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Jean Marie (Cameron) Tooth, 89
Jean Marie (Cameron) Tooth passed away peacefully, a month after her 89th birthday, in Napanee, Ontario, at 10pm, July 31st, 2016.
Beloved only child of Carrie (Mellis) and Peter Cameron, Jean was born in the small prairie community of Kindersley, Sask., June 6th, 1927. Her early memories were of the ‘dirty thirties’, wheat fields, model T fords converted to horse drawn sleds, and the friendships she formed then would prove to last a lifetime. A teen when WW2 broke out, she attended the University of Saskatchewan after the war. She returned to Kindersley, worked at the drug store, and made a home for her father. Her friends would remember her wonderful singing voice, joy in socializing, sharp sense of humour, and her passion for card play and puzzles.
A young ex-RCAF crewman, recent agriculture graduate, and wickedly handsome baseball player, Arthur Tooth, from Oakville, Manitoba, eventually impressed her enough, and she was a June bride in 1956. The couple lived in Winnipeg for the first few years of married life, building their own house in Charleswood, with a one year old Glenn in tow, and then a couple of years later, relocating to Calgary, making a new home, and having their second son, Bob. And, making more close friends.
Jean and Art shortly moved to Tuxedo, a suburb of Winnipeg, where they lived for over 30 years. They loved to entertain in their home, and gatherings with family, friends, business associates, and bridge parties and other social activities would be a weekly norm. After the pressure years of raising the boys, and fulfilling the not inconsiderable obligations of a busy executive’s wife, she became involved in many projects and charities, including the Canadian Paraplegic Association, the Cancer Society, and the St. Andrew’s Church Ladies Auxiliary, and choir.
In 1973, Art came home from a fishing trip, and announced they were building a cottage in Rainy River, Ont. “Where the hell is Rainy River?” Little did she know it would become their retirement residence, and another beloved and welcoming community. She loved it, because Dad loved the River.
After retirement, Jean and Art split their time between a condo in Palm Dessert, Ca, and the cottage, travelling, and supervising over a growing catalogue of grandchildren for a dozen years. Along the way, squeezing in a couple of hundred thousand miles of driving between Lake of the Woods and the Coachella Valley; surviving cancer twice, playing cards, and looking after each other and everyone else.
Unfortunately, these times came to an end, when Art’s health was severely compromised. As nurse and constant companion for the next 7 years, Jean devoted herself to caring for him. Still, they undertook, when she was 75, to design and build a new house in town, and enjoyed several independent years together, and finally apart, made possible by the wonderful support of their last community, with visits from family and friends.
For the last few years of her life, Jean suffered from increasing memory and vision problems. This prompted her to relocate to Napanee, Ont., closer to the boys. She continued to enjoy her life and was close to her two sons, her grandchildren, Skylar, Stanzie, Sarah, Morgan and Samantha; Nick, Ceilidh, and Cameron; and enjoyed her three great-grand sons, Jack, Reid, and Zefram. She will be deeply missed by her daughter-in-laws, Monique and Alison; and her grandsons-in-law, Ryan and Dan.
Jean outlived the family members in her generation. Because she was an only child, she was especially close to Art’s family, and is survived by Art’s cousins, Bruce (Jan) Tooth, Gerrie Tooth, and Florence (Wilbur) Klatt. She was so grateful for all you did for her and Art.
She benefited from, and greatly appreciated, the kindness and compassion of the staff in her retirement residences in Napanee, and felt content and safe in her last years. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to The John Parrott Centre, Napanee, Ont. or Canadian Cancer Society.
Before she finally slept, she was singing, “We’ll meet again, don’t know how, don’t know when.”
Gwennie and Orille, Stuart and Louise, Jack and Sarah can’t wait to see you again! Your Mum and Dad are with them. Art says “Come quick, the gangs here”.
An interment and memorial gathering at Oakville Cemetery, Oakville Manitoba, will be held on October 1st, 2016. Arrangements in the care of Wartman funeral Home - Napanee Chapel. On-Line Condolences at www.wartmanfuneralhomes.com