As I got out of the house for a walk today, the rain started to come down on me. It was lukewarm. I endured and kept going, thinking of her. As it came down harder, I was soaked from head to toe. And then it hit me… Heaven was not showing me the sadness of Johanne’s premature departure; it was showing me the amount of love that she had for me and was continuing to pour over us all – billions of little droplets of love hitting me and everything in sight, I thought to myself. Towards the end of my walk, the rain stopped and the sun looked like it wanted to peak out, drape and dry me with its warmth, just like a soft blanket wrapping a loved one…
Our hearts ache for the passing of our loving, warm and generous Johanne who left us Friday August 31st, 2018 at age 57 after an arduous battle with cancer. She will be profoundly missed by her husband Michel Cloutier and daughter Laura Cloutier, as well as by her parents Claude Bélanger and Pierrette Dubois, sister Hélène (Damiao Santos), brother Dany (Lisa Bédard), in-laws Benoit Cloutier and Pauline Villeneuve, her sisters and brothers in law, nieces and nephews, and extended family of global friends who were close to us.
Johanne touched everyone she met in a unique and loving way. She showcased extraordinary generosity and selflessness – she will always be remembered for her giving and sharing with friends and the less fortunate. She was a teacher and coach at heart, and always ready to problem-solve. She also loved tending to the gardens surrounding our home, traveling and cooking with and for her family and friends; she was always especially welcoming and an incredible hostess. So much attention to detail, love, and care went into everything she cooked and presented to her guests, always making it look so easy. Johanne will also be particularly remembered for her resilience as she battled Crohn’s disease since her adolescence, and cancer since 2016. Her strength and courage allowed her to put these aside almost every day to live life to the fullest.
Johanne, Laura and I also wish to extend a special thank you to the surgical, gastro-intestinal, medical and radio-oncology teams as well as palliative care, nursing, PABs, housekeeping and CanSupport teams of volunteers at the Royal Victoria Hospital for the extraordinary quality of care and support during her extended stay.
Our family invites you to Johanne’s celebration of life at St-Joachim Church, 2, rue Ste-Anne, Pointe-Claire (Qc) H9S 4P5, on Tuesday, September 11th, 2018 from 12 noon to 2 p.m., followed by the funeral mass at 2 p.m. A reception will follow at Maison Trestler, 85 de la Commune, Vaudreuil-Dorion (Qc) J7V 2C3, at 4 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Cedars Can Support or to Crohn’s and Colitis Canada.
Ron BranniganSeptember 4, 2018 at 5:43 pm
Michel I know how much you have endured. Your strength and resiliance have been remarkable during this most difficult time seeing your love slip away. She is at peace now and will be with you always and you two will be reunited. Please remember you have a home and friends here to welcome you when your ready.
MichelSeptember 4, 2018 at 6:53 pm
Thank you so much Ron. Was so great to see you again recently. Will keep you posted if plans come about for a visit. Bless you!
Cathy DumasSeptember 4, 2018 at 7:15 pm
Toutes nos sympathies Michel et Laura, ainsi qu’aux familles Bélanger et Cloutier… nous sommes de tout coeur avec vous. Johanne peut enfin se reposer… XOX
MichelSeptember 4, 2018 at 7:38 pm
Merci Cathy. Tu as tout a fait raison – Johanne a aussi regagné la santé sous une nouvelle forme qui durera éternellement.
Margery and Eino AuvinenSeptember 4, 2018 at 8:01 pm
Michel, I always thought of Johanne as your alter-ego, so the devastation of your loss seems incomprehensible. Nevertheless, you have always been a stoic survivor, so it is comforting to know that her undaunting spirit will continue to buttress you as you resume your life using the guidance and love that she always provided. Our hearts go out to you and Laura.
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:32 pm
Thank you Margery and Eino for the kind words. Johanne has had an influence on many including us of course. We feel so privileged to have shared this short time together. Her values and approach to everything has contributed so much to us and to others. We hope to be able to live up to the high expectations Johanne has set. The bar is high and dumbing it down is not an option!
Joey PeruginoSeptember 4, 2018 at 8:09 pm
Michel – my most sincere condolences. It’s hard to find to right words to convey but I know that you and Johanne were there for one another until the very last moment. You have demonstrated incredible strength of spirit throughout it all however I can only imagine the sense of loss that you must be feeling right now. Remember always the wonderful memories and the life that you built together. My heart and best wishes go out to you and your family.
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:34 pm
We have made some wonderful memories together – you are correct Joey! Her spirit lives on and will continue to guide us. Thank you for your kind words.
Suzanne CholetteSeptember 5, 2018 at 11:39 am
Toutes mes condoléances M. Cloutier…….Indirectement, j’ai soutenu votre femme, vous et toutes vos familles grâce aux nouvelles de mon amie, Élise et de mon curé Alain Roy…..à travers mes prières constantes. Je suis certaine que votre célébration de sa Vie sera extraordinaire, tout comme elle et votre Vie….Tout mon soutien…Suzanne Cholette
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:37 pm
Merci Mme Cholette pour ses mots si doux et toutes les prières. Elles nous ont été d’une aide vraiment précieuse car elles nous ont porté et donné la force de poursuivre le combat et de soutenir Johanne jusqu’au bout.
