Cover photo for Jacqueline Bourque's Obituary
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Jacqueline Bourque

August 18, 1949 — November 23, 2023

Ottawa

Jacqueline Bourque

 

Bourque, Jacqueline

Jacqueline (Jacquie) passed away peacefully and with dignity at May Court Hospice on Thursday, November 23rd, 2023, with her loving family by her side. Born in Moncton on August 18, 1949, she was predeceased by her parents, Daniel and Marceline (née Brine) Bourque. She is survived by her cherished big brother and sister-in-law, Bernard and Jackie Bourque, her adored nephews Martin and Julie (Léger), and Denis and Jesray (née Dalugdog), two grandnephews, Daniel and Alexandre, as well as many cousins, who were her extended siblings.

A francophone New Brunswicker, Jacqueline was proud of her Acadian heritage. She valued the stories of her Scoudouc grandparents of the challenges and strengths of her ancestors, and the family lore from her Cap-Pelé grandparents. She loved the sea, sand dunes and salt marsh grasses, having grown up along the Petitcodiac river and the ocean shores of the Northumberland Strait.

Jacqueline earned a degree in French literature at l’Université de Moncton and a master’s degree in library science at Dalhousie University. She built her career at the Bank of Canada, where she began as a librarian, rising to a senior position in Communications. With her quiet confidence and calm insistence, she was instrumental in ushering in a new era in employee communications.

On her 40th birthday she decided to begin doing the things she had yet to do. With her “if not now, when?” attitude, she climbed her first tree and went skinny dipping; after that, nothing stopped her. Following her retirement, she explored art and poetry - poetry won her heart.

Always passionate about honing her craft, she completed courses and workshops, including writing residencies at Sage Hill and the Banff Centre for Art and Creativity. The Ruby Tuesdays were central to her growth as a poet, along with other close collaborators and supporters. Her first book, Repointing the Bricks (December 2021) was a finalist for the 2022 Ottawa Book Award. Her second book, Without Beginning or End, will be published in 2024. Her chapbook, The Dune as Bookmark, appeared in 2019 and her work has appeared in such notable journals as The Fiddlehead and the Queen’s Quarterly.

With a twinkle in her eye and her mischievous grin, Jacqueline was quick to laugh and always at the ready with a “bon mot” or wry observation. She promised soup. She was warm, creative, intellectual, spiritual, loving, caring, compassionate, an excellent listener and a wise adviser. She had a great personal style and dressed with flair. She loved sharing special times with family and friends and the ambiance of good restaurants, where she occasionally had “the sip” and laughter ultimately ensued.

Jacqueline will be lovingly remembered by her many treasured friends with whom she shared a wide range of interests, from her annual attendance at Ottawa Jazzfest and the opera, the Bytown Cinema, theatre and galleries, poetry and fiction, and her walks in the Gatineau Hills, in the city or along Dow’s Lake.

A Celebration of Life will be held on December 10, 2023, between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm at Tubman Funeral Homes-Westboro Chapel, 403 Richmond Road in Ottawa, with readings to commence at 2:30 pm.

 

In memory of Jacqueline Bourque, please consider making a donation to one of the following charities:

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