December 12, 1934 – December 20, 2020
It is with deep sadness that we announce the passing of Frances Mary Jean Webb (nee Norman) on December 20, 2020 after a long struggle with Alzheimer’s disease.
Jean is survived by her loving husband of 61 years, Dick, her daughter Catherine, son-in-law Russ and grand-daughters Sophie and Quinn. She was predeceased by her parents Luke and Vera Norman and sons Robert John and Kevin Patrick.
She was born in Vanderhoof, BC, but as soon as she and her mother were able to travel the family returned to the ranch that her father had established about 60 miles south. It was a cold trip in a horse-drawn, canvas-covered sleigh with mother having to repeatedly remove ice from Jean’s eyelids.
As a toddler she developed a strong love for animals, from the barnyard chickens and cats to her dad’s bull whom she attempted to feed with a clutch of grass in her small hand after climbing between the rails of the bull pen.
At age three the family moved to Oyama, south of Vernon where Jean was able to find friends her own age and eventually started school. After completing high school she attended UBC where she earned a BA degree before following her mother’s footsteps into the teaching profession.
She will be remembered by many past colleagues, pupils and their parents in Maple Ridge for her dedication to assisting every child to reach their full potential. Many hours were spent in teachers’ book stores searching for just the right book to assist a particular child with a specific problem.
She also enjoyed supervising sports activities both in regular gym classes as well as at unconventional hours, often arriving at 7:00am to open the school in time for a game of floor hockey before the start of the regular school day. Fair play and teamwork was encouraged both in games and in the classroom.
Jean was raised in the traditions of the Anglican Church of Canada but in her last year at UBC she encountered the preaching of the Rev. John Stott of London, England during a week-long series of noon hour lectures that challenged her to a deeper and more personal understanding of her faith. This encounter had a strong influence on the rest of her life including meeting her future husband at a weekend retreat sponsored by the Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship at their camp on Thetis Island.
It turned out that Dick had had a similar upbringing and had attended the same noon-hour lectures. This common interest and faith proved to be the backbone of their love and journey. Though she has left us physically, the loving memories of her life and love will be with family and friends forever.
The family would like to acknowledge with heart-felt thanks the loving care provided to Jean by Dr. Daniel Wong during forty plus years as the family physician and by the staff of Holyrood Manor in Maple Ridge during her stay with them over the last months of her life.
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held at a later date when COVID-19 restrictions are relaxed. In lieu of flowers, donations to Alzheimer Society of Canada or BC Cancer Foundation in memory of Jean would be appreciated. Condolences for the family may be left online at www.arbutusfuneralservice.com
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