Jean Szafron of the Southeast Integrated Care Centre, Moosomin, passed away Wednesday, May 22, 2019, at the age of 98 years. Jean Alice was born Jan. 20, 1921, at Meyronne, Sask., to Roland and Emma Davidson. She grew up on the family homestead near McCord, Sask., the eldest of 10 children.
Jean started school at Patriotic School and took grades 9 and 10 by correspondence but then had to remain at home
to look after her siblings. Eventually she returned to school, completing her Grade 12. Jean attended Normal School in Regina in 1941 with her good friend, Alice Belsher. Because of the shortage of teachers during the war, she was sent out early in the fall of 1941 to Silverwood School, where she made many lifelong friends and met her future husband, Louis. They were married in the fall of 1944 and moved into the new house Louis built, one-half mile north of the Szafron family farm. Jean and Louis lived on that farm for 53 years, raising their three children. Although Jean always said her mother told her that she should go to school if she didn’t want farm life, she never for one moment regretted her path in life.
Over the years, Jean enjoyed her garden, canning, freezing, making jams, jellies, pickles and relishes. She worked hard selling cream, eggs and raspberries and raising chickens and turkeys. Jean kept meticulous records of these years in her daily journals. She was a lifelong reader until this became impossible due to her deteriorating vision. Over the years, we all enjoyed many stimulating conversations about history, people and politics.
Jean was active in the Whitewood Home and School Association and served for many years as secretary of the Burrows UCW. Jean and Louis were involved in the planning and fund raising to build St. Andrew’s United Church in Wapella. Most recently Jean attended Bethel United Church in Moosomin, where she made many new friends.
In 1997 Jean and Louis retired to their new home in Moosomin, where they became urban farmers, commuting to the farm for several years. Jean gave the same amount of hard work and attention to her new home, which she always kept in immaculate condition. She was truly happy in town, enjoying her new neighbours and the easy access to stores, the library and community events. Following Louis’s death in 2010, Jean remained vigorously independent in her own home until she was 95.
Jean will be lovingly remembered by her children, Dale (Marlene), Dennis (Janet) and Marie (Brian); grandchildren Brennan, Lana (Tim), Michelle, Nicole (Michael), Grant (Jean), Ian and Evan (Rachel); great-grandchildren Marissa, MacKenzie and Hunter, Matthew and Noah, Jacob and Susannah; sisters Isabelle and Myrtle; brother Donald (Martha), brother-in-law Dale and numerous nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her husband, Louis; parents Roland and Emma; parents-in-law John and Annie; sisters Ruth, Doris, Lorraine and Baby Davidson; brothers Jack and Glenn; and great-granddaughter Mara Jean.
Jean’s love and support for her family knew no bounds. The word most commonly used to describe her was “a lady”. She was thoughtful and polite and, even in her final days, continued to express appreciation and gratitude to those around her. We were very blessed to have her in our lives, and she will live on forever in our hearts.
Jean’s funeral service will be held Wednesday, June 12, 2019, at 2 p.m. at St. Andrew’s United Church, Wapella, with interment to follow in the Whitewood Cemetery. Memorial donations may be made to the Canadian National Institute for the Blind.
Many thanks to the numerous staff members at the Southeast Integrated Care Centre who showed Mom and our family, care and compassion during her stay there. Extra thanks to her wonderful family and friends who kept in touch during this time.
Arrangements are entrusted to Matthews Funeral Home, Whitewood.