BissonnetteJames2Bissonnette, James Joseph Zeno, (1936-2013), loving husband and father. Passed away at the age of 77 in the arms of his son John, surrounded by his loving family. Survived by Frances Helen (Piwowarcczyk-Parks) his wife of 51 years and their children Joseph (France), John (Karen), David (Linda), Peter (Jackie), Marie (Gerry) and Anne (Derek) as well as 21 grandchildren and 2 great grandchildren. Beloved brother of Geraldine, Theresa (Sal), predeceased by sisters Evelyn, Antoinette, and Rita and parents Mary O’Connor and Zeno Bissonnette. 

James spent his life both seeking and being found by The Lord. Raised by his widower father Zeno, along with 5 sisters, he knew both sadness and consolation from early childhood. James studied for the priesthood for four years but was called to marriage with Frances with whom he shared a profound love.

James taught religion for 33 years at York Catholic school board (St. Roberts H.S) and Toronto Catholic school board (Neil McNeil H.S). He was a constant defenderof the unborn from  abortion. He organized protests in front of Scarborough Centenary Hospital when they began aborting children and was arrested praying in front of the Morgentaler Abortion Clinic. He founded the St. Vincent de Paul chapter at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin parish in Grafton and founded breakfast clubs at a number of elementary schools. He also brought students to serve the poor at The Good Shepherd Refuge (Toronto).  He made annual retreats at the Trappist Monastery of Our Lady of Geneseo sharing his faith with the many high school students who would join him. He was a regular visitor ministering to the inmates at Warkworth Penitentiary. 

James had a war fresh love for Our Lord and he eagerly sought to be the hands and feet of Christ to those in need.  But the most inspiring gift James gave his children was his intense love for his wife Frances. He was the model disciple, husband and father and to have known him and loved him is to have been deeply blessed. 

May he rest in peace with our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in the communion of the angels and the saints. Visitation on Sunday, Sept 22nd  from 2pm-4pm and 6pm – 8pm at MacCoubrey Funeral Home, (Cobourg). Funeral mass Monday Sept 23rd at Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary (Grafton) at 11:00am.  Condolences received at

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Filed Under: Brantford, Cobourg, Ontario, Toronto