Ursula Trudeau

Ursula Wyatt Trudeau

Sunday, January 17th, 1932 - Thursday, December 5th, 2019
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Ursula Wyatt Trudeau, a long-time resident of Saranac Lake, died early Thursday morning, the 5th of December at her residence at Saranac Village at Will Rogers. She was 87.

Born in Montreal, Quebec, on January 17, 1932, daughter of Colonel Henry Johnston and Beatrice (Lyman) Johnston, Ursula showed an early talent in art and went on to attend the École des Beaux-Arts de Montréal. Upon graduation, she pursued a career in freelance commercial art, including fashion illustration, hand-painted billboards, costume and set design for both theatre and television, window displays and textile design. Following two years of working in Paris, she met her future husband, Francis B. Trudeau, MD, and they were married in 1960. Ursula moved to Saranac Lake and continued what was to be a long career in painting, exhibiting frequently in Montreal, Lake Placid, Saranac Lake and the Virgin Islands. She also used her remarkable talents on behalf of many local organizations, including the Adirondack Antiques Show, Pendragon Theater, and the Saranac Lake Winter Carnival, which honored her as Grand Marshal in 2014. She was a member of the Adirondack Artists Guild and on the Board of the Trudeau Institute.

Among her many varied pursuits, Ursula loved gourmet cooking and especially skiing. She was a member of the Whiteface Mountain Ski Patrol and worked for the 1980 Winter Olympics in Lake Placid. Deeply fond of hats, she was a ubiquitous, colorful presence in Saranac Lake, and her elegance and ebullience always made an indelible impression on everyone she met.

Ursula is survived by her niece, Caroline, her two nephews Malcom Johnston and Bruce Johnston, her sister-in-law Anne Johnston, and her stepchildren, Michelle Trudeau, Jeanie Fenn and Garry Trudeau.

Funeral arrangements are in care of the Fortune-Keough Funeral Home in Saranac Lake. A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM, Saturday, December 14th, at the Church of St Luke, 136 Main Street in Saranac Lake. In lieu of flowers, the family requests that memorial gifts be made to the Trudeau Institute, 154 Algonquin Avenue, Saranac Lake, NY, 12983.
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Service Details

  • Service

    Saturday, December 14th, 2019 | 11:00am
    Saturday, December 14th, 2019 11:00am
    St. Lukes Episcopal Church
    Church & Main Street
    SARANAC LAKE, NY 12983
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email
    Rev. George Nagle
  • Interment

    St. John's of the Wilderness Cemetery
    Route 86
    PAUL SMITHS, NY 12970
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email


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Winter Carnival Committee

Posted at 04:16pm
Ursula Trudeau was a unique & iconic woman who proudly called Saranac Lake home. The Winter Carnival Committee appreciates all that she did to share her talents with our organization. She will be missed.

Margo Fish

Posted at 08:41am
From Margo Fish
As a friend of Ursula Trudeau I write. We celebrate her life that gave the arts, in painting, a beauty of nature, memorial portraits, and a creative, rare, style expressed in her home and her own elegance. She, a skier, as wife, as artist, gave to her family, to our communities a lasting spirit of a supportive energy of love. Thank you Ursula, dearest precious being.
Lovingly, Margo Fish

Janet MAdelle Feindel

Posted at 10:28am
My cousin Ursula used to come over and draw us (using pastels) when we were little in Montreal. She always seemed exotic to me! When she came over to draw us, I recall her wearing a quilt with fishnet stockings and always the big hair, half up. I later used that as costume for one of the characters in my one woman show. When I told Ursula, she seemed quite pleased. I idolized her when I was little but later in life got to know her more adult to adult. When I attended her and Tudor’s (her twin brother) 82 nd birthday, it was the day of my father’s funeral. We had a really heartfelt conversation as she told me about her late husband’s (Francis Trudeau) last days and it was really moving; the most intimate conversation I had had with her to date. At Tudor’s memorial, we were sitting together and she turned to me and said, “There is only one Toad ( Tudor’s nickname). Indeed, there is only one Toad and certainly there is only one “Ursula”. She will be greatly missed.

Janet Feindel Posted at 05:34pm

I meant kilt as in a Scottish kilt - silly mejmf

Jacqueline Altman

Posted at 05:08am
Ursula's generosity of spirit and sharing will be greatly missed. She never ceased to regale us with interesting stories and commentaries. The photo is one taken when she kindly opened her home to a group of plein air painters one Saturday afternoon. Max was quite content to lay in her lap as she painted on the porch.. May she rest in peace.

Sandra Hildreth

Posted at 10:38pm
Ursula’s paintings tell the stories of her life. https://www.northcountrypublicradio.org/news/story/32523/20160907/slideshow-the-islands-acrylic-paintings-by-ursula-wyatt-trudeau

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