A teacher’s legacy, students remember Cyr with affection and reverence

17 June 2012

ST. AGATHA – Teachers imprint on their students’ hearts in a way unlike any other person can, especially the really exceptional teachers like Louise Cyr of St. Agatha who taught science and math to students at Wisdom High School for more than three decades.

Louise Cyr


Cyr passed away Thursday, June 14 after a hard fought, six-year battle with a rare form of cancer. Her legacy, however, will live on in those whose lives she helped to mold. Few people possess the patience, kindness of heart, and sense of dedication to be a teacher, which one could argue is both the most challenging and the most rewarding of jobs. But Louise Cyr embodied those qualities, embracing the challenge and cherishing the reward.

Over the years, she touched thousands of students’ lives, imparting her knowledge and wisdom. Her family, her students, her co-workers, and her entire community will remember her for her spirit and positive, bright outlook on life, even in the face of its darkest moments.

Cyr inspired her students, as good teachers often do, and former students like Peggy Morin Bruno, who graduated from Wisdom High School in 1987 before also becoming a teacher, will continue to share Cyr’s legacy with future generations.

“Mrs. Cyr was an amazing woman who inspired so many people in her many years working with students and in her battle against cancer. Every one of us who had the luck of knowing and being a part of her life was blessed. I hope in my lifetime as a teacher to inspire students in the way that she did - with a smile, a kind word, and a knowledge and love of learning,” said Morin Bruno, who is now an educator in Simsbury, Connecticut.

Nearly every student who had the pleasure of learning with Louise Cyr shares fond memories of their time with her.

“I remember Mrs. Cyr as being happy and cheerful,” said former student Ariana (Talbot) Vance. “She always had a smile on her face. She was compassionate and cared about her students. She went above and beyond to help students feel comfortable, not only in her classroom but in the school as well. And she was fun! I really enjoyed the trips and activities that she helped to chaperone. Wisdom was blessed to have her, and I am sure that she will be sorely missed.”

Beyond a doubt, Louise Cyr loved teaching and she loved her students, and her students reciprocated that love. Upon news of her passing, social network boards were full of former students, who now reside in various areas of the state and country, lamenting her loss and celebrating and sharing her memory. Perhaps it was the small class sizes at Wisdom Middle High School that helped to foster the atmosphere of family, but Cyr’s students felt her loss as though she was a member of their own family and though life continues for them, their hearts will hold a special place for Cyr forever.

Former student Cheri Michaud said, “Mrs. Cyr was always an optimist and this would rub off on her students. She was able to help the most shy, insecure young adults (myself being one) and help them realize that they are special, they are worthy of good things, and that everybody deserves a chance to reach for the stars. Our entire class only had 30 students in it and Mrs. Cyr always supported, cheered on, and cared about each student as if they were just an extension of her own family. She took the time to get to know us and looked beyond some of the aspects that others would judge us by - our family's financial status, our intelligence, our looks, our interests. She was able to see the good in everyone and tried to make sure that they, themselves, saw it too. To think that the world will somehow continue to turn now that she's gone seems somewhat impossible. Who else will brighten the day with a kind hello and a gentle touch on the shoulder? Who else will illuminate the room with her smile and twinkling eyes? Who else will know just what to say to encourage a shy, down-on-their-luck young person to keep pushing forward? I can't imagine anyone filling her shoes.”

Cyr passed away at home, with her family surrounding her. Her husband, Conrad, also devoted his life to being an educator. Together they raised their children and enjoyed their grandchildren. Her obituary is available at http://www.michaudfuneralhomes.com/condolences/louise-j-cyr.html.

Relatives and friends may pay their respects on Monday, June 18, from 6 to 8 p.m. at Michaud Funeral Home in St. Agatha, and on Tuesday, June 19, from 8:30 to 9:30 a.m. before services at Our Lady of the Valley in St. Agatha at 10 a.m. with Rev. James Plourde officiating. Interment will be in the lower cemetery in the fall.