Elie (Pulaski, Wis.), Wayne (Diane) Elie (Safford, Ariz.), Gregory (Marilyn) Elie (Roseville, Ca.), Michelle (Sam) Hepinstal (Mt Pleasant, Mich.), Melissa (Christian) Nelson (Wells, Mich.), Christopher (Nicole) Elie (Escanaba, Mich.); 25 great-grandchildren, and seven great-great grandchildren, numerous nieces and nephews.
Preceding Evelyn Elie in death was her mother Dinas (Gardner) Bellefeuille in 1913 and father Archille Bellefeuille in 1948, parents Marcel LaFleur in 1938 and Roseanna (Gardner) LaFleur in 1955, her husband Lawrence J. Elie in 1949, and following brothers and sisters from the Bellefeuille family: sisters, Malvina (Earl) Davis and Cecile Lester)Thompson; brothers, Lawrence Bellefeuille, John (Esther) Bellefeuille and Alfred (Ella Mae) Bellefeuille; brother and sisters from the LaFleur family: Rosia (Arthur) Barron, Delia (Pete)(LaFleur-Leduc) LaFave and brother Joe (Candace) LaFleur.
Also preceding Evelyn Elie in death was a still-born son in 1938, granddaughter Carrie Lynn Granskog in 1961, son John Wayne Elie on Dec. 15, 2010, and daughter Mary Rose Ramsey on June 17, 2011.
Friends may call from 2:30 to 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Sept. 5, at the Allo Coolman Funeral Home in Escanaba. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 4 p.m. on Wednesday at St. Anne's Parish with Fr. Francis DeGroot officiating. A luncheon will follow Mass in the church parish hall. Burial will take place in the Holy Cross Cemetery. Please visit the website www.allofh.com to send online condolences to her family.