December 7, 1933 - March 21, 2021 CELEBRATING THE LIFE OF Jacqueline Morisset Santarelli


Written by Julia on behalf of Lelio, Anna and Michele

Jacqueline Morisset Santarelli was a loving and caring wife, mother, grandmother, sister, aunt and friend. She left this world peacefully on March 21, 2021 at age 87, with family by her side.

Beloved wife of Lelio Santarelli for 68 wonderful years.  Cherished mother of Anna, Juliette (Vito) and Michele (Fred).  Adored grandmother of Christopher (Dina), David, Massimo, Gabriello, Matthew, Noah and Julia.

Jacqueline was born to Edmond Morisset and Juliette Bedard on December 7, 1933 in Rouyn- Noranda, Quebec and one of nine children.  She is predeceased by her siblings Giselle, Pauline, Robert, Andre, Claude and Colette.  She is survived by her brothers Gilles and Evain (Jacques).

Jacqueline lost her mother Juliette at the very young age of 36 years, when she was  11.  After Juliette passed, their father Edmond could not care for all the children on his own, and Jacqueline and her brothers and sisters were cared for by others. Jacqueline and her sister Colette lived in a convent for a few years until Jacqueline’s eldest sister, Giselle, married and Jacqueline went to live with them.  

Jacqueline started working for CIBC at the very young age of 14 or 15, in Noranda.  She met her future husband, Lelio, the love of her life, when Lelio immigrated to Noranda from Italy in 1950 to work in the gold mines.   Jacqueline only spoke French and Lelio Italian, but they figured it out.  Lelio was only to stay abroad in Canada for a short time, but, after meeting Jacqueline, they married in 1953 and moved to Toronto, where they started their own family. 

Upon arriving in Toronto, the newlyweds lived with Maria and Walter Peksyk, and their daughter Frances.   Soon thereafter, they were able to purchase their own home,  along with Lelio’s sister Edda and family.  This was on Markham Street.

Edda and her husband Stefano were always close by, living in the same home and then on the same street, for most of their lives.  Jacqueline and Edda were sisters-in-law, but really best friends. Their son Tony and his wife Barbara were always just around the corner and they have always kept Zio Lelio and Zia Jacqueline close and in their lives.  

Bambina and her husband Guido and their family were also very close to Jacqueline, and many beautiful evenings were spent at one home or another, with extended family members, spending time together and sharing good food.

The three, Edda, Bambina and Jacqueline, were quite the trio and raised their families together.  Zia Jacqueline was part of their lives.

In 1967, Lelio and Jacqueline moved to Dixington Cresent, and Edda and her family joined them, in their own new home, around the corner.   

Lelio returned to Italy with Jacqueline to meet his parents, sister Maria, husband Velio and family in 1968 and they had a wonderful family reunion.   They would make several more trips back to Santo Stefano over the years.

Even though Jacqueline assimilated into the Italian way of life with Lelio, she was still the little French-Canadian girl deep down.  All her life, she counted only in French, even while working at the bank.  She was tri-lingual, speaking French, Italian and English fluently.  Lelio was the foreign outsider to her family at first, but he quickly became a beloved “Mon Oncle” and brother-in-law to them all.

Jacqueline worked at the bank for many years, ending her career at CIBC as a Branch Manager in 1998.  She was a professional working mother decades before it was accepted and applauded.

She managed a challenging career, kept an immaculate home and was an amazing hostess.   She loved dressing well, always on point with hair and make-up.  She was an amateur interior designer, and her renovation and staging skills were years ahead of anything published at that time.  Jacqueline always baked for special events, and Christmas was her signature holiday.  Red bows everywhere, a sparkling tree with an abundance of gifts,  stockings were filled with simple, fun, thoughtful items, even the bedding was changed to a festive theme. All the birthdays, Easters, Sunday family dinners, and just being together – She created the best memories that we’ll cherish forever. Life was good.  

And then came the grandchildren!  When Christopher was born, Jacqueline immediately commissioned Lelio to make a grandfather clock to commemorate the day.  Talk about a legacy.  Christopher is a successful young man and we know that legacy and love story will carry on with his beautiful and brilliant wife Dina at his side.   Next came David and Massimo, just one week apart, and both so different, yet so much alike.  Gabriello was the next grandchild and the adventurer.  Matthew was the fifth grandson and had the pleasure of living with his grandparents quite a few times.  Jacqueline gave him the nickname Donny Beaubec, which really means ‘give me a kiss’ in French when spelled correctly. When our dear friend Alice lost her own mother and father at very young ages, Alice became a fourth sister and for Noah and Julia, Jacqueline was also grandma.

In 2004, Lelio and Jacqueline moved once more, to Pennyroyal Crescent.   This beautiful home holds so many memories of Jacqueline, from her beloved piano and decorating style to family photos.

Jacqueline was blessed with two amazing sons-in-law, Vito and Fred.  Both truly loved Jacqueline and are deeply saddened by her passing.  Vito lost his own mother at a young age and he treated Jacqueline with love and care.  Fred only remembers her kindness, her sweet smile, she was loving and welcomed him into the family with open arms. Fred could always get a chuckle out of her, no matter what. 

Jacqueline touched so many lives and we are saddened that we could not gather at this time to celebrate her life and put her to rest with everyone’s love and support.