Jean & Sylvie et famille/September 5, 2018 at 12:09 pm
Toutes nos sympathies à vous, on vous porte dans nos pensées.
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:38 pm
Merci a vous d’avoir laissé vos voeux. C’est très gentil et apprécié.
Crohn et Colite CanadaSeptember 5, 2018 at 12:21 pm
On behalf of Crohn’s and Colitis Canada, we would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to Johanne’s family. Johanne was a wonderful woman and a dedicated volunteer for many years. Her positive energy and generosity will be missed.
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:41 pm
Thank you so much for taking the time to post your comment. You know Johanne was not only a CCFC (as it was called then) volunteer but she actually worked as an employee for some time as well. Johanne picked and supported her causes very carefully. And her leadership style had the entire family included in the many activities that were organized. She believed in the cure and hope that one day we can eradicate Crohn’s all together.
Doreen EdwardSeptember 5, 2018 at 2:29 pm
The entire VOBOC family and team are saddened by the passing of Johanne, a former colleague, a dedicated volunteer and a cherished friend. Johanne was the first employee VOBOC hired in 2010. She helped solidify our Vo-Pak Program, lead our 10th year Gala celebrations and numerous successful fundraisers and initiatives. Johanne always brought her commitment and passion to everything. We are blessed for having had her contributions to our efforts to help adolescents and young adults with cancer. We extend our deepest sympathies to Michel, Laura and Johanne’s family. Johanne was a special person and she will be deeply missed by our family and community.
MichelSeptember 5, 2018 at 4:47 pm
Thank you for these kind words and sentiments Doreen. As you know so well, Johanne had a knack for associating with special people and helping people in need whether they knew they needed it or not. She had a sixth sense which helped her pick the causes to support and figure out what kind of help would make the right impact. Truly a special gift to have and we can only wish she’s been able to transmit it to us as well.
Lynn ChayerSeptember 5, 2018 at 9:00 pm
Nos condoléances à toi et toute la famille. Je n’ai que de bons souvenirs de Johanne. Travailler avec elle fut une belle période dans ma vie. Toujours souriante malgré des moments difficiles. Une femme qui aimait donné.
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:15 pm
Merci beaucoup Lynn.
Gilles PolinSeptember 5, 2018 at 10:21 pm
Mes bien sincères condoléances Michel. De tout cœur avec toi et ta fille. Bien amicalement, Gilles.
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:17 pm
Merci Gilles. J’espère qu’on pourra se retrouver devant quelques bonnes bouteilles un de ces quatres!
Rina FisherSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:27 am
we met Joanne many years ago as we became involved with the CCFC and liked her instantly.
Her wonderful energy, patience and confidence helped us through some tough times in our lives, as we know she helped many others.
We were so sorry to hear of her illness and are saddened by her passing.
Our hearts are with you.
Larry & Rina Fisher
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:22 pm
Rina – Larry – so good to hear from you! Miss the annual encounters at M&M BBQ and Heel and Wheel. Thank you so much for your kind words. I’m sure Johanne is “organizing” a gala or something big for all heaven constituents!
Mirna OteroSeptember 6, 2018 at 3:12 pm
Mes sympathies et mes son avec vous et toutes la famille!
Après la nuit arrive Le jour!
Après un accouchement, on voit la vie, ainsi après une bonté comme celle de Mme Johanne on voit la accueille de Notre Père et de notre belle Maman Marie! J’ai la certitude que la beauté de Mme Johanne a aujourd’hui la dimension du ciel!
Nous avons un ange au ciel!!!
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:24 pm
Merci Mirna pour ces belles paroles et images. Johanne veillera nous tous sans exception! Elle nous enverra des signes a sa façon.
Janet WernerSeptember 6, 2018 at 6:06 pm
Dear Michel and Laura, our hearts are grieving with you. I wish we could be there to give you both a hug. Know that you are in our thoughts and prayers. Love to you both! Kevin, Janet, Becca and Elisabeth
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:27 pm
Thank you Janet, Kevin, Becca and Lizzy! We were looking at the pictures and reminiscing at the times we’d get our families together. Those memories are forever engraved in our minds and hearts. Its simply amazing looking back at all that we have had a chance to do together in such a short amount of time. We were truly blessed to be able to do so much. Love and hugs to all of you.
Monique ParadisSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:19 pm
Mes sincères condoléances à sa famille. Elle m a engagé pour le bureau de Québec pour CCFC repose en paix xx
MichelSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:28 pm
Bonjour Monique. Je ne souviens bien de cette époque. Merci pour les bons voeux!
