Denis DeGagne

Denis DeGagne

Sunday, April 22nd, 1934 - Sunday, September 27th, 2020
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It is with heavy hearts that we announce the passing of Denis Alberique DeGagné, our husband, father, grandfather, papa, great grandfather, uncle, and friend. Denis passed away peacefully on Sunday, September 27, 2020 at the age of 86. We say goodbye with deepest gratitude for having him in our lives and knowing that he always held us close to his heart.

Denis was born April 22, 1934 in Smooth Rock Falls, ON to a large and loving family. He was the 7th of 13 children and was raised on a farm outside of Fort Frances, ON where he was taught the foundation of family, faith, hard work and integrity that would guide him throughout his life. At 24, he met his beloved RoseMarie (Cousineau) with whom he shared 34 loving years before her passing in 1993. Together they raised a family of four and were very proud of their many accomplishments. He was a loving and dedicated father, passing on to us his values. He was fun but firm, and patiently taught us by example to work hard, never give up, to “dream big” and treat everyone with respect. Above all, he taught us to love and be loved.

Denis was an entrepreneur his entire life. In 1953 at the age of 19, he and his brother Ed became the youngest John Deere dealers in Canada opening DeGagné Equipment in Emo, ON. In 1972, Denis moved to Thunder Bay with his family to continue with John Deere until the early 1980’s. Following this, he opened DeGagné Tractor and soon would partner with his sons to run a vibrant equipment and lawn care business until his retirement in 1999. Through his work, he formed many lifelong friendships that he treasured and valued. He was always eager to be involved in his community and supported many local clubs and charities throughout the years including the Thunder Bay Cancer Research Centre, Kinsmen, Knights of Columbus and his Parish community.

Denis was a loving, fun and incredibly committed grandfather to his 11 grandchildren. He was an instrumental part of their lives teaching them many life-long lessons, supporting their personal, educational and professional growth and sharing many summers by the pool, on the lake, and in his yard. He took great joy and an active role in attending sporting events, school activities and graduations as papa, grandpa, and often as chauffeur.

Denis met Yvonne Slivinski in 1996 and they shared many wonderful years of marriage together. They enjoyed travelling and spent many winters in Arizona with Denis’ sister Rita and her husband Wayne. Denis and Yvonne were separated by illness in recent years but maintained their love for one another.

Denis will be remembered for his vibrant personality, sense of humour, loyalty, friendship, his love of life, his ambition and energy, and mostly for his deep, genuine and caring love for his family and friends. There isn’t anything Denis would not do for his family and that will never be forgotten, Dad.

Denis is survived by his wife Yvonne, his daughters Marie Brady (Alan) and Renée DeGagné (Brian Legg), his sons Rob (Jill) and Denis Jr. (Nancy); his step-children AJ Slivinski (MaryJo) and Bjo Gibb (Jim); his grandchildren Kayla Brady, Michael Brady (Kali), Matthew DeGagné, Ryan Brady (Melissa), Robbie DeGagné, Aaron DeGagné, Abby Gibb, Kelsey DeGagné, Marc DeGagné, Shawn Brady and Sam Gibb; his great-grandchildren Aria, Cecilia and Evangeline Brady. With many fond memories, he will always remain in our hearts. Denis will be dearly missed by his sisters Valeda Cousineau, Gertie Bujold, Rita (Wayne) McLeod and Yvette (Ronald) Beck, his sisters-in-law Laura DeGagné, Theresa DeGagné, Irene DeGagné, Virginia Cousineau and Helen Cousineau, and many of his 100 nieces and nephews

He is predeceased by his wife, RoseMarie; parents Jean Baptiste and Marie Antoinette; his brothers and sisters Amedee (Jesse) , Ed, Louis (Carol), Claude, Phil, Anita, Irene (Leonard) Legaree and Rolande (Fred) Lowey and brothers and sisters-in-law Robert (Marian), Leon, Roy (Doris), Jim, Louis, Ray, Bernard (Margaret) and Jerome Cousineau, Clarence Bujold and Joan (Louis) Boileau.