Jacqueline and Lelio had a truly amazing marriage.  68 years and never apart.  Lelio is feeling the loss of his beloved “Giacelina” profoundly.  We will surround him with our love and care at this time and always.

Our hearts are heavy, but our faith is strong.  We know that Jacqueline is with her mother and father and all her loved ones and, until we meet again, she will watch over us with her loving arms.

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Written by Christopher on behalf of David, Massimo, Gabriello, Matthew, Noah & Julia

Jackie (as we loved to call her, and she loved to be called – channeling Jackie O) – was an amazing woman. I am so fortunate to have been able to spend 32 wonderful years of my life with her. I was her first grandchild, and I treasure every last one of the incredible memories I have of her.

One of my earliest memories is of my grandmother, sitting in her rocking chair, rocking me to sleep in her arms. I can still feel her holding me, and the feeling of safety and security it brought me, as a two or three year old. She would sing to me, in French, a lullaby called Fais dodo petit bébé.

I remember being a child on March break with her, and being allowed to have sleepovers at her home. We’d get up late (Grandma was never one for early mornings) and have crunchy peanut butter on toasted hotdog buns, while watching the morning news on the small colour Sony Trinitron in her kitchen. Later, we’d watch live with Regis and Kathie Lee (later, Kelly) and have Cinar ginger ale on the back patio of my grandparents’ home at 35 Dixington. I remember the limitless patience she had for explaining the world to a young boy.

I remember attending countless New Years Eve parties, festas, and events with her, always dressed to the nines in the most decadent of clothes and most beautiful jewellery. She was proud of her jewellery collection and wore it often. I remember being a young boy, and thinking she looked like a beautiful queen in her finery. In fact, she and her sisters and sisters-in-law all had this same sort of style, and I gave them a nickname when I was 6 or 7, the “Golden Girls”. She never lost her sense of style. At my own wedding, where she sat as a guest of honour, she looked more beautiful than ever.

I remember family trips to Montreal, and Noranda, her hometown, to the United States and overseas. I was always struck that while I and the rest of the family clearly looked like tourists (read – slightly disheveled) she always looked like she was ready to hold court, and she always did!

My grandmother loved to shop, and I remember trips to Yorkdale with her, always her favourite. She taught me so many things. To match my clothes, to tie my shoes, she helped me learn to read and with my math homework when I struggled (which was often), and later, how to make a wine and ginger ale spritzer and how to drive. My first car was actually Jackie’s old one, a Chevrolet Coupe that meant the world to me as a 16 year old.

Jacqueline lived a long, sometimes hard, but always beautiful life. Her stories of her childhood, of losing her mother at a young age, of going to work at the Bank of Commerce as a 14 year old, of meeting and falling love with and marrying my Grandfather (though she only spoke French and my Grandfather only Italian at the time), and of building a life with him were a constant source of resolve and inspiration through my whole life.

She loved her daughters very much, and was eventually blessed with five grandsons, who she loved even more. For years though, she wanted a granddaughter, to love and to spoil, as she did her daughters. In 2004, she was blessed with one, Julia, and a sixth grandson, Noah, from her bonus daughter Alice. The seven of us were truly blessed to have her. I know that my Grandfather is so thankful for the 67 years they were married.

My Grandmother gave me so many things. Much of the spoiling I know I’ve received in life came from her. However, the greatest gift she gave me, which first belonged to my mother, was a quick wit and a sharp tongue. She used it on all of us, never meanly but in jest, and helped me perfect the art. I now use it daily in my own life.

Grandma, thank you for everything. I would not be the man I am today without you. Throughout my life, whenever I was struggling with something, I would call you and ask you for a prayer, which you would always oblige. You would pray to your own mother for assistance, and assistance would come, more often than not. Now Grandma, its my turn to pray for you, and to you.

We love you and we miss you


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Written by Julia on behalf of Anna and Michele

Mom, no words can really express how much your love and care have meant in my life.   From just a little girl, I remember so many wonderful things.   And as Anna, Michele and I grew into young women and started our own adult lives, you were there always, with dad, to guide and support us.   Through childhood, teenage years, adulthood, marriage, motherhood, you were there, always a wonderful example.   French, Italian and English spoken and interwoven.   Italian customs and French-Canadian traditions combined into new ways of living and celebrating life.  Parties thrown and cakes baked.   Decorating and shopping and entertaining and working hard – you did it all.  

My two boys adored you and remember so many wonderful times.   As they grew, I continued to sing to them the French lullabies you sang to me as a child.   And “pauvre petit chien” is still one of the phrases I use when someone is feeling hurt or sad. 

Although I strive, I never have been able to completely match your immaculate housekeeping and organization.  Never was there a bedsheet or towel not folded with exact precision.   Each throw cushion was always, even to these last few months, perfectly in place.   The house was always sparkling and welcoming and the décor matched each season perfectly.   And all this done as a working mother, in a challenging career with the bank.  I don’t know how you did it all, but you made it all look effortless.   Your love for dad, and his for you, was always a bright place to look.   Your style and elegance were to be envied, and you taught me how to be a good daughter, sister, wife, mother, professional, homemaker and more.   

For all the times I asked you to pray to your mother Juliette, when times were hard and we needed blessings, you did.   Now I will pray to you.   The memories of all that you gave and shared will never be forgotten.   Until we meet again, I love you and I miss you.  

We will take good care of dad for you


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