Stairs, Dennis & Sue
Dennis W. Stairs 1923-1975 & Susan E. (Inglis) Stairs 1923-1978
Dennis was born and grew up in Montreal. After attending Bishop’s College School, he joined the Royal Navy and served on the British aircraft carrier Indefatigable as an airplane navigator. He started coming to Tadoussac at an early age, and in his teens went on trips to Les Escoumins and the Marguerite in nor’shore canoes with his brothers and his cousin Peter Turcot - twenty miles rowing is a long way! He was a tennis and skiing enthusiast and was on the McGill University teams for both sports. He graduated from McGill with honours in engineering and took a position with what was then the Price Brothers Company in Kenogami. He married twice having four children by his first marriage and three by his second.
Sue Inglis was born and grew up in Pittenweem, Scotland. She moved to London during the war and served in an anti-aircraft unit defending the city. She married Dennis Stairs in 1957 and together they had three children, Alan, John, and Sarah to add to Dennis’s previous four, Judy, George, Felicite, and Philippa, and she treated all seven with the same mixture of poise, no-nonsense strength, and kindness.
Sue had left her home in a thriving metropolitan city to move to Kenogami, a small town a mere ninety miles from Tadoussac. She adapted well, learning skiing as well as other winter activities. She also learned French well enough to lead the Girl Guides in the Lac St Jean region!
She came to Tadoussac soon after arriving and embarked on the full range of activities – witness her name on the Mixed-Doubles Tennis Trophy in more than one place, her embroidery creations in the church, and the Scottish-dancing parties she hosted - not to mention numerous picnics around Tadoussac on the beaches, in the hills, and along the shores in the freighter-canoe Seven Steps. She tirelessly nursed Dennis when he took ill, enabling him to spend the last few years of his life in the relative peace and comfort of his own homes in Montreal and in Tadoussac.
Dennis passed on to us all, with varying degrees of success, his love of the outdoors whether hiking, cross-country skiing, chopping wood, or fishing. He passed along to us his love of small boats, be they canoes, rowboats, motorboats, or even how to use a freighter canoe as a sailboat! And of course, he led by example in tennis and skiing. Perhaps most of all he tried to teach us to be honest, fair, hard-working, and family-oriented people. Many a time we were cajoled into doing unpleasant tasks with the words "you're not going to let your poor father do everything are you?"
We and the entire Tadoussac community remember them as good parents, good friends, and good people to have in your corner when the going got tough.