A full life of 97 years 8 months ended at Luther Special Care Home where Jean had resided for her last month after spending an enjoyable 8 years in Luther Tower.
She was predeceased by her husband of 62 year, Olafur Laxdal, known by all as Oli, and her brother Murray Atkinson.
Jean leaves to mourn her passing her children, whom she loved unconditionally. Peter Laxdal, Judy Montgomery (Jeff), Jane Laxdal, John Laxdal, Alison Laxdal (Jim Hopper). Her grandchildren brought her endless joy for over 46 years. Mike Laxdal (Jen Brummitt) - Scott Montgomery (Lisa), Maja Montgomery (Aaron McGill), Adrian Taylor (Travis), Natasha Metzler (Brad) - Aaron Balfour, Regan Balfour (Yann Ruskovski). Jean's great grandchildren brought a smile to her face with any visit, photo or story of their goings on. Otis and Simone Laxdal - Freyja, Brennen and Tikken Montgomery, Isaac and Elliott Taylor, Magnus and Thora McGill and Calder, Nolan and Emmett Metzler - Roman Ruskovski.
Jean Atkinson was born in Markham Ontario and moved to Toronto, Belsize Drive, in her early schools days. She took pride in her first job at Eaton's in the deli. She enrolled in the Toronto General Hospital School of Nursing and upon graduation began working at the Toronto General. There she met Oli and although she didn't immediately let on, she found him very handsome and a real gentleman. He persevered and they married in 1949 in Toronto. Oli's training took them from Toronto to Boston and New York, where Peter was born before heading west to Regina where the rest of the children were born. In 1969, the family relocated to Saskatoon.
Jean was a loyal member of the Grosvenor Park United Church. She was very dedicated to all her volunteer work, especially with the Royal University Hospital Auxiliary. She was a church group leader, fund raising organizer for many causes and helped out whenever there was a need. Great times were had with Jean's nursing schoolmates with whom she kept in contact. She made lasting friends from the Scandinavian Club, enjoying regular gatherings and outings.
Travel was a great interest of Jean's. Family trips ventured all over North America and with Oli, many parts of Europe and the Caribbean were explored, as well as Hawaii and Palm Springs in the later years. She enjoyed belonging to bridge groups and playing whenever the opportunity arose. Gardening was always an interest, tending her yards on Robinson and Langley, Balfour and Copland. Having family and friends over for her fabulous meals was always a pleasure. These gatherings were especially important to Jean. Her home was always open for visitors to stay and for meals. And in her later years, family dinners were always a highlight.
Jean and Oli loved their time at the Emma Lake cabin with family, friends and on their own. Sitting on the deck watching the birds and squirrels, enjoying the breeze off the lake were true pleasures. Oli's brothers and sisters and their families played a large part in their lives with trips and reunions and constant visits with each other. When Bjorg moved to Saskatoon, they became especially close and enjoyed countless hours together. Trips to Thunder Bay and Nipigon to visit Jean’s brother and family were other favourite times.
Jean was a lovely, caring, elegant woman. She was a dedicated mother and enjoyed everyone for who they were. We all loved her dearly and she will remain in our hearts forever.
In lieu of flowers, any donations would be greatly appreciated if provided to Doctors Without Borders and Luther Care Foundation.
There will be a service of remembrance for family and invited guests. Thanks are especially due to Luther Care for the care and quality of life that Jean enjoyed while living there.
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