In Memory of





Obituary for Gisele Marie Bird (Lamarche)

It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of our dear mother, Gisele (Zel) Marie Bird (née) Lamarche, who passed away peacefully with her son by her side, at Squamish Hill Top on February 12, 2023. She was at the wonderful age of 96. Gisele was predeceased by her husband, Alan (Al) Bird in 2003 and is survived by her children Valerie Bird, Brenda (Dan) Kelly, Cheryl (Peter) Rush and Roger (Laura) Bird, her grandchildren, Michael (Susan) Nyiri, Christy Nyiri, Kevin Rush, Trevor Rush and Simon Bird, and her great grandchildren Evan and Alaina Nyiri.

Gisele was born to Henedine and Alphonse Lamarche on April 29, 1926 in La Flèche Saskatchewan, the second eldest of eleven children. She was predeceased by her brothers Roger, Donat, Yvon and Lucien (age 7) and survived by her sisters Agnes, Cecile, Terry, Yvette, Annette and Denise. At the age of 19, Gisele left the prairies with a friend and her friend’s parents heading for Vancouver. Upon arriving in Vancouver and seeing the rain, she was so happy there was no snow that she decided Vancouver was the place for her. Gisele worked for Woodwards on Hastings for a time, just making ends meet, until a friend convinced her to work for Nat Bailey‘s White Spot to earn a better wage. She worked first at the original Granville Street White Spot and then at the White Cliff Park location. Gisele also worked summers at the Malibu Club, a premium resort located at Princess Louisa inlet where she met her future husband, Alan Bird. They were married on February 9, 1951 and that summer decided to move to Squamish to give it a try for a year. Instead, they fell in love with the location and never left.
Gisele loved to sew, knit, cross stitch, quilt, snow mobile, curl, golf and made the best bread and cinnamon buns ever. She worked at Fenton Jeweler’s for 18 years as well as participating both on the Auxiliary board and with running the Auxiliary’s gift shop, helping with their many bake sales, knitting sweaters and booties for new borns, and quilting for the annual raffle. She was never one to sit still. As her granddaughter Christy wrote, “ She always had such a strong character and I admired her simultaneous gentleness, confidence, and tenacity”!
We would like to extend our most heartfelt thanks to the staff at Shannon Falls Retirement Residence and to the doctors and nurses at Hill Top who were all so caring and helpful during Gisele‘s stay at each place.
As per Gisele‘s wishes, no funeral service will be held. Her ashes will be placed with her husbands at a later date.