The Siblings


Ernest
Ernest was the eldest child of the Dionne children. He was born in December, 1926.
In 1947, at the age of 20, he married a school teacher from Corbeil village named Jeannette Guindon. The quints were bridesmaids at their wedding. Ernest and Jeannette had 6 daughters. They were named Lise, Micheline, Suzette, Jocelyne, Mariette and Francine. He remained in the Corbeil area his whole life, and settled in the guard’s building in front of the Big House before building a red-brick bungalow just up the road and across from the original farm. Ernest became a stationary engineer in North Bay and took over management over the farm when Oliva died, running it until he himself died, within a week after his younger brother, Daniel, on January 9, 1995 at the age of 68.

Rose-Marie
Rose-Marie was the eldest daughter of Elzire and Oliva Dionne. She was born in April, 1928. As an adult, she married Maurice Girouard, a car salesman in a wedding that was large by Corbeil standards. For a time, the couple lived near Montreal and occasioanlly visited Annette and Germain in Saint Bruno. Rose-Marie, dispatched by her parents, was the first family member to arrive at the convent where Emilie died. Her husband later became involved in the adult quintuplets’ trust account when Oliva asked Girouard to replace him on the advisory committee. The couple, who had two daughters and two sons, moved to St. Catharines and eventually divorced. Ill with cancer for years, Rose-Marie died at 66 in November, 1995.

Therese
Therese was born in May, 1929. She graduated from the University of Ottawa Normal school and the Royal Conservatory of Music and began teaching high-school music at age 20. She married a man named Thomas Callahan, a superintendent at the Johns-Mansville wood fibreboard plant in North Bay, and the couple had four children. Thomas died in 1987. For many years, Therese has acted as the spokesperson for the rest of the siblings.

Daniel
Daniel was born in April 1932. He married a girl named Audrey in 1952. They had four sons and one daughter before divorcing 17 years later. The young couple lived for a time in Toronto, where Daniel worked in shipping for Eaton’s department stores. They moved to North Bay and bought a house. He got a job for Johns-Mansville as a set-up man for machines. In 1960, he and his wife bought the Dionne homestead from Oliva, moved in upstairs with their children, and opened the downstairs to the public as a museum. They were soon overwhelmed with traffic and visitors, and the number of people coming through and asking questions were more than Daniel could take. It brought back all of the old memories that he disliked talking about. They sold the farmhouse after only two years. Daniel later married a second wife, Marie, and they were married for 11 years until he died on January 5, 1995 at the age of 62.

Pauline
Pauline was born in 1933 and was only 11 months older than her quintuplet sisters. She was the only blonde in the family, and used to be called “the sixth quint”. She was an art teacher and a nun for several years, then spent almost two decades caring for her parents until both passed away. She never married. Because she spent so many years away from teaching, she was unable to get work after her parents died and was left to live meagerly. Pauline carries the past with a heavy heart. One nephew describes her as a “wounded bird”, adding that her anguish only got worse when the adult quintuplets exposed the secrets of the family’s years together. Though she had kept in contact with Cecile into the 1990’s, Pauline broke that off abruptly after the publication of Family Secrets. She hasn’t stayed in touch with the quints since then.

Oliva Jr.
Oliva Jr. was born in July, 1936, when the quints were two years old. In several magazine clipping i have, Oliva Jr. was said to be named Joseph. It seems like his parents decided to change his name into Oliva Jr. instead. His birth was publicized internationally as part of the continuing fascination with all things related to the Dionne quints. He was very loved, and said to be his dad’s favorite. Known as Oliver, he was in the Royal Canadian Air Force and emerged as a tough guy and strict with his kids. Divorced from his first wife, Glenda, with whom he had one daughter and two sons, he later married Lil Corbeil.

Victor
Victor was born in April, 1938. After having eight girls and only three boys, the Dionne parents were said to be happy to have another boy. As an adult, he became an audiovisual technician, then worked in the North Bay psychiatric hospital as a janitor. He still lived in North Bay in the late 90’s, but was too ill to work. He never married. Sadly, Victor passed away March 11, 2007.

Claude
Claude was born in 1946, when the quintuplets were 12 years old. The parents hadn’t planned to have another child, but he was a welcome addition to the family. As an adult, he married a woman named Pauline and had two sons, Yvon and Marc. He was a nurse’s assistant in a North Bay psychiatric hospital, the a switch-board receptionist there, and is now retired. He does not, like his other siblings, have any contact with the quintuplets.

*Elzire gave birth to a child named Leo in 1930, who didn’t survive babyhood because of pneumonia.