Signy Stephenson, who died at the age of 69, was a successful local business owner, Town of Brome Lake councillor, an active member of the community, and raised her family here.
Signy Stephenson was of Icelandic descent on both sides of her family, and was born in Winnipeg. Manitoba has the largest Icelandic population outside Iceland.
She grew up Montreal, after high school studied in Paris for a year before going on to the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City for three years.
She then worked in Montreal for Morgan’s Department Store, which later became The Bay. She moved to Toronto to become editor of Style Magazine. In Toronto, she met her husband, Michel Gabereau, and they married in 1984.
“We both had busy careers in Toronto and we decided it was not a good life for two children,” says Michel who worked as a sound man for the CTV network program, W5.
The couple purchased the Auberge du Joli Vent in 1988.
“It was the best decision we ever made,” says Michel. “Signy wanted to come back to Quebec. She was a Québécoise at heart.”
The couple then bought the Auberge du Relais in 1997 and operated it and the Auberge du Joli Vent until 2000. They made extensive renovations to the Relais, restoring it to an operating hotel and helping revive the downtown core of Knowlton.
Signy’s first foray into public life was as president of the local Chamber of Commerce, then was elected as a town councillor in 1995, serving for one term.
She and her husband bought a vacation property in Guadeloupe and spent four months a year there. Away from her hectic life in Knowlton, Signy took up painting, studying under an artist there.
Signy is survived by Michel, her two children, Georges and Aileen, as well as her stepchildren, Morgan and Eve.