Emilie “Manman Mimi” Montoute (née Méronvil), born on November 10th 1933, was a loving sister, mother, wife, aunt, grandmother, and great grandmother to countless family members. She was born to her parents Clairemélie Mathurin and Ramon Méronvil in Petit-Gôave, Haiti, and was the 6th of 18 children.
Growing up, Emilie was a ‘golden child’ to her parents. Obedient, smart, kind, and nurturing are only a few of the qualities that she possessed. At the age of 10 her mother passed away suddenly, her father remarried a couple years later and left her home with all of her younger siblings, to whom she became a second mother. In 1951, she married Joseph Ylétoit Montoute and together they had four children: Emilie, Jean-Louis, Mariéta Yolette, and Leverbe “Joujou”. She adopted four of her nephews: Jorès, Jean-Claude, Fitho, and Willy, and one granddaughter, Hermita Montoute. She also fostered many other children from the neighborhood as well as from strangers who needed a home.
Manman Mimi was a blessing for her family, she was a devoted and respectful wife. She respected, loved and took care of her husband as if he was her son. She was a caring and loving mother, she nurtured her children like no other; she loved them all the same. No one saw the difference between her biological and non-biological children. She was a compassionate and protective grandmother.
She was the first religious teacher for all her children. She taught them the Catechism, prayers, and religious songs in French and in Latin at a very young age. She valued education and worked tirelessly to send her children to great Catholic schools.
Manman Mimi was a blessing to her community. She supported it by running her convenience store, and the people never had to go far to find what they needed. She was always ready to accommodate anyone who needed her help at any time, she was incredibly selfless. She sold her goods on credit, lending them with no interest and even if they didn’t repay she would do it all over again.
Manman Mimi was humble, kind, sweet, religious compassionate and merciful. She was always available for everyone. She would never turn down anyone who came to her with a need, even if they knocked at her door at 2am. She listened and acted every time. She would go above and beyond even if it meant neglecting her own needs to accommodate someone. She saw God’s face in every person, and everyone saw an angel in her. Nothing made her happier than feeding people; her slogan was “manje kwit pa gen mèt” even if it was in someone’s plate she would give to a hungry neighbor.
Coming to America in 2009 was bittersweet for her, as she was sad to leave her family behind in Haiti but she was eager to come to be with her daughter and take care of her grandchildren. While she was here, she was always concerned for her children’s well-being and wanted to make sure that they were protected at all times. For that reason, she spent most of her time praying the rosary and assisting masses in person as well as virtually. Her presence with her family in Boston was a relief and a gift to her daughter and granddaughters. She meant the world and more to them.
Emilie was preceded in death by all of her siblings and is survived by three of her biological children, Emilie, Jean-Louis, and Mariéta Yolette; Three of her adopted children, Jean-Claude, Fitho, and Willy; her grandkids Rose Aimelle Altagrace Mathias, Fania Mathias, Hermita Montoute, Majorie Montoute, Steve Montoute, Roselaure Montoute, Isabelle Montoute, Giselle Montoute, and others; her great-grandkids Jade Tahani, Nia Bertccini Grace, and Benedetti “Beni”Alexandre.
Manman Mimi you are an icon, a role model, an angel. You will be in our hearts forever, you will never be forgotten; rest in peace!