On Friday, May 19, 2023, with his loving wife of 58 years by his side and the sun shining through the window, Ovide Gerard Cote peacefully left his failing mind and body and joined his parents, siblings and many friends and family in heaven.
Ovide was born in Steinbach, Manitoba, on July 20th, 1940. He was the 15th of 21 children and would tell many wild and amazing stories of his childhood. In 1965, he married Beverley Baines. The love they shared was obvious to anyone who knew them and this was evident right to his last hours. Ovide and Bev had three children Louis (Sylvie), Adriane “Dee-Dee” (Jeremy Culleton), and Delvyn (Randi) and nine grandchildren – Caitlin, Cynthia, Karly, Tyrus, Carson, Eric, Rylan, Harper, and Tegan. His children and grandchildren meant the world to him and there was no distance too far for him to travel, whether to drive them to, or watch, their events. Fortunately, his last few days were spent with them by his side.
Ovide was not only a spectator when it came to sports. He was a player, umpire, coach, and a key leader in creating sport opportunities for kids in the Vassar area and beyond. He started doing this well before he had his own children and continued when his kids became adults. He was inducted, along with his brothers, in the Manitoba Baseball Hall of Fame in 2007. Ovide was highly involved as a volunteer outside of organized sports as well, as he devoted much of his life to ensuring the Vassar Pool and Park were in great working order. This dedication has been passed to his children who are all active in their communities and organized sport.
Even though Ovide liked to play the role of the “grumpy guy”, his house was always open to anyone who needed a place to stay and he developed strong relationships with the many friends his children brought to the house. He was very much a people person and was well liked and respected by his nieces and nephews and the many young employees he mentored at the Vassar Park as summer students.
Ovide was an Esso Bulk Oil Agent based in Vassar for 19 years and his work career also included stints as a Backhoe Operator for GM Gest, a mechanic for J. Hovorka and Sons, working in the bush for his dad at a young age, and a self-employed Feller Buncher operator before retiring. The wide range of skills he needed in his work career carried over to his personal life as he was a carpenter, an electrician, a plumber, a landscaper/gardener, an architect, etc. He had an innovative mind and before he would buy anything, he would try to build it first. This included a batting machine, a tractor, many tools, and unbelievably his own satellite dish. We often wonder if Ovide ever truly realized how amazing he was, as he definitely never admitted it.
Special thanks to the staff at both Vita and Niverville PCH who compassionately cared for him this past year.
As per his wishes, Ovide was cremated and a celebration of life will be held on Saturday, June 3, 2023, at 2:00 p.m. at Vassar Community Hall, 44 Beaudry Ave, Vassar, MB.