On a glorious fall day, October 14, 2014, our family bid a loving farewell to Jean, our precious mother, grandmother, great grandmother, beloved sister and aunt. We celebrate her life and live in gratitude for her love. Jean has always been an inspirational mother to Lynda Wilson (Lorne), Marge Huk (Mike) and Dawn Ivanko (John). She treasured her ten grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Jean’s brother, Robert Davies, and sister, Marge Barrett, were always held dear to her heart and she loved her many nieces and nephews. Jean was predeceased by her beloved husband of sixty-two years, John, her parents, Charles and Kathleen Davies, her sister, Marjorie Barrett, and her grandson, Andrew Wilson.
Our mum was a proud Quebecois. For eighty years, Montreal was home. She grew up in a close knit, large, extended family which shared a love of song, dance, laughter and good times with loved ones. That rich tradition was shared as we grew up. Her love of animals and nature was fostered by summers spent with her dear sister and her beloved grandparents on the farm. Growing up during the Depression, times were tough but Mum learned the value of hard work and thrift; she developed resilience and strength, qualities she carried with her throughout life.
Mum was an avid learner. After graduating from Montreal’s Canadian Commercial College with a secretarial diploma, she worked as an executive secretary for several companies, including a high fashion manufacturer and an international hotel chain. Her career brought her great satisfaction. In her late fifties, she attended college once again where she obtained a diploma in social work. Later in life, Mum became a frequent participant in Elderhostel programs where she was able to fulfill her love of travel and learning. Truly, a lifelong learner.
The challenge of sports excited Mum. In her teen years, she was an avid skier, skater and swimmer. In her sixties and seventies, she could be found donning a pair of roller blades, cross country skis, or hiking boots. What a girl!
Kindness and generosity were instilled in Mum from an early age. An avid volunteer, Mum dedicated time to Meals on Wheels, the Victoria Order of Nurses foot care program, and the Cancer Society, where she accompanied people to appointments and treatments. Many hearts were touched by her caring and kindness. May we live by her example.
Throughout our lives, Mum was known for her strength, principles and integrity. We were not surprised when she announced in her seventies that she was attending rallies and carrying placards to protest the new language laws imposed by the Quebec Government. When our dad experienced delays with admission to the Veteran’s Hospital in Montreal, it was our mum who wrote letters to the editor, to her MP, and her MLA. Needless to say, the matter was dealt with promptly. That was our mum!
At eighty years of age, with our Dad suffering from Alzheimer’s, Mum pulled up stakes and moved from Montreal to Salmon Arm to be close to her daughter, Lynda. How courageous she was! With the support of staff and residents of Piccadilly Terrace, she forged a new life. She found the people of Salmon Arm welcoming and very kind. With her passion for bridge, she made many new friends and found fulfillment sharing many good times with others. Mum’s seven years at Piccadilly Terrace enriched her life immeasurably.
Mum was a strong, independent woman who opened her heart to the needs of others with caring and kindness. She had the power to see the beauty within. We have been so blessed. Jean’s great kindness and her immense love of life and family will always live in our hearts.
Our family offers heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Good Samaritan Hillside Village and Shuswap Lodge for the care, compassion, and kindness they offered our Mum on a daily basis.
A celebration of our mum’s life was held on Saturday, Oct. 18, 2014 at Bowers Funeral Chapel with Bishop James Cowan officiating. Memorial donations in Jean’s name can be made to the Good Samaritan – Hillside Village or the Shuswap Hospice Society.
Online condolences may be sent through Jean’s obituary at www.bowersfuneralservice.com