Jeanne JoongSeptember 6, 2018 at 9:35 pm
My most sincerest condolences Michel. In all of our many conversations, not once did Mrs. Belanger mentioned about any of the wonderful things she had done for VOBOC or her other charities. I am honoured to have met such a wonderful woman. It was a privilege to be part of her healthcare team. My thoughts are with you and your family during this difficult time. Sending you and Laura love and light… Jeanne
MichelSeptember 7, 2018 at 11:32 am
Jeanne you are very sweet and amazing. Thank you so much for everything you have done for her during her extended stay at the hospital. You made it more comfortable and easy. We really appreciate every little attention towards her and am grateful our paths have crossed. Thank you for the love and light.
Elyse DesforgesSeptember 6, 2018 at 11:02 pm
Nos plus sincères condoléances. C’est une femme extraordinaire qui nous a quitté. Ce fut un privilège de la connaître et de l’avoir comme grande amie de notre famille. Elle veillera sur toi et Laura, sa famille et la tienne et tous ceux et celles qu’elle a aimés. Bon courage. Elyse et la famille Desforges-de Kovachich
MichelSeptember 7, 2018 at 11:48 am
Merci Elyse. L’amitié que nous avons vécu tous ensemble était profonde. Elle veillera sur sa famille c’est sûr, mais aussi sur tous nos amis. Elle continuera sa mission dans l’au-delà car elle a la fibre d’un ange – en santé cette fois!
ToniSeptember 6, 2018 at 11:15 pm
Michel and Laura, so sad for your loss, I am actually in choc right now. I had no idea Johanne was ill. I use to work with her at CCFC. We shared some good moments back then and we worked well together. My deepest condolences.
MichelSeptember 7, 2018 at 11:54 am
Thank you for the kind words Toni. I remember some of the good times together at CCFC as well. Johanne was a quiet fighter of the Viking type. A powerful force to be reckoned with was boiling inside of her. She fought till the end where she can now rest in peace.
Donna ColemanSeptember 7, 2018 at 8:19 am
My heart is deeply saddened to hear of Johanne’s passing. I was caught off guard. Even knowing in advance with such a diagnosis and the inevitable ending that is to come, when the passing of a loved one so dear finally occurs, you remain still unprepared. My heart hugs yours Michel and Laura. I was fortunate to volunteer alongside Johanne at VOBOC. She was a woman of such grace, determination and dignity. She battled with such courage. I know there is a empty place in your heart now that can never be refilled. May the loving memories of your life together fill that space. May the love from all of us, your friends and family bring comfort in this very sad time. With love, caring, compassion and understanding, may our hearts reach out to you and give you strength and comfort. My deepest sympathies to the entire family.
MichelSeptember 7, 2018 at 12:00 pm
Thank you for those wonderful, serene and peaceful words and wishes. In the 24 years we’ve been married we did collect numerous memories that will in effect fill in some of the huge void left by her passing. I always loved being by her side and meeting the volunteers she was working with to put the VOBOC Xmas baskets together. She taught us lots as well. Loving hugs coming your way!
Pierre BinetteSeptember 7, 2018 at 10:13 am
Mes plus sincères condoléances Michel.
Que de beaux souvenirs…
MichelSeptember 7, 2018 at 12:02 pm
Bonjour Pierre. Effectivement de très beaux souvenirs d’une femme impliquée et généreuse de son temps. Merci pour les condoléances.
Warren ReynoldsSeptember 8, 2018 at 8:49 pm
I remember clearly sitting at the family home talking with her and hearing her favourite Gino Vanelli song come on the radio and watch her smile as she sang the words with joy and laughter. Thinking of you all wishing you peace and love. Warren & family
MichelSeptember 9, 2018 at 9:53 am
Thank you for leaving this note Warren. We all carry wonderful memories of joyful moments with Johanne. Those will live with us forever.
Guillaume, Nicolas and AlexandreSeptember 9, 2018 at 8:59 am
Rare are the people that we run across during our short stay on earth that are able to leave an indelible footprint behind; Johanne was one of those people. Her devotion to others was exemplary both with her family and within her community. She will be so dearly missed and fondly remembered. Nicolas, Alexandre and I feel your pain deeply and wish that every day brings you a little more light than the day before. With much love.
MichelSeptember 9, 2018 at 10:00 am
Guillaume, Nicolas, Alexandre. I am deeply touched by your kind and loving words. The footprint Johanne has left on the world is immense and yet has never looked for glory nor fame. She was a quiet force that could face any challenge thrown at her. She left us countless memories that will carry us through grieving phases. Since we have two angels watching over us we should be able to emerge towards warmer and brighter days. Reciprocal love and respect to you all.
Manon BourassaSeptember 26, 2018 at 1:32 pm
Mes plus sincères condoléances Michel, Laura et toute la famille. J’ai eu le plaisir de côtoyer Johanne alors que Laura et mes garçons fréquentaient l’école Marguerite-Bourgeoys. Nous étions toutes les deux actives au sein de la Fondation de l’école. Une femme souriante, dévouée, généreuse de sont temps et très impliquée. Quel choc. Bon courage à vous tous.