(November 17, 1926 ~ July 30, 2016) – Jean died peacefully in Kitchener, Ontario, in the early morning of July 30th, with her daughter Sarah by her side.
Born in Andover, England, the elder of two children of Alec William and Marie Louise Edwards, Jean grew up in England, India, Ohio and Ottawa, due to her father being a member of the Royal Air Force. She was a WAAF at the tail end of the Second World War and served as a radar operator. In 1949, she married an RAF pilot, Richard Nielsen-Jones. Jean and Richard and their baby son Ian immigrated to Canada in 1950, where daughters Sarah and Jennifer were born in Oakville, Ontario. When Richard joined the Royal Canadian Air Force, Jean resumed the itinerant life of a military family, beginning in Trenton, Ontario, two postings in Alberta (where youngest child Michael was born), and two postings at St. Hubert, Quebec. After Richard’s retirement from the Armed Forces at the age of 45, Jean and Richard settled in Sault Ste. Marie when Richard was hired by Sault College for their fledgling aviation programme.
Jean was predeceased by her husband Richard and by her brother Alan William Edwards. Loved and missed by her sons Ian (Linda) and Michael, daughters Sarah, and Jennifer Sornberger (Ron), and by her grandchildren Christopher (Kyrsi), Alison (Andrew Crawford), Eric, Jessica Schyff (Matthew) and Alixandra Woodrow (Greg). Jean also leaves nieces and a nephew in England and seven great-grandchildren.
After Richard’s death in 1986, Jean became very involved with St. Luke’s Anglican Cathedral and charitable work in Sault Ste. Marie, giving both time and money to many organizations. She was an active member of the Nokomis Chapter of the Order of the Eastern Star and served as Worthy Matron in 1991/92. In recent years, Jean suffered from dementia. After many years of help by Michael, the only one of her children living in the Sault Ste. Marie area, Jean was moved into Lanark Heights Long-Term Care in Kitchener, where Ian, Sarah, and Jennifer were able to visit her.
The funeral will be held at St. Luke’s Cathedral in Sault Ste. Marie at 1:30 p.m. on September 30 with a reception at Arthur Funeral Home following the service.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to St. Luke’s Cathedral or Nature Conservancy Canada.
Expressions of sympathy may be made at www.arthurfuneralhome.com