Farewell to a great humanist: Danielle Gobeil (1952-2024)

A tribute to Danielle Gobeil, a kind-hearted, committed woman who was deeply appreciated by those who knew her.

Danielle en Indonésie en 2005
Danielle on a trip to Indonesia in 2005 for post-tsunami reconstruction.

It was with great sadness that we learned of the death of our former colleague Danielle Gobeil. Danielle began working with Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada  in 1996 as team leader for Africa and emergency relief programs and went on to hold the positions of deputy director of international programs and deputy executive director. She was also responsible for the post-tsunami reconstruction program in Indonesia in 2005. After her departure in 2012, Danielle continued contributing to our organization in her capacity as a freelance translator.

Some of Danielle’s former colleagues wanted to offer her their reminiscences.

“Danielle is gone…. It’s a loss that is keenly felt by those of us who were close to her. I spent more than 16 years working with her at Development and Peace. I have fond memories of a woman who was committed; dynamic; fiery when she was needed to be; and always cheerful. I also remember her as a competent professional with a gift for questioning our practices and bringing order to the affairs she was responsible for, all without losing her sense of humour. She left her mark on our programs, first in Africa, then in Asia and later in emergency relief, to which she systematized our approach. She was also a colleague with whom I really enjoyed working. Thank you Danielle! We won’t forget you.”
Paul Cliche, retired Université de Montréal professor, international development consultant and researcher

“A formidable woman in a tiny, discreet package. Danielle Gobeil was a thoughtful and committed woman; a woman of action and principle; a good listener with surprising energy and unparalleled openness and curiosity. For those who had the grace to experience her friendship and earn her trust, her departure leaves a painful silence and memories rich in colour, images and resounding laughter. Thank you, Danielle, for your light and your immense heart. Thank you for having opened the way for the young woman I was and who was watching you, and above all thank you for having shared this wonderful adventure with us.”
Josiane Gauthier, Secretary General, CIDSE

“I had not been around Danielle as much as others at Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada, and I wouldn’t want to pretend that I was more than just a colleague of hers. But I enjoyed working with her at our national meetings and in working groups. For all her wisdom, skills and wealth of experience, Danielle was always interested and open to the views and contributions of others. Her commitment to the organization’s mission, her sense of humour and her collegiality were always evident. With her passing, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada and our field have lost a great friend.”
Richie Morgan, Executive Director, Humanitarian Coalition

“I really enjoyed working with Danielle and sharing projects and dreams of a better world with her over many long and happy years. Danielle was, first and foremost, a sharp-witted colleague with whom it was always instructive to plan, discuss, set up and support projects. Over the years, she also became a treasured friend with whom it was good to chat and in whom to confide. Often at the end of the day, when many of our colleagues had left work, I would find myself slumped in a chair in her office, telling her all about the highs and lows of my day. She listened patiently and sympathetically and encouraged me with friendly, wise words. She was an invaluable member of our team, because when faced with any problem or particularly difficult challenge, she would focus on finding solutions rather than dwelling on the causes. I am very grateful to her for that.”
Gilio Brunelli, international development consultant

“I had the good fortune to work with Danielle, and I remember her impeccable professionalism and mischievous smile. Her well-balanced analyses guided our positions.  We will especially miss her most recent contribution of meticulous and accurate translations. My condolences to her family.” 
Carl Hétu, Executive Director, Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada

The Development and Peace ― Caritas Canada family would like to extend our most sincere condolences to the family and friends of Danielle Gobeil.

She will always remain in our hearts.

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