Haley Station – Life has been a series of twists and turns and highs and lows for a Haley Sation area woman well known for her involvement in the Royal Canadian Legion and her association with Renfrew’s Heritage Radio Station.

Following the death of her husband, Gary, in April and other close relatives and friends this year, Reta Behm was bereaved yet again on Friday when her 52-year-old daughter, Carlene Dellaire-Gauthier, was killed in a collision on Highway 301 in Litchfield, just north of Campbell’s Bay, QC. 

According to Surete Quebec, 84-year-old Andre Loranger of Otter Lake was driving northbound on Hwy. 301 when his car collided with a vehicle driven by Ms. Dellaire-Gauthier of Thorne. Both victims were transported to Pontiac Hospital in Shawville where they succumbed to their injuries. There was no further information at press time.

The mother of five grown children, Ms. Dellaire-Gauthier was about five minutes from her residence near Otter Lake when the crash occurred. The driver of the second vehicle succumbed to his injuries Sunday. Mrs. Behm said her daughter was killed instantly in the crash.

“We are just all at a loss,” she said of the tragic loss of her only daughter who was a Personal Support Worker (PSW) and also a Public Notary.

Mrs. Behm was working at the barbeque at the Legion Hall in Eganville on Friday afternoon at the time of the 3:30 crash, but it wasn’t until she arrived home about 7 o’clock that her son-in-law, Glenn Gauthier, told her about the fatal accident.

“I got a call at the Legion at about 6 o’clock and was told I was needed at home,” she said. “They didn’t tell me why I was wanted, just that they had news for me. When I arrived at home, there was a new truck in the driveway and I noticed my son-in-law sitting in the passenger’s seat. I immediately thought Carlene was driving it and had come to show me the truck.”

Ms. Dellaire-Gauthier had lived in the Otter Lake area for about 12 years and had been married to Mr. Gauthier for 14 years. For the past decade, she had been providing private nursing care, as well as working as a public notary. She started her PSW career first at Renfrew Victoria Hospital and then worked at Hospice Renfrew for a period.

She is survived by her husband, Glenn and grown children Christopher, Michael, Brittanee, Hannah and Ashley. Also surviving are three grandchildren, Clayton, Clara and Juniper and two brothers, Johnny Dellaire of Waterford, ON and Joey Dellaire of Spruce Grove, AB.

The past several months have been hard for Mrs. Behm. Her husband, Gary, passed away in Hospice Renfrew in April. Before his death he insisted she buy tickets for a vehicle the hospice was raffling off as a fundraiser because he wanted to support the facility and also felt she was going to win the vehicle. Two weeks later, her name was drawn from among almost 2,000 tickets.

But death has been a familiar event in her life in recent months.

“My daughter’s death is the 11th death we have had in the family in the last four months,” she said.

The deaths have included Mr. Behm’s younger sister, Donna, of Eganville, several people connected to the Behm and Shean families and a close friend.

Mrs. Behm said her daughter had finally decided it was time to enjoy life and do some travelling. They had a trip to Nashville planned for this summer and also were making plans to go to Ireland in the fall.

A joint Celebration of Life for the late Mr. Behm and Ms. Dellaire-Gauthier will take place at the Eganville Legion Clubroom this Saturday, August 12 from 1 to 4 p.m.