It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Jean ‘Marcel’ Rabu.
He was born April 29, 1918 in Rennes, Brittany, France and passed away peacefully with family at his side on March 3, 2005 in Nanaimo, BC.
He was the eldest of 7 children: Annette, Betty, Henri, Yvette, Mimi & Guy
He will be forever loved and immensely missed by his wife and soul mate of 67 years Louise Rabu. He leaves behind children Michel Rabu, Lily Brennan & Joelle Rabu, grandchildren: Daniel Rabu, Rachel Diamont, Yanik Allard, Nicole Ronse, Patrick Brennan, Jace & Nico Rhodes as well as great-grandchildren: Gabrielle, Adrien & Alexandre, Joshua & Dominique, Tyler & Nathan, Lauren, Sasha, Alexander & Luca.
Marcel was a prisoner of war (Silesia, Dunkirk) and member of the French Resistance during World War 2.
Hairdresser by trade, he moved his family from France after the war to live in Australia for 9 years. Immigrated to Winnipeg, Manitoba in 1958 where he successfully set up 7 successful hairstyling salons “Marcel the French Salon”. He was a great supporter of the Winnipeg arts and cultural scene (Rainbow Stage, RWB, Hadassah). In 1971, moved to Courtenay, BC within 2 years built the ‘little’ Gourmet Restaurant in Courtenay, followed by the Gourmet Sea Restaurant (1975), in Oyster Bay which is now in its third generation of family ownership. Member of the Courtenay Kiwanis and Nanaimo Legion-Seaview Branch. He enjoyed a passion for nature and the outdoors, the culinary arts, music and circus, having been an acrobat as an adolescent. Known and respected by so many for his integrity, great sense of justice, hospitality, generosity and joie de vivre. Remembered by many as a colourful, larger than life character who loved good jokes and good food. Please join the family for a Celebration of Marcel’s life to be held at the Gourmet by the Sea Restaurant on Sunday March 13th at 1PM.