Susan Anderson, who works as a nurse in a Mississauga hospital where Jean volunteered for almost 25 years, says Jean’s humility and her sense of humour were an inspiration. Both women attended the same church where Jean also volunteered.
“Jean was a wonderful person. She was smart, funny and helpful,” Susan says. “She was one of those people who reminds us that you don’t have to be the biggest or the best. You just have to be good at what you do.”
At the hospital’s information desk, the diminutive volunteer was always there to help visitors, staff and other volunteers.
“She was well into her seventies but she learned computer skills and trained younger volunteers,” Susan says. Her desk work sometimes meant Jean could not keep tabs on her beloved Toronto Blue Jays. “She would call me over and ask me if I’d heard the score. She loved baseball.”
“She liked to help younger people, especially girls, who were not as fortunate as we were,” her sister, Ivy recalls. “I think that is the reason she supported the young people at Covenant House.”
The two grew up in a comfortable home of eight children in a small community that would eventually be amalgamated into current-day Mississauga.
Jean, who never married, held an accounting job in the same office for 40 years. Outside of work, volunteering in her community was an important part of her life, Ivy says.