Our thanks to all the nurses, doctors and staff who cared for Dad at Hogarth Riverview Manor. Your kindness and compassion will never be forgotten. Thanks also to Rev. Father James Panikulam and Rev. Father Victor DeGagné who will honour us with Dad's funeral mass.

Visitation will take place from 5:00 - 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 8th at St Agnes Church, 1019 Brown St, Thunder Bay, ON. This will be followed by a Vigil service at 7:00 p.m. The Funeral Mass will be held at 1:30 p.m. on Friday, October 9th at St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church in Thunder Bay celebrated by Rev. James Panikulam, concelebrated by Rev. Victor DeGagne. Should family and friends wish to watch the service, a live stream link is as follows Interment at St Patrick’s Cemetery will follow. Due to the pandemic, the family regrets there will be no reception after the service. In lieu of flowers, the family asks you to consider a donation to St Agnes Parish of Thunder Bay.

Under the current restrictions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, those wishing to attend the visitation are invited to do so, with a limited number of people being allowed into the church at one time to allow for the ability to maintain necessary social distancing. Those wishing to register to attend the Funeral Mass and those wishing to send on-line condolences may do so at A reminder that the wearing of masks or face coverings by everyone and maintaining social distancing of 6 feet is mandatory for those attending the services.
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Service Details

  • Visitation

    Thursday, October 8th, 2020 | 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    Thursday, October 8th, 2020 5:00pm - 7:00pm
    St. Agnes R.C. Church
    1019 Brown Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Vigil Service will begin at 7 p.m.
  • Service

    Friday, October 9th, 2020 | 1:30pm
    Friday, October 9th, 2020 1:30pm
    St. Agnes R.C. Church
    1019 Brown Street
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. James Panikulam
  • Interment

    Friday, October 9th, 2020 |
    Friday, October 9th, 2020
    Mountain View Cemetery
    1351 Broadway Ave
    Thunder Bay, Ontario
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


Donations are being accepted for: St. Agnes R.C. Church.


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Christin Adams and Friends at Caterpillar Financia sent flowers to the family of Denis DeGagne.
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Tona Lowey

Posted at 06:40pm
To Renee, Marie, Rob, and Denis: So many memories!!! The gatherings after Midnight Mass on Christmas Eve with the entire family were very special! The help your dad and mom gave to my parents will never be forgotten!! The long talks your dad used to give to me in his car or sitting on the tailgate of the half ton truck will also, never be forgotten!!! Your dad always took the time to help people out! Our sincere condolences to you all, sending much love and hugs!! Alfred and Tona Lowey

Paulette Michalchuk

Posted at 02:00pm
Our deepest sympathy to your entire family, Marie
Such beautiful pictures of the past and present with Uncle Denis and Aunt Rose Marie and all of you and your children!!
Claudette and I will miss our Godfather and our prayers are with all of you today.
All our love Theresa DeGagne and family from Kenora, Red Deer and Campbell River etc

Mark DeGagne Posted at 12:15pm

I will always remember the time he took time out of a busy day to meet me for dinner when I was on my way to Waterloo. He always made you feel special when he spoke to you. The only thing that mattered to him at the time was you. My friends remarked the same at the time. He was a great guy. A real DeGagne. The last of the brothers. As my dad would say: “The last of the best”, and then they would laugh. I hope the 6 boys are laughing together right now.

Msgr. P. Stilla

Posted at 12:38pm
Dear Yvonne and all members of Denis' Family,
I will always remember Denis as a gentle, sincere and faith filled man. I remembered him in my Mass this morning.
Msgr. Pat Stilla.

Melody Audet

Posted at 02:00pm
Your dad was such an amazing man. We aren't able to make the funeral but our thoughts and prayers are with your family. Take comfort in all the wonderful memories you have.

Gary Cousineau

Posted at 01:13pm
I was sorry to hear of Uncle Denis's passing. I was with mom yesterday, Valeda, and she certainly would have liked to attend the funeral but the trip would have been too much for her to handle. Family is one of the most important things in both of their lives and they showed it everyday to those around them. He will be missed by all.

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