Jenny’s Life

Early in the morning of January 9th, 1930, a tiny baby entered this world, born to a poor immigrant mother.  Nobody knew, not her mother, not her father, not the doctor at the Brandon Hospital, that this precious little baby, named Jenny Stella Moroz, would go forth touching thousands of lives with so much joy and love…and so begins the life story of this beautiful person known as Jenny Morris.

Shortly after Jenny celebrated her first birthday, her mother, Anna, of Ukrainian descent, boldly left her husband for reasons of very bad behaviour.  Anna was the first divorced woman ever at St Mary’s Greek Catholic Church and was looked down upon and viewed as a fallen woman. However, Anna, being the strong willed and gutsy person that she was, persevered, kept her head held high and walked proud.  As a single parent, Anna worked spring, summer and fall on a farm close to Brandon as a cook and housekeeper. In the winter, she was driven back to the small prairie city and dropped off on a street corner, with child in tow, left to fend for herself and her daughter.  She would walk from place to place until she found work and a home for her and her young child. She’d work nights scrubbing restaurant floors and during the day cleaned homes for the wealthy.

It’s important to know Jenny’s roots, because all of us who know her, recognize her feistiness and determination to excel.  This characteristic definitely came from her mother. A good majority of her life was spent in restaurants helping her mom after school, rather than being in the park playing with other children.  Her school marks in primary years were often A’s and A’+s. She graduated high school as an honour student and art director of her high school year book. She was not only a great artist, she also had a lot of talent in drama and acting.  As there were other Jennies in her school years, people started calling her Jean. She went by Jean for decades until she decided to go back to her true name Jenny around 1998.

In 1941, after struggling to save every nickel, Anna managed to buy her own home at 1631 Princess Avenue, Brandon Manitoba, which she paid off within a year.  This was quite a feat for a woman raising a child single handed during the depression years. She was a smart woman and turned her home into a boarding house for working men.  In addition to labouring at restaurants during the day, she supplied all her boarders with three meals a day. Jenny worked hard alongside her mother. She loved playing her violin and entertaining the guests who often were invited for big Sunday dinners at their home.  The Priest of the Church was a regular guest – Anna had been honourably accepted back by the community over time.

These Sunday dinners often led into Anna’s favourite pastime, playing Bridge. She taught Jenny how to play, who in turn taught her children, and they, their children, resulting in four generations of avid Bridge players.  All of us have no doubt that Jenny is now sitting in on one Bridge game after another. Anna married Jan Szczepaniak in April of 1958. Jan loved Jenny so much he considered her his own blood. He was a border and lived in Anna’s home for a long time. Jan quickly became “Dad” to Jenny and “Grandpa” to her children. He was a great man to all who knew him, and especially his family.

Jenny also loved poker, backgammon and all kinds of board games.  She set up the weekly poker club in her little town in Mexico and for a very long time, she was the only woman at the table surrounded by testosterone – she was never intimidated and often won on a bluff.  The lads really loved her spunk and they all became very close.

In the Winnipeg family home, a billiard table was in the lower rec room. After driving the kids to school, she would go downstairs and practise shooting pool.  For her 85th birthday in Mexico, she was presented by her son, Rick, with her very own professional pool cue!  And, she still had a heck of a good shot at that age in life!

Understand that although Jenny was an only child, she was always surrounded by friends and adopted Aunties and Uncles who loved her. They always enjoyed their Sunday family times together. This teaching of welcoming hospitality learned from her mother, Jenny continued to offer to her last days.  She loved people coming over, feeding them and having a glass of something special over great conversation. She was diligent in staying on top of world news and was quick to educate those who weren’t as savvy.  If you wanted to know what was going on out there, just ask Jenny!

Jenny got her first career job at the Royal Bank in Brandon at the age of 16.  Sadly, it was a time of discrimination. Being a Ukrainian immigrant’s daughter, she changed her name to Morris, a good ole English name!  And she got the job and did very well with it.

In the year 1947, while working at the bank, she met the love of her life, Mac James Carroll.  He was an American, working in the Canadian oil patch.  The two were madly in love and hoped to spend a lifetime together.  Sadly, Anna forbid it. She was afraid that Mac would take Jenny to the US, and rightfully so.  Jenny’s heart was broken and to the day she died, some of us in her family, believe she still carried love for her beloved Mac right to her last breath.

