Peacefully surrounded by family, at the Lorne Memorial Hospital in Swan Lake, Manitoba on October 21, 2020, Mrs. Yvette Brandt passed away at the age of 90 years.
She leaves to cherish her memory her daughters, Caryl Brandt, Brenda (Tom) Thomson, Linda Brandt-Doherty and Monique Brandt (Brian Kozak); her grandchildren, Rochelle Marshall, Tara Thomson, Erin Thomson and Bonita Brandt; and her great-grandson Marshall Brandt. She also leaves to mourn her brother Etienne Hutlet; as well as numerous nieces and nephews, relatives and friends.
She is predeceased by her husband George Brandt; son-in-law Larry Marshall; grandson Darryl Marshall; parents, Auguste Hutlet and Victorine (née Malo); her siblings, Albertine (Yves) Lecocq, Marcel Hutlet, Augustine (Leonide) Barsalou, Honore Hutlet, Adrien (Bibiane) Hutlet, Sr. Clemence Hutlet, Rosalie Hutlet, Clara Hutlet, Andre Hutlet, Celestin (Magdelena) Hutlet, Cecile (Leon) Van Damme, Irene (George) Van Damme, Sr. Apolline Hutlet, Lionel (Julia) Hutlet, Laurent (Marguerite) Hutlet; one sister-in-law Yvette Hutlet; her parents-in-law Octaaf Brandt and Marguerite (née Mestdagh); and by George’s sister Madeleine (Leon) Pouteau.
Yvette was born on the family farm in St. Alphonse, Manitoba. As the youngest in a large rural French Catholic family, she was raised with a strong faith and strict standards. In 1948, after her marriage to George, her life-long love, she immersed herself in their shared enterprises –electrical wiring, radio repair and sales, from their small Brandt Electric storefront shop. On weekends, they rented out the Brandt Hall for weddings and dances, or showed movies at their Swan Lake Theatre. All these were in one building, with family quarters above!
As her family grew, she became more involved in community activities. She was a trustee for the Swan Lake School Board, and a member of the Catholic Women’s League. For many years, she helped girls hone their 4-H sewing skills. She was a founding member of the Mountain Music Festival and devoted years to this, the poetry and drama festivals, and other cultural events. When her daughters took figure skating lessons, she became an accredited Canada Skates judge for competitions around the province. These pursuits involved travel so, in her thirties, she learned to drive.
Yvette was an intelligent and talented woman. She was a self-taught bookkeeper who kept the Brandt Electric accounts for more than 40 years. In 1958, when the business and the family moved to the Lorne Avenue location, television sales and repairs were added. As the business expanded to include commercial projects (schools, hospitals, and the Trappist monastery), she assisted husband George with quotes and project management. Her creativity was expressed in her childhood artwork, which she proudly displayed in her room. She took advantage of business courses at Red River College, travelling into Winnipeg every Saturday morning, during a particularly nasty winter. She learned silk flower making, copper tooling and other crafts. Her crocheted linens, embroidery and needlework have become family heirlooms. She was an accomplished seamstress whose attention to detail was evident in the bridal gowns and christening dresses she made for daughters and granddaughters. She delighted in taking pictures -- of family and of nature, marveling at the intricacy of a leaf or, her particular favourite, the Manitoba crocus -- eventually photographing local weddings. In the mid-nineties she took computer courses; every week, until her last month, the family enjoyed her newsy emails and updates. She appreciated tradition and passed on family recipes, like tourtière.
Many will remember Yvette because of her passion for history and genealogy. Long before Google or Ancestry.com, she compiled family histories, painstakingly researching archives and brittle yellow records, corresponding (by snail mail) across Canada and Europe, successfully tracing her mother’s Malo family back to 1635 in Canada (earlier in France), her father’s (Walloon) roots in Halanzy, Belgium, and George’s Brandt-Brant (Flemish) lineage to 1530 in Belgium as well as his maternal Mestdagh family tree back to their Belgian roots. She received a Manitoba Historical Society award in 1981 for Memories of Lorne, one of the first published local histories.
Post-retirement, George and Yvette indulged in camping, travelling, and exploring. Their days were filled with flea markets and auctions – as both were enthusiastic collectors. They amassed an impressive library of rare and special interest texts, which she meticulously catalogued and notated. She collected cameras, glassware and other items that intrigued her - most notably, her Royalty collection from the 1800s to Princess Diana. She had a remarkable memory and enjoyed sharing stories of the treasures in her museum ‘salon’.
Yvette valued education and encouraged her daughters to pursue university. But, regardless of where life led her family, she was encouraging, supportive, and accepting. She was proud of the accomplishments of all her family.
She always included everyone – cherishing family gatherings. Her 90th birthday in February, just before Covid, was particularly happy.
Yvette Brandt had joy and love in her life – and now peace.
A Private Funeral Service for immediate family only will be held at Adam’s Funeral Home on Saturday, October 24, 2020 at 3 p.m. Funeral Services will be webcast live for family and friends. Interment will take place in the St. Martin of Tours Cemetery in Swan Lake, Manitoba at a later date.
In lieu of flowers memorial donations can be made to the Diabetes Foundation of Manitoba, Heart & Stroke Foundation of Manitoba or to a charity of choice.
Adam’s Funeral Home of Notre Dame de Lourdes, Manitoba in care of arrangements. Phone 204-248-2201. To view this obituary and leave condolences, please visit www.afh.ca
To order flowers, please call 204-248-2201 or
To plant a tree in memory of Yvette Brandt, please visit our tribute store.