Gilles Dupuis passed away unexpectedly of natural causes at his home in southern Oregon on May 20, 2016. He was born in Haute-Rive, Québec, Canada, to Lambert Dupuis and Marthe (Gagnon) Dupuis on April 22, 1952. His family moved to Longueuil near Montreal, where in the 1970s he participated in socio-political activities aimed at maintaining the culture and language of the French-speaking majority. Gilles was a proud Québécois to the end.
After running a family tire shop, in the 1980s Gilles left Montreal on a motorcycle and made it to San Francisco where he settled, meeting his first wife, Yvonne Heuston, and pursued a woodworking career. They moved to Santa Barbara, caring for a menagerie of pets including a blue-and-gold macaw, Venus. Gilles met his second wife Joan (Joie) McKay during her home renovation and together they built a custom furniture and woodworking business named Beau Bois. They enjoyed traveling, especially to Africa, and reared their only child, Camille, to whom he taught his passion of creating with his hands. Gilles’ clients were always impressed with his love of wood (“I eat wood!”) and his many projects that replicated antique aging and finishes.
After two decades in Santa Barbara, he relocated to Capistrano Beach, CA and married Debbie Martz. They ultimately settled in Oregon, where Gilles volunteered full time for the state parks, putting his woodworking skills to use. He spent ample time in the forest hunting for mushrooms, on the river fishing for salmon and crab, and drawing future furniture designs. He was a man of many projects, with an affinity for tinkering, even spending his last day testing out handmade crawfish traps. He will be remembered by many as a true master of his craft, with a warm magnetic personality and always a sparkle in his eye.
Gilles is survived by his daughter Camille Dupuis of Santa Barbara; wife Debora “Debbie” Dupuis, her two daughters and grandson; and, in Québec, sisters Ginette (Andre), Marjolaine and Joanne, and five nieces and nephews. His sister Gaetane preceded him in death. Contact: email@example.com