Jenny, and her three best friends, Joyce, Ollie and Marjorie, also from Brandon, would find their twenty-five cents for entry into the popular Dance Hall on Saturday nights.  What fun the girls had dancing with the soldiers who were holding training corps in nearby Shilo. At the Blue and Gold Formal Gala, November 28, 1946, by invitation only, Jenny’s Dance Card was full!

Foxtrots, Waltzes, Grand March and Home Sweet Home dances were promised to fellows named Ivan, Lorne, Mac, Bob, Gil, Larry and Murray. This gal was not only cute, she was very popular and a good dancer.

She always hoped Mac would be the “One”, but her cards were written differently.

Along came a Frenchman from Winnipeg, John Boittiaux, who worked on the railroad and often had layovers in Brandon.  The two met and eventually a relationship developed. Jenny got a transfer with the Royal Bank to Winnipeg and they married in 1952.  

Her first child, Richard, was born.  Growing up lonely as an only child, she was determined to have more babies.  Along came Gary (who moved on up to heaven in 1995.) Well, the boys needed a sister, so next came a set of twins, Lori and Larry.  And shortly after, came Chicky (Ricia). By this time, the new home they built in West Kildonan on Perth Avenue (Wpg), had become quite small.  On the hunt for a bigger house, and very much liking the cultural ethnicity of the north end neighborhoods, they bought a stately colonial home on Matheson Ave.  Lots of room for more babies with a big yard for them to play in. Jimmy John was next in line, (who moved on up to heaven in 1982).

Then there came the seventh and last child, Donald.  If you’re doing the math, that’s seven children all under the age of 9!  Five boys and two girls.

Tragically, Jenny lost two sons, way too early.  The deaths of her children almost killed her. She grieved for her boys every day of her life until her last breath. It was the most difficult thing she’s ever had to do.  She is now with her boys in their sweet embrace.

Jenny was a wonderful mother and wanted everything for her children.
That included: dance lessons, baton twirling, skating, swimming gymnastics, piano, guitar and accordion.  The children all attended private French immersion Catholic School and later on, St Boniface College for the elder boys.  When Margaret Park Drum and Bugle Corps came along, Jenny was thrilled and contributed a great deal of her time to helping the band, including sewing the uniforms and driving band members to practise and parades to rural communities all over Manitoba. With all those kids, her children pretty well made up a third of the band!

In 1963 their beautiful colonial home caught fire.  The youngest child, Jimmy, only 2 years old, and the eldest Rick, aged eight, and all the youngsters in between, were all carried out by firemen.  John was visiting his parents and was already on his way home when all the speeding fire trucks appeared and he followed the fire trucks right to his own home! Jenny’s hair was on fire as she was on the phone with the fire department, and thankfully she managed to put it out and came out unscathed.  She was panic-stricken that all her children must be saved and rescued from the house. As she was standing outside, on this cold wintry night, watching her house burn, a standbyer, not realizing she was the owner of the home, said to her, “that house will be ashes in the morning.”  A fireman at that exact time walked by and replied, “Not this house, it’s too well built”. Jenny and John purchased the house from a top contractor in the city who actually built it for his own family. It definitely was a house beyond normal. 2500 sq. feet of beautiful living space served as the family home for 20 years.  The yard was an above average city lot – so there was so much room for the kids to play. John and his team of young sons rebuilt the house and the family continued to live in it for many years.

In 1967 Jenny and John took their seven children on the train to Montreal Expo. Each child was dressed in a Tony the Tiger hoodie for easy herding.  It was a dream trip for Jenny and all her children. She definitely got the travel bug and when Anna bought the family a brand-new Pontiac Safari station wagon in 1969, Jenny convinced John that the family should buy a hard top tent trailer.  

To help pay for these annual vacations for a family of nine, John set up arrangements with The Wholesale Floral Company to supply them with newspapers to wrap their flowers protecting them from the cold.  The basement on Matheson became the production department and with Ping Pong Table on top of Pool Table, the children all had a financial incentive to “open papers”, stack them a hand high in neat order. John would then roll them like a giant cigar, wrap in twine, load the ‘old 58 Ford and get paid 25 cents a pound.  The children got paid 50 cents a roll. Come holiday time, the kids were paid out their hard-earned income, now they had spending money for the trip.

