Maryvonne McQuade


Maryvonne Anne McQuade, 75, of Bismarck, ND died of brain cancer on January 20, 2023 at Miller Pointe in Mandan, ND.

Maryvonne was born on August 29, 1947 to Auguste and Anne-Marie Jollet in Angers, France. She grew up playing along the Loire River with her three brothers in a village just outside Angers and attended university in Nantes, France where she met her future husband, Sam McQuade Jr.

According to Sam, it was a “coup de foudre” or lightning strike and love at first sight for him. For her, she would joke it took a little more convincing, but in 1968 they were married in Angers.

They moved to the United States to Littleton, Colorado where both Maryvonne and Sam were teachers. It was there that they had their first daughter, Shannon, in 1973.

In 1975, tragedy struck when Sam’s brother Gerard was killed in a car accident and Maryvonne and Sam moved back to Bismarck to take over McQuade Distributing. In 1977, they had their second daughter, Kelly.

In Bismarck, Maryvonne worked with restaurants to help them improve their recipes, taught French at Bismarck Junior College and even held French summer camps for elementary school aged children. But her best role was that of mother and later, Nana. Everyone knew Maryvonne as “Nana.” She was a favorite of many of her grandkids’ friends and would often host them for lunch in between high school classes.

Maryvonne excelled at so many things. She was everyone’s go-to when it came to so many things: shopping for clothes, decorating your house, cooking a meal with whatever was lying around, gardening, dancing, even tennis coaching. And she did this all with such a fun-loving spirit and sense of humor. She was beloved by everyone who knew her. She used to tell everyone that she was kind but not nice and that reflected her spunky attitude to life.

Maryvonne was preceded in death by her father, mother and her three brothers. Maryvonne is survived by her husband, Sam McQuade Jr, her daughters Shannon McQuade-Ely and Kelly Conley, her sons-in-law Dale Ely and James Conley and her grandchildren Samantha and Cameron Clark, Cullen and Nevin Conley, and Lexi and Ian Ely, as well as great-grandson Rory Ely who was born a few months after her death.

A memorial and celebration of life will be held for Maryvonne at Broadway Grille 100 W Broadway Ave, Bismarck on Friday, July 14th (France’s Bastille Day which was one of her wishes) from 4-6pm where we will share fun Nana stories which is exactly what she wanted! 

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My deepest sympathy to Sam and all of Maryvonne’s family. I remember her often. She’s a lovely person.

I remember many years ago doing an exam on Maryvonne and as we spoke about her accent, and her name, I shared that I had a penpal with the same name. So, it led to a discussion of the region that they both were from and it ended up with Maryvonne agreeing to translate a letter for me, which she later met up with me and did. What a wonderful act of kindness from her! She was so kind.

Last edited 1 year ago by Karen Ziegler

I remember Maryvonne as so energetic and full of life. Condolences to the McQuade family

Maryvonne was such a beautiful, kind and caring woman. I am so blessed to have met and help care for such a wonderful woman. May God be with you all at this difficult time!

Maryvonne (aka “Nana”) had such a bright, welcoming smile. The joy she exuded when around her family was evident. The world lost a diamond in the rough with her passing. Thinking of the family at this time. The Garcias love you!!!

Beautiful Maryvonne. I am so sorry. We made wonderful memories of times together when our children were young and when we were members of a study club. I remember much laughter! Take care as you grieve the loss of your loved one. Barb Evanson

I always enjoyed visiting with her during the sporting events we attended together. She is truly a wonderful lady and will be missed. Take care McQuade family. 🙏

We remember meeting Maryvonne at class reunions. As spouse’s, I got to spend time with her so the classmates could spend time together. Every once in a while one comes across a person they wish they could have more time with! What a joy she was! Her eyes sparkled when she smiled. She was bright, lively and so much fun! It was clear she was an active grandmother!! Just charming all around, what a delight! Please know Sam and McQuade family that we grieve with you!
Jerry and Linda Engelman
Detroit Lakes, MN

MaryVonne’s smile lit up a room and she has the best sense of humor. She was a beautiful lady and was so much fun to be around. She will be dearly missed. Hugs and prayers to Sam, Shannon, Kelly and their families. Special hugs to my beautiful nieces, Sam and Cam!❤️ Heaven gained a beautiful French-speaking angel 😇

Our deepest sympathy to the McQuade family on the loss of the heart of the family. Maryvonne was a true lady in every sense of the word – truly a class act. She was a wonderful ambassador for France and helped so many with her knowledge and kindness. We will be keeping her and her wonderful family in our prayers.

I am so sorry to hear of Maryvonne’s passing. She was the light in Sam’s eyes and he told me more than once of his sojourn to France and how he met the most beautiful woman there. What a love story! Saying a prayer and sending a hug to Sam and family.

Dear Sam and family, You just are a most wonderful family and Maryvonne was an intimate loving part of this family life, family living. She was the best. Woman of talents, of giving, of happiness and laughter. I loved being in her presence. She loved you all and you loved her. She is missed, My sympathy and support to all of you.

Shannon and family….. I am heartbroken to know this amazing woman is gone. May she rest in peace knowing you all loved her completely. I will always remember our young sleepovers and how she would pronounce “SPAT- ula.” May God wrap his arms around you all. Love you ❤️

Kim Potter