June 23, 1947 – October 2, 2020
Marcel was born on June 23rd, 1947 in St. Cecille Du Bic, Quebec and departed this life on October 2nd, 2020 in the Vernon Jubilee Hospital at the age of 73 years. His parents were Jeanne D’Arc Normand and Napoleon Belanger of Rimouski, Quebec.
Marcel is survived by his wife Hilda; two daughters, Crystal (Rod) McMaster and Mariel Belanger; seven grandchildren, Taylor, Devyn (Ryan) Louis, Jordaine, Sage (Wyatt) Weiler, Cristiana, Grayson and Sienna; four great-granddaughters, Wynter, Brooklyn, Starleigh and another one due in February; his siblings, Paul-Andre, Huegette, Gabriel, Lucien, Rose-Ange, Normand, Christian, Michael, Marie-Noelle, Pierre and Denis and many extended family members and friends.
He was preceded in death by one son, Jr; one stillborn grandson, Griffin who was born into the arms of his Creator; his parents; and two siblings, Maurice and Lisette.
Marcel traveled to B.C. in 1967 with friends, intending to go to Mexico. Some of the friends ultimately did reach their intended destination but Marcel did not. He met and fell in love with Hilda in an apple orchard. Even though Marcel didn’t know much English, love bridged the gap and a few love songs which he would sing to her, helped. They were married in December 1968.
Marcel worked all over the southern Interior as a logger then went into partnership with his mother-in-law working the ranch. Marcel and Hilda began to raise their family of three. November 15th, 1995 tragedy struck and they lost their beloved son Jr.
Shortly thereafter Marcel began developing Mary’s Emerald Bay, a community on the shores of Okanagan Lake where he lived and loved his family.
As Marcel and Hilda lived in the community he met and loved and detested a few animals – including a pesky beaver who felt that the willows planted earlier by Marcel and Jr were put there just for him. The beaver logged a few of them until wire was put in place for protection.
Then there was Matilda, a mallard duck with an injured foot. She was the “other woman” for many summers. Marcel would be out there on the beach feeding her whenever she was around.
Marcel embraced the Syilx life and in his younger years he could be found playing stick games somewhere or in winter supporting his favourite team in the hockey arena playing his drum. It was not uncommon for the opposing team to approach him and tell him they wished their team had a drummer like him.
When they did he would think to himself, “Oh crap, they’re going to kick the crap out of me” but magically his team would appear out of nowhere to protect. In those times he would feel extreme relief. In 1990 he played for the Vernon team when they won the then called Centennial Cup.
Caesars Palace. That was Marcel’s favourite home away from home. When Crystal told the family she was getting married in Las Vegas, Marcel and Hilda went and that was it. They were hooked. Many New Years and holidays were spent there.
In respecting Marcel’s wishes, he was cremated. A public celebration of his life will be held at a future date once the COVID-19 restrictions regarding public gatherings are lifted. The family are grateful for the many expressions of sympathy received from family and friends, both near and far.
Cremation arrangements were made with
Bethel Funeral Chapel Ltd.,
5605-27th Street, Vernon, B.C. V1T 8Z5
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