Each child was taught at a young age how to get a job, become independent and make their own money.  It started with Rick and Gary delivering papers down both sides of our boulevard. As they got a little older and advanced to more sophisticated jobs, the routes got handed down to each kid.  The Boittiaux kids had a cartel on the Winnipeg Free Press delivery routes on Matheson Avenue for a good 10 years! There was one very cold wintry night that Lori and Chicky just couldn’t seem to make it home.  The hill back up was impossible for them to climb. The girls phoned their Mom from a customer’s house and soon Jenny came toting a thermos of hot chocolate and a sleigh to pull them home.

Every Halloween not only did she have special goodies for the kids, like caramel apples, there would be a huge pot of hot chocolate on the stove. She was sure every child got warmed up with this treat before carrying on to the next creepy house. For her own children, she sewed costumes and put together whatever she could so that each of the seven had something fun and chilling to wear.  There were many times she dressed up herself to frighten the trick or treaters at the door.

The only way a big house with so many people can stay out of bedlam, was to teach the children different tasks and all had to do chores before any play could be had.  By the time the children were 15, each was adept at cooking, cleaning, gardening, etc. As John self-taught himself to rebuild the home after the fire, he also taught his boys various carpentry skills.

The first family trip in the new car and camper was a three weeker in August 1970.  The clan travelled south to see John’s sister, Georgette, in Yuma, AZ. It included Yellowstone Park, the Grand Canyon, Mexican border towns, even Disneyland!  That was such a big thrill for all of us. Back up along the California coast, Oregon and Washington and on to BC to visit John’s relatives. The trip continued as the Boittiaux family of nine headed across the western provinces back to the “Peg”.  It became the thing to buy a bumper sticker from each locale. “Where the heck is Wall Drug?” Soon, over the years, there wasn’t a spot on the back of that camper for another decal. John had sprayed in fluorescent paint, a large red Canadian maple leaf on the back end of the camper.  That brought a lot of favourable attention from our American neighbors and fellow travelers.

Every August thereafter a new trip was planned and coordinated by Jenny.  There was nothing more that she loved than getting out the Road Atlas and researching the next vacation.  On these trips the family saw most of Canada as far east as Quebec City, and states as far south as Florida and a whole bunch in between.  Jenny loved ghost towns and reading about them. More than once the family would be found traveling on old mining roads, without hint of shoulder protection, sheer cliffs below, Jenny and John determined to get to the abandoned gold town before the sun fell from the sky.  There was adventure on every trip, story after story.

Having a huge garden in the back yard produced tons of cucumbers, tomatoes, carrots, potatoes, etc.  These vegetables became our main staple. Jenny had a set up with cutting board on her lap in the front seat, with a child in the middle seat next to her, and little elbow room, she always managed to pump out nine or more delicious sandwiches.  Lots of miles, lots of smiles, so much eight-millimeter movie footage and often a lost kid in one of those ghost towns.

As John was the low man on the seniority pole at the Railroad, he was often laid off.  Jenny would then go back to work at the Royal Bank. She also became a Watkins and a Tupperware representative, and has more than one story of driving through blizzards, climbing over snowbanks, all to find one person there – the hostess with a lot of dainties made for the guests who didn’t show.  Jenny would feel so bad, she’d award the hostess all kinds of special gifts anyways and then she would buy her own products thereby becoming her own best customer!

Christmases were absolutely amazing at 182 Matheson Ave.  A beautiful lush tree stood in the living room window, often re-designed and modified by John with his “hand drill and stealing branches from other trees” technique.  Jenny and John made so many beautiful holiday decorations while recruiting seven children to help. Have you ever cut 7,862 six-inch strips of dry-cleaning plastic? Tie to a clothes hangar, which was reformed into a circle.  Spray paint silver, green or red, attach holly, bells and other cute Christmas shishkas, and voila you have a beautiful Christmas wreath. We must have had over 25 of those wreaths in the house. That’s a lot of dry-cleaning plastic!  The outside was so lit up, we became a number one house on Winnipeg’s Christmas Lights tour. More than once people would ring the doorbell late at night, after all the lights were shut off, and explain how far they’ve driven, and ask if we could turn the lights back on!  Only a 35 minute process with sleepy eyes!

