Stairs, Dennis & Sue


Denis W. Stairs 1923-1975

Denis was born and grew up in Montreal. After attending BCS he joined the Royal Navy and served on the British aircraft carrier Indefatigable as an airplane navigator. He started coming to Tadoussac at an early age, and in his teens went on trips to Les Escoumins and the Marguarite in north shore canoes with his brothers and his cousin Peter Turcot - 20 miles rowing is a long way! He was a tennis and skiing enthusiast, on the McGill team for both sports. He graduated McGill in honors engineering and took a position with what was then called Price Brothers in Kenogami. He married twice and had 7 children Judy, George, Felicite, Philippa, Alan, John and Sarah.

He passed on to us all, with varying degrees of success, his love of the outdoors whether hiking, cross-country skiing, chopping wood, and fishing. He passed along to us his love of small boats, be they canoes, rowboats, motor boats and even how to use a freighter canoe as a sailboat! And of course, he led by example in tennis and skiing. Perhaps most of all he tried to teach us to be honest, fair, hard-working, and family-oriented – many is the time we were cajoled into doing unpleasant tasks with the words "you're not going to let your poor father do everything are you?" We and hopefully the entire Tadoussac community remember him as good father, a good friend, and a good man to have in your corner when the going gets tough.

Susan E. Stairs 1923-1978

Sue was born and grew up in Pittenweem in Scotland. She moved to London during the war and served in an antiaircraft unit defending it. She married Denis Stairs in 1957 and left her home in the thriving metropolitan city to move to Kenogami, a small town a mere 90 miles from Tadoussac. Sue adapted well, learned skiing and other winter activities. She also learned French well enough to lead the Girl Guides in the Lake St. John region! She was the mother of Alan, John and Sarah, and step-mother of Judy, George, Felicite and Philippa, and treated all 7 of us with the same mixture of poise, no-nonsense strength and kindness.

She came to Tadoussac soon after arriving, and embarked in the full range of activities – witness her name on the Hakstian Trophy in more than one place, her embroidery creations in the church, and the Scottish-dancing parties she hosted. Not to mention numerous picnics around Tadoussac on the beaches, in the hills and along the shores in the freighter-canoe 7 Steps. She tirelessly nursed Denis when he took ill, enabling him to spend the last few years of his life in the relative peace and comfort of his own homes in Montreal and in Tadoussac.

George Stairs

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