MONTREAL -- Friends and family are mourning the loss of Garnet Bourgaize, a devoted military veteran and beloved father and great-great grandfather. 

He died in hospital Jan 5 about three weeks after getting pneumonia, his friend Frank Cholette and fellow member of the Chateauguay Royal Canadian Legion Branch 108 told CTV Montreal. He was surrounded by family when he passed. He was 100 years old.

“He was inspirational,” Cholette said. “He was not an assertive person, just low-key and happy to be alive.”

Cholette said the death leaves a void at the Chateauguay legion, where just last November 11, Bourgaize took part in the ceremony honouring Canada’s veterans.

Bourgaize was just 20 years old when he joined the military in his native Gaspe. He served from 1940 to 1945, in various battlefronts in Europe during the Second World War. Bourgaize did not like to talk about his personal war experiences but toured schools talking to students about patriotism and the importance to remembering what veterans did to protect Canadian freedom.

Bourgaize was also an engineer and for years worked on ships travelling the Saint-Lawrence Seaway. His wife of 55 years died in 2001. Bourgaize is survived by two sons and a daughter. Two other sons pre-deceased him. He is also survived by 10 grandchildren, several great-grandchildren and numerous great-great-grandchildren. A funeral for Bourgaize will be held on Saturday January 18 at 2 pm at St. Andrew's United Church in Châteauguay.