The inside of the house was just as decorated as the outside.  Midnight mass was the ritual at Sacred Heart Church for this family.  And unlike most French-Canadian Families, we celebrated Christmas on the 25th.  After mass, all seven kids would hang up their stocking with great hopes of Santa’s visit.  And magically, every Christmas morning, in our stockings were a mandarin orange, a chocolate Santa, a mini box of cereal, and a comic book.  The tree was loaded with gifts, piled as high as four feet! Jenny was no dummy! She figured that once each child passes along his comic book to the next sibling, she’d get an extra two hours of sleep on Christmas morning, (which she desperately needed after staying up all night wrapping all of those gifts).  Each child always had the same number of gifts – always seven or more presents per child. How did she do it? Her Christmas baking started in October and by Dec 15th, the freezer would be full of 40 dozen holiday treats including her world-famous Chocolate Snowballs.  Each neighbor got a plate topped with goodies, and each guest who visited on Christmas day not only got a plate of goodies, they also had a gift under the tree.

Our home was a Christmas tradition to so many people.  Easily there’d be 20 people at the dinner table with so much to go around including jelly salads in every colour of the rainbow.  It was a happy time, the uncles would play with the kids’ toys, lots of laughter around the table and everyone left with a plate of leftover turkey and fixings.  If it was too cold for Babi (Anna, Jenny’s Mom) and Grandpa to make the trip, on Boxing Day Jenny would pack the car and John would drive us to Brandon to celebrate Christmas with our grandparents.  Jenny was an exceptionally devoted daughter to her Mom and Dad and up to their moments of last breath, she was there caring diligently for them.

Jenny and John both loved being parents and treated their children to many wonderful memories and special events.  Our house was always open to neighbor kids, there was a homemade swimming pool in the backyard in summer, and in winter, the huge garden turned into an official hockey rink including painted lines and floodlights to play at night.  It was common for more than one neighbour kid to join us for dinner. Nobody went hungry!

Each child’s birthday was treated very specially.  A homemade birthday cake or Winnipeg famous Jeannie’s cake, was a must and so often a lucky 25 cent coin wrapped in foil was found in your piece.  A special dinner would be made, and neighbor kids would come over for a free piece of cake and celebrate with the birthday child. On Gary’s birthday, January 2nd, it was a ritual for the family to go out for Chinese food to the Shanghai Restaurant in Chinatown.  These were the days that it was a rare occasion to take a family out for dinner, so it was a very big treat for everyone.  Jenny would always order an extra-large cake and cut pieces for the patrons who were dining in the same room as the family.  The staff got fed cake too. She was so thoughtful and wanted to look after everyone even complete strangers.

They were both great gardeners.  On this large property, John would primarily look after the vegetable garden with seven (unwilling) volunteers to weed, while Jenny created beautiful flower and rock gardens.

There were many a party in the “Play Room” on the upper floor of the family home.  Perfect place, complete with wet bar, and diamond tufted walls, the 78’s played and the swing was on.  Lots of fun and a lot of dancing.

Jenny loved bowling and was very active in her league.  And when she wasn’t washing diapers, or sheets, pillowcases, or darning socks, she was doing yet another type of craft, macaroni art, spaghetti sculptures, lead glass figurines, stained glass, you name it, she tried it! She was also quite the artist, if you remember being the Art Director of her high school year book.

She also was a great slow pitcher – and her passion continued for baseball when the Blue Jays were formed.  Those were her boys she called them. She also was a true CFL fan and loved the Blue Bombers. She went to many live games and loved cheering for her team.  

One of her proudest moments was when she got her driver’s license.  There was nothing stopping her now as she officially grabbed the title of ‘Kid’s Chauffeur’.

As Jenny continued on in her life, after her divorce from John, she still anxiously had that travel itch.  She’d think nothing of getting into her car and driving by herself to Las Vegas, Vancouver, or faraway places.  And there wasn’t an airline that she didn’t have a points card with…She saw so many countries: Spain, Hong Kong, Macau, Switzerland, Germany, Bahamas, Austria, Jamaica, England, Ireland, USA, Mexico, including living in her beloved Mexico for six months every year.

She went back to her banking career, after leaving John, this time with Bank of Montreal.  She worked her way up to the position of head teller at the main branch. She had hundreds of clients who loved her service.  It was at this position, that she made many friends, including her best girlfriend, June Abbott. The two of them had so many adventures down to the US casinos.  She also became friendly with Pam, another co-worker from the bank. At family gatherings, Pam would be invited as well as Jenny’s half-brother, John Moroz. It wasn’t long before Pam and John fell in love and got married.  

