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Born: Aug 10, 1940

Date of Passing: Aug 09, 2021

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August 10, 1940 - August 9, 2021

"Softhands", Alphonse Joseph Ernest DeGagne, beloved husband to Helen for 60 years, passed away peacefully at the age of 80 in the Pine Falls Hospital.
Alphonse leaves behind his children, Brian (Leigh-Ann), Donna and Cheryl (Cam); grandchildren, Pamela (Chad), Stephanie, Roberto, Brendan, Aaron (Hailey), Breanna, Nathan and Kaela; and great-grandchild Luca, as well as brothers, Isadore and Rene; and sisters, Lucy, Florence, Yvette and Anita. He was sadly predeceased by his oldest brother and partner in crime, Arthur, by six days.
When Dad met and married the love of his life, Helen, their lifelong adventure began. After moving a few times, they settled in Pine Falls. Dad especially enjoyed his Sunday barbecues with family. Whenever there was a project or some work that needed to be done, he was always the first one there to help with his tools in hand and eager to show you how to do it right the first time! Dad's "five minute" projects were anything but, and you knew you were there for the day!! We enjoyed camping trips in the summer, going to visit family, and the never ending tunes of Dad's favourite songs playing in the background. Dad loved spending time with his grandchildren, getting into trouble with them and making them laugh with his funny antics and sense of humour.
Alphonse was the barber in Pine Falls for 40 years in a combination barbershop and pool hall. He loved being the sole proprietor for his little business. Dad loved the cast of characters in the pool hall and handled his clients with respect, giving them a home away from home, in turn earning their respect. The barbershop was an extension of his creative skills as he crafted haircuts and earned him the nickname "Softhands" from the calloused paper mill workers. Customer service was always on his mind and he worked tirelessly to improve his business, find new opportunities and look after his customers. As his customers aged and were not mobile or were in the hospital, he would make house calls in the evenings to give them a joyful haircut. Not only the barber, he was a mentor, counsellor and therapist to his clients listening to their challenges and stories. Never shy, he would strike up a meaningful conversation with any stranger in any city that crossed his path through his inquisitive questions and genuine concern for every human on the planet. He loved music, dancing, snowbirding with Helen in Rincon Guyabitos, Mexico and brought a sparkle of life to every gathering with his charm and humour.
Dad had many hobbies - fishing, cars, snowmobiling, house renovations and finally in retirement, outfitted a woodworking shop that was the envy of any hobby woodworker. He made all kinds of crafts - tables, shelves, benches, arbors and even made the beautiful urn for his own ashes.
Dad was generous, resilient and had long standing relationships with hundreds of people he met throughout his life. His most important relationship was with our mom. Dad would do anything for his soulmate and took her on a 60-year adventure that even she never dreamed would be so fun with this engaging and loving man. Dad lived a good life and he was a good man. We miss you Dad.
A memorial service will take place at Sobering Funeral Chapel, 1035 Park Avenue East, Beausejour, at 2:00 p.m. on Tuesday, August 17, 2021. The family welcomes you to join them inside the chapel, which is limited to 200 patrons, or in the parking lot of Sobering Funeral Chapel and tuning your radio to 98.1 FM. If you are in the parking lot, there will be an opportunity to sign the guest register from your vehicle. Please adhere to social distancing regulations and masks are strongly recommended.
A livestream of the funeral service can be accessed through the WEBEX app on your mobile phone or visit on your PC. Enter the meeting number: 25564719366 and password: MatD8uSJ6b3 to view the livestream.

& CREMATORIUM, Beausejour
(204) 268-3510 or MB Toll Free 1-877-776-2220

As published in Winnipeg Free Press on Aug 14, 2021

Condolences & Memories (6 entries)

  • Al was a great man. He and Helen were a wonderful couple. He will be missed by many family and friends. - Posted by: Reid & Denise McClelland (Friend) on: Aug 22, 2021

  • As a young boy, to teenager to man I was always a welcome and frequent visitor to the pool hall despite the fact I did not play snooker or eight ball. My best memory there was winning $50 on a Nevada ticket and being shuffled over to the legion by a few fellows. To Mrs. Degange, Brian, Donna and Cheryl my deepest condolences on your loss. - Posted by: Gary DeLuca (Friend) on: Aug 14, 2021

  • I’m so incredibly sorry to hear of Mr. Degagne’s passing! He was a wonderful man with the greatest smile! Sending condolences to his lovely wife and family, especially to my good friend Stephanie, his granddaughter and his great-grandson and little pride and joy, Luca! Big hugs to all! - Posted by: Lyndsey Guay (Friend) on: Aug 14, 2021

  • Thank you for allowing me to hang around the pool hall and work there. You showed me some trick shots and loved playing pool with the guys. Thank you for being a friend to all who new you, especially my dad, Donald. You were so caring for all people. - Posted by: Derrick Henderson (Friend ) on: Aug 14, 2021

  • I am so sorry, Helen for your loss. There are a lot of good and funny memories of both of you. I hope to get to the service. - Posted by: Pat fisette (Friend) on: Aug 14, 2021

  • As a young teenager my father did not want me “hanging around” the pool room. Al always had my back and covered for me more than once. Thanks Al! Always a gentleman in every sense, Al became a good friend as the years past. I was deeply saddened to hear of Al’s passing. To the family, please accept my sincere sympathy at this difficult time. God Bless and keep you Soft Hands. - Posted by: Kelly Sharpe (Friend) on: Aug 14, 2021

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