Alice Lavoie, known lovingly as “Memere” to her family (pronounced MEM-may, a French Canadian term for Grandmother), broke free of end stage dementia on August 31, 2023 at 96 years of age, leaving us in her sleep as she always wanted. She was preceded in death by her father, Asmond Provost, mother Parmelia, stepmother Irene, and brother Alfred, all of Rhode Island, sister Rose Lemyre of Quebec, and husband Donald Lavoie of Palm Bay Florida, all of whom were likely immediately looking for a deck of playing cards upon her arrival. Memere leaves behind a son, Arthur Wilson (Lynn) of Florida; two granddaughters Michelle Schear (Andrew) of Virginia and Melody Noevere (August) of Maryland; four great grandchildren, Eliza, Harrison, Isaac, and Irina; and multiple nieces and nephews.
Alice was born in Central Falls, RI and raised in her early years by multiple aunts due to her mother’s early death and the commitments of her father’s work and military service. This led to a fiercely independent and feisty personality which served her well during her lifetime. She developed a positive attitude, grateful for each day, taking advantage of opportunities as they occurred. This approach to life she passed on to her son and granddaughters. She was a factory worker and waitress while still in Rhode Island, where the family would regularly get together for marathon card games. Moving to Florida in 1966 after a year in Las Vegas, she worked her way up from an electronics assembler on the production line to a key member of the engineering team as a materials expediter at Bendix Avionics in Fort Lauderdale, retiring early at the age of 61. Two years after retirement she took on full time duties as a grandparent, even helping to chaperone some of her grandchildren’s field trips after moving to Palm Bay in 2001 to be closer to her family. She became a caregiver for Donald in 2005 and was widowed in 2006. By the end of 2019, Mom could no longer live by herself due to the onset of dementia and moved into Autumn House in Viera Florida, where she stayed until the end of her days.
Memere had promised her grandchildren that she would live to the age of 100. We have no doubt that she would have made that century mark if she hadn’t had to survive COVID in the early days of the pandemic, resulting in congestive heart failure, marked mental decline, and confinement to a wheelchair for the remainder of her life.
Her two granddaughters were the light of her life; before dementia took away her ability to communicate, she would call each of them every Sunday evening, even if it was just to say “it’s Sunday and I love you”. On FaceTime calls with her family or when family members left after visiting she would always sign “I Love You” in American Sign Language as part of her goodbye. The family is very thankful that Memere had the opportunity to meet and spend some time with her four great grandchildren in December 2022. Alice was intensely proud of her family and its achievements; we know she is now playing cards and telling stories of her grandchildren and their families to those who passed before her.
The family wishes to express appreciation and thanks to the staffs of Autumn House Memory Care and St. Francis Reflections Hospice. The past four years she was cared for by the awesome team at Autumn House Memory Care in Viera, Florida; our family cannot thank them enough for the love and caring they always showed Mom. Mom was virtually adopted as a member of the family by many of the staff at Autumn House, as they loved her strong will, feistiness, and retorts before dementia took first her wit, then her will, then her voice.
The family will hold a private service at Ammen Funeral Home of Melbourne Florida, followed by interment next to the love of her life Donald at Fountainhead Memorial Park in Palm Bay Florida. A larger service and celebration of life will be held in April 2024. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests a memorial donation be made to St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care, 1250-B Grumman Place, Titusville, FL 32780 (https://reflectionslsc.org/donate/), the Central and North Florida Chapter of the Alzheimer's Association, 14010 Roosevelt Blvd #709, Clearwater, FL 33762 (https://www.alz.org/cnfl/donate), or The Trees Remember, P.O. Box 1548, Pittsboro, NC 27312 (https://thetreesremember.com/memorial-trees/); or just plant a fruit tree nearby in memory.