Jenny loved working for BMO and loved her job at the main branch at Portage and Main.  A cabinet shuffle happened as can happen with big corporations, and she was moved to the data centre on Portage and Hargrave.  She missed dealing with her customers so much and began to seriously dislike her new assignment. So why not retire early, she thought!  And she did, at the age of 60 she said “Adios” and jumped on the first plane to Cancun.

She was a betting gal, whether a dollar on a game of hearts, rumoli, bridge, poker, a few bills at the casino or picking a longshot at the horseraces, she sure loved the adrenalin of playing!

Out of everything she’s done, reading was her number one favorite.  She created a scoring system and gave each book a critic’s score from 1-10. Her two-inch scribbler in Mexico is filled to the brim with entries and her Canadian scribbler is that way as well.  As she was a fast reader, and would go through a book every two days, this was her way of keeping track of which books she’s read already. Her biggest sadness, as her body started to fail her, was the rapid progression of Macular Degeneration.  It took away her ability to read, to play backgammon, and watch her Blue Jays and Judge Judy. She felt so lost without her vision.

Backgammon became a huge passion for her.  It was a friendly joke that the world would tip on its axis if she and her good friend Richard Alkema (he’s in heaven too), were not on the terrace in Mexico playing their favourite game.  She was hooked and could play backgammon and crib for hours on end.

By now, from what you’ve read, you appreciate Jenny’s ‘joie de vivre’, her beautiful spirit, her zest for life.  However, though it was not all peaches and cream for her.

John, her 1st husband, was a very jealous man.  The marriage was stormy. A lot of violence, too much bickering, shouting, and a lot of physical and emotional pain for Jenny and her children.  John was very insecure in his ways and reacted very abusively.

This is a hard topic to discuss as today’s society often chooses to ignore topics of violence against women.  Jenny suffered on multiple occasions, physical and mental abuse and threats from John even before they were married.  People close to her were threatened by him – she felt her only choice was to marry him. Sadly, the violence and insane jealousy didn’t end, it just got worse.  She was hospitalized many times. After a total of 26 years as a battered woman, in May 1973 she had the courage to leave him. It was the hardest thing she ever had to do as she was leaving her family and her home.  But it had to be done if she wanted to live. John’s rage was at its worse and surely she would have died by his vicious hand had she not been rescued by her son Larry that night.

Jenny went through the healing, the therapy and the rebuilding of her strength and her inner power.  The only way her heart wouldn’t ache and drive her to insanity was to work three jobs seven days a week.  With these distractions she did again find joy. She rebuilt her life, she made new friends, took on new hobbies and found new adventures.  

She was romanced by a man, who unfortunately was also highly dysfunctional and had violent tendencies.  After nine years of courtship, she married him in 1988. Her nine-year marriage ended when LK attempted to murder Jenny while on a Mexican vacation.  It was a horrible event, her nose was broken, her glasses smashed with chards buried into her eyes, her ears were broken, and her head was smashed several times with a hammer. She ended up in a Mexican hospital for a long time while he ended up in prison.

If you were ever to hear the entire story, you would come to understand there were over 12 angels who saved her, some from the spiritual world and some of the physical realm.  This started her “angels collection” – every time someone would hear of the story, they’d come to visit with a new angel figurine. When the angels finally came for her, her collection held over 200 angels.

Following this tragedy, Jenny retreated to being a timid, frail, tiny little woman, afraid at the drop of a pin.  This horrific attempt at her life was more horrible than the worst she had ever experienced.  Thanks to her therapist, a most beautiful person, who stuck with her through and through, and also thanks to Osborne House, Jenny found the path of strength and joy again.  Scott Whidden, a young forest firefighting pilot, recently transferred to Manitoba. Jenny wanted someone in her house and Scott was interviewed and became her new boarder. God brings us the right people at the right time.  Scott became a surrogate son to Jenny and was instrumental in her determination of getting from where she was to a joyous life again.

Jenny was 68 years old when she was almost murdered.  She passed at the age of 88. All but for the year of healing, for the next 20 years, she was joyous, positive, loved to laugh, adventurous, and so filled of love for everyone.  She was truly an exceptional woman who was proof to us that no matter what rough seas come your way, it is how you set your sails and what course you choose to take. She was an extraordinary person who affected so many lives.

