Antoinette Grenier. File Photo
Antoinette Grenier died on September 11th, 2019, just 11 days short of her 100th birthday. She was devoted to the McCauley area – so much so, that she lived in the same house on 97 Street that her family purchased in 1925, for over 80 years.
I first met Antoinette in 2009 when I went to her house to record an oral history of her life. She told me that real estate agents would constantly call her to find out if she would sell her house. Her response? “Do you see a For Sale sign in front? No? Then it’s not for sale!”
She witnessed a lot of changes in the area, especially the development of Chinatown along 97 Street.
Quiet and unassuming in person, Antoinette earned a reputation as being McCauley’s unofficial archivist by the extensive scrapbooks she kept. They were filled with clippings that dealt with the area, from various media sources. She added her own notes to the clips, and her research helped greatly with the creation of the book McCauley: Then and Now, published in 2013 through the support of McCauley Revitalization.
Professionally, Antoinette worked at a doctor’s office and later as a medical records archivist at the Charles Camsell Hospital, until she took early retirement in 1979 to care for her mother. She was a devoted Catholic who was active with both Sacred Heart Church and Immaculate Conception.
Antoinette Grenier was an example of a life that was private, yet productive and able to make an impact in her community. She will be missed.