STEWART, Jean A. –
With great sadness we announce the passing of Jean Alexandra Stewart (nee Murray) in Guelph on Thursday, July 11, 2019. Wife to Alastair, mother to Ken, Helen Louise (Randy), Doug (Caroline), adored grandmother to Hannah, James, Jessie, Alex, Shea, Sam, Claire and Florence.
Jean was the oldest of three daughters (Cathy and Sheila) to Ken and Alexa Murray of Windsor, Ontario. She attended Kennedy Collegiate Institute, completed RN training at Windsor’s Grace Hospital and pursued a lifetime career in public health, including post-graduate studies in California, University of Toronto and Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore MD. She began a long career with the Victorian Order of Nurses that included stints in Lunenburg, Nova Scotia, London, Ontario and Halifax, Ottawa and Montreal. It was in Lunenburg, where Jean first met a dashing young Royal Canadian Naval officer, Alastair, that resulted in a lifelong love affair and a remarkable 53-year marriage.
While Al pursued a successful naval and corporate career, Jean continued to work part time with the VON. The young naval couple raised three kids and over the years resided in London, Halifax, Ottawa, Montreal and Toronto before finally setting down roots in Ottawa's Westboro neighbourhood for 30 years. Al and Jean moved to Guelph in 2005, first to the Village by the Arboretum and later to the Elliott Retirement Community.
Jean was known for her quick wit as well as her love of singing. Music was a passion of Jean’s throughout her life. She was a soprano at Westminster Presbyterian Church in Ottawa and later with Westminster-St. Paul’s Church in Guelph. Once her kids reached high school, Jean went back to work full-time with the Ottawa Public Health Unit, where she assisted children at local public schools and regaled seniors in residences across Ottawa-Carleton. She was a volunteer with the May Court Club and was active in assisting with sponsoring and welcoming families from various countries to Ottawa.
Jean and Al were always the last to leave the dance floor at the Ottawa Dance Club, shot for par at Rideau View and Seaforth Golf Clubs, and hiked challenging trails in the Adirondacks, the French Alps, the Pyrenees, Tuscany and Sicily, the English Lake District and across Scotland and Ireland. A stylish dresser, a marvelous cook, a lover of opera, Jean was a voracious entertainer who loved to host friends and loved ones at the Stewarts' Ottawa home on Keenan Avenue and cottage in Bayfield, Ontario.
Jean’s family is forever grateful for the love and compassion shown by all staff members of the Elliott Community over the years. She was blessed to call the Elliott her home. Jean has been cremated and she will be buried next to Alastair during a private family service at the National Military Cemetery in Ottawa in August.
Arrangements entrusted to the WALL-CUSTANCE FUNERAL HOME & CHAPEL, 519-822-0051 or ww.wallcustance.com.
|A tree will be planted in memory of Jean A. Stewart in the Wall-Custance Memorial Forest, University of Guelph Arboretum. Dedication service, Sunday, September 15, 2019 at 2:30 pm.|