Her sweet spot was in Rincon de Guayabitos, Mexico.  How she loved being there with the friends she made who became family, with the cheerful Mexicans and their colourful culture.  It was so important to her to be at this place. And in turn, it kept her exceptionally young. Jenny made many, many friends in her town of Guayabitos and became known as “La Reina”, “The Queen”.

In her 20 years in this community, she has made thousands of friends and has created as many memories.  Loving the entire country, she has taken several trips around Mexico exploring the land, accompanied with her daughter Chicky on some trips and with her son Richard on many others.

She cruised to Alaska and the Bahamas and was dreaming of cruising Russia and visiting the Hermitage in St Petersburg.  Sadly, with the series of strokes starting in 2015, her body started to experience more and more limitations. But let it be known at her surprise 85th Birthday Party held in La Penita, Mexico, she played with her soap bubble machine, took the mike and made a glorious speech.  She was congratulated in dignitary certificates from Canadian Prime Minister Stephen Harper and danced several songs to the tunes of Buzz Byers.  Nothing stopped Jenny. She had as much feistiness as her mother, Anna, and in turn, taught that characteristic to her children and grandchildren.

In 2005, and at the courageous age of 75, she uprooted from her home province of Manitoba, (58 years of life in Winnipeg), and bought a condo in Parksville. She was in love with her new place.  Here, along with her daughters, Chicky and Lori, and her granddaughter, Jamie, she made several trips over the years and explored most every inch of beautiful Vancouver Island.

Gary, her 2nd son, married a beautiful girl from the Philippines (Melba) in November 1974.  As we became Melba’s Canadian family and she became part of ours, she taught us lovely Filipino family traditions which are still in tact today.  Jenny was cashier at a Japanese Vegas Style Restaurant in Downtown Winnipeg called Ichi Ban. Several of the wait staff were from the Philippines. Jenny adopted every one of them and soon they started calling her their Canadian Mamma.   On several occasions at the grand house on Matheson, her Filipino family from Ichi Ban would come over and we’d have the best of bbq’s and pot lucks, dancing and always fun. And inevitably it’d end up in a bridge game. I think she taught a lot of them how to play too!

Gary and Melba gave Jenny three wonderful grandchildren: Karen (Married to Chris), Eugene, and Jessica.  In turn Karen and Chris gave her a beautiful great granddaughter Kaila. In Tagalog language, Grandma is called Lola. Going forward when the next grandchild came along, Jamie (born to Lori), Lola was what Jenny was thereafter called.  As we are now connected to a beautiful Filipino family through Melba, there are many people who call her and love her as Lola. Karen and Jessica travelled west to be with their Lola in her last days. As we were going through pictures and memories recently, they spoke about the best Christmases with Lola.  Christmas Eve, year after year, they would hear Santa’s Jingle Bells at the door. The children would come running up from the playroom in the basement, and again they missed him but somehow, brand new pyjamas for every child were beautifully wrapped and left there by the tree.

It was an all-nighter talking about the most wonderful traditions Lola had started for them as Karen now passes along to her child.  New legacies are born!

Next came Eric, son to Donald and Trish.  Trish married Mike and moved to BC along with her little boy.  Our family only knew Eric from his baptism and his first few months. Jenny always wanted to know how he was but there was little communication coming from BC.  When Eric was 25, through Jamie’s social media skills and talents, was able to find her cousin and let him know there’s a whole family in BC and in MB who want to meet him.  It was the happiest moment for the entire family when Eric came back into our lives, especially for Lola. Eric made the effort to travel with his cousin Jessica to visit Lola in Mexico and just recently Mother’s Day 2018 they came back to BC to see her again.  This was such a happy time for her.

Chronologically following came two more grandchildren Elizabeth and Thomas (Donald and his wife of the time, Kate). Although estranged in the marriage, all four people now live in Nova Scotia.  Don spent years as a magician, illusionist, escape artist entertainer and thrilled thousands with his work. Jenny supported him in his escapades as terrifying as it was for her as he was defying death each time. The company was generous to give him the means to come out for ten days to spend with his Mom just weeks before she left us to join the angels.

