“The most illustrious mother in Quebec” passed away late Thursday at home, surrounded by family and friends. A specific cause isn’t known, but Thérèse’s daughter, Celine’s older sister Claudette, reportedly revealed in 2019 that she had faced serious health issues, including vision and hearing impairment and memory loss.
Celine, 51, is on her Courage World Tour, and says her show Friday night in Miami will be dedicated to her mother.
“Maman, we love you so much,” she wrote in French and English on her Instagram. “We dedicate tonight’s show to you and I’ll sing to you with all my heart. Love, Céline.”
Thérèse’s death comes just two days after the four-year mark since Celine lost her husband, René Angélil, to cancer at 73. Thursday also marked the fourth anniversary of the cancer-related death of Celine’s older brother, Daniel, 59.
Famously known as “Maman Dion,” the elder Dion was born Thérèse Tanguay-Dion on the Gaspé peninsula in southeastern Quebec. She had 14 children with her husband, Adhemar, who died in 2003 at 80. They raised their family in Charlemagne, a suburb of Montreal.
She wasn’t just the mother of Celine. Thérèse was also a known television fixture in Quebec, with her own cooking show on the French-language network TVA called “Maman Dion.” She appeared on the show for three seasons until 2002, when she stopped to care for her husband.
Following her husband’s death, Thérèse became more involved in philanthropic causes. She was known for founding the Foundation Maman Dion in 2006, which provides school supplies and clothes to children from disadvantaged backgrounds at the start of each school year.
Quebec’s premier, François Legault, shared his condolences on Twitter Friday.
“A remarkable woman, so generous, so loving, who devoted her whole life to the well-being of her family,” he wrote in French. “Our large Quebec family mourns her departure.”