Feb 25, 1941 - Dec 22, 2023
Lois Harriet Matte died on Friday, December 22, 2023, at the age of 82 in the Ottawa General Hospital.
She is predeceased by her parents, Willard and Gladys Morris; her husband, Terry Matte; her brothers, John Morris and Dan Morris; and her eldest son, Andrew Matte. She is survived by her sons, Aaron Matte (Jill,) Allan Matte (Stephanie-Claude,) her daughter-in-law, Carmelle Ottenbreit, and her four grandchildren: Gabby, Ava Lois, Rosie, and Sam. She will also be missed by her sister-in-law, Marion Morris and nieces and nephews.
Like her deceased husband, Terry Matte, her ashes will be spread near the Ottawa River at a private ceremony at a later date.
Lois Harriet Morris was born February 25th, 1941, in Tilbury, Ontario.
She often reminisced about her idyllic life growing up on her father’s farm in Essex County in Southern Ontario. She was proud of her academic accomplishments, especially earning a University Degree from Western Ontario in Social Work. She had just started her career as a social worker in Toronto when she met her husband, Terry Matte, who had moved east from Victoria, British Columbia to work as a reporter for the Toronto Telegram newspaper in the 60s.
After she married, Lois stepped back from her career to focus on raising her three boys and supporting Terry’s career in journalism that took the family from Toronto, to Ottawa, then Winnipeg, and finally back to Ottawa to settle in 1984.
Especially in her earlier years, Lois loved music. She regularly asked Terry to bring home 8-track tapes from the CBC audio library. André Gagnon’s piano, Dan Hill, the Carpenters, John Denver, and Roger Whittaker often filled the living room in the 70s on Tahoe Bay in Winnipeg.
Lois raised her boys to love nature. The family started camping modestly with short trips to Rushing River Provincial Park near the Ontario/Manitoba border in a small Lionel tent trailer. Despite no running water and having to pack & unpack a high chair, Lois’s smile, albeit a bit forced, was ever-present. Later, she and Terry ‘upgraded’ to a small Sundance motorhome, enabling spectacular trips from Alberta to Eastern Ontario, then finally settling on a quiet, modest cottage on Little Silver Lake outside of Perth, Ontario (with a flush toilet and hot running water, ‘just for your mother,’ Terry would joke.)
In the late 80s, Lois returned to work as a teacher’s aide at Leslie Park Elementary School in Ottawa, where with special care she supported those children that needed her most. She befriended Shirley and Liz, with whom she developed lifelong friendships marked with lively conversations that circled their families, their politics, and most of all, books. She cherished her trips to the YMCA and coffee round tables with Shirley and Liz for decades and spoke often and affectionately about them both until her passing, even when dementia hid their names from her memory.
In retirement, Lois also loved travelling. She cherished slow, meandering road trips with her husband to Texas and out east to Newfoundland, and then more ambitious adventures to Europe, Egypt, and the Middle East. After Terry passed away, she flew alone at the age of 70 to the UAE to meet her second newborn granddaughter. Recently, she piled into a van with Allan, Steph, Gabby, Rosie, and Auntie Carmelle to bring family together at a gathering in Atlantic Canada. Her last trip was a flight to Nova Scotia to watch her grandson play hockey.
Lois loved her puppies, Bumper and Kelly, reading, baking, sewing, and laughing with her husband, Terry, and her sons, Andrew, Aaron, & Allan, who for years only pretended to cheat at Euchre.
Her final years were spent mostly on Canary Street in Navan, meditating on her beautiful backyard view, marveling at hummingbirds, and cursing the squirrels stealing seeds from her birdfeeders, while cared for and close to her son Allan and his family, Steph, Gabby, Rosie, and Bumper II.
Until the end of her life and to whatever extent dementia would allow, Lois was a news junkie, always reading local and national papers while 24-hour news channels played soundtrack in the background.
She passed away on Friday, December 22, 2023, at the Ottawa General Hospital. She was 82 years old and she is already missed.
The family thanks Natalie and the wonderful doctors, nurses, and staff at Ottawa General Hospital’s Palliative Care Unit.