Richard, now retired from the CPR, lives in Calgary and is happy to spend four months in Mexico each year, helping Jenny and accompanying her to the Monday noon poker meets.  Rick takes excellent care of the upkeep of the Mexican home. “Ricardo” flew out to be with his Mom in her last days. He was with her at the hospital when she breathed her last breath.  Peace came to her at 2:15 pm on September 26th, 2018.

Chicky, (Ricia), lives on Vancouver Island and is ever so grateful for the many trips and travels she has had with her Mom, (Dallas, Hawaii, Calgary, Washington, Oregon, Bahamas, Florida, Switzerland, Spain, London, Mexico City, Guadalajara and other parts around Mexico).  Ricia’s first husband, Stephen, still close to the family has been a great friend for Jenny, sharing Blue Jay games with her and other world topics, which Jenny was always on top of.

Lori lives on Vancouver Island with her daughter Jamie, and is so thankful that Jenny moved in April 2018 to an independent living complex, just one short kilometer away.  Jenny had spent 13 years in Parksville and because she had such a beautiful closeness to Lori, she wanted to spend her last years close to her. Although the time was short that they had together in Langford, they spent many happy moments, including Lori recording many of her Mom’s life stories.  Jenny loved having Lori come over to be with her. Lori often accompanied her to the dining room at her new home, “Cherish Living” to be sure Jenny was okay with her blindness and her hearing impairment. Jenny often spoke about the great trip she took with Lori, Jamie and the puppies to the northern end of the Island, Port Hardy, Alert Bay and places around.  Lori, her daughter Jamie and sister, Chicky, shared hospital caring responsibilities for Jenny in her last three months. She suffered so greatly and it definitely was hard on all three of them seeing her daily decline. The major stroke Jenny suffered on July 10th led to a series of complications that eventually took her life.

Larry, still lives in Winnipeg and one day just might be the mayor of that town!  Larry has fond memories of travelling with Jenny to the UK. It was a great trip for both of them.  He also went to Halifax with her to visit Donald, and he spent time in Mexico with her. Larry flew out to Victoria a few weeks before Jenny’s passing and was able to spend some quality time with his Mom. It was a very spiritual loving time for both Mother and Son.

Family was everything to Jenny.  When her children hurt, she hurt too.
When they were happy, she was filled with joy.  She looked forward to her kids’ phone calls, visit and emails.  She wanted to know everything, how life was going for her children.  When asked what animal she would come back as if she was reincarnated, she quickly stated, “Momma Bear!  That’s me, Momma Bear to protect my children.” “Her Love is With Her Children”.

She’s also known for the saying, when times got tough, “Put your big boy/big girl panties on and deal with it”!  And probably known most for this one, when telling her of something really awful that may have happened in your day, she would tell you, “Oh well, nobody died”!

At this time we’d like to say a huge thank you, for looking after our Mom, our Lola so very well, to Dr Julia Hickey Somerville, (Parksville) who has been Jenny’s family doctor since 2005.  Dr Elizabeth Hay, (Nanaimo), who treated Jenny for her Macular Degeneration, Dr O’Donnell (Parksville), Jenny’s eye Doctor. Not enough can be said for the incredible care and compassion given to Jenny by the many Doctors and Nurses at Victoria General Hospital.

Jenny is in heaven now.  She’s resting sweetly with the angels.  She is re-united with her two sons, Gary and Jimmy as well as her Mother and Father (Babi and Grandpa).  Jenny also had so many friends, many of them in heaven, also there to welcome her to God’s paradise. She was a gal who loved practical jokes, and pulling “Porkies” as we nicknamed them. She’s no doubt having some fun up there with her long lost friends, laughing, playing at something, and looking down caringly on each and every one of us. She is in our heart and souls and will be missed greatly.

There’s one more angel heaven now.

Written by Ricia (Chicky) Adair

Memories in the Heart
Author Unknown

Feel no guilt in laughter, she knows how much you care
Feel no sorrow in a smile that she’s not here to share
You cannot grieve forever, she would not want you to
She’d hope that you can carry on, the way you always do
So talk about the good times and the ways you showed you cared
The days you spent together, all the happiness you shared
Let memories surround you.

A word someone may say
Will suddenly recapture a time, an hour, a day
That brings her back as clearly as though she were still here
And fills you with the feelings that she is always near
For if you keep these moments, you will never be apart
And she will live forever locked safe within your heart