ADKINS, Jean (nee Thornhill)
November 2, 1935 — January 24, 2018
Jean Adkins (nee Thornhill), widow of the late Robert H.C. (Bob) Adkins, passed away on January 24, 2018 at the Kelowna General Hospital. Jean is survived by her younger sister, Norah Dias of Edmonton, AB; her three daughters, Laurie Benn (Rob) of Medicine Hat, AB, Jacqui Adkins-Cassidy (Carson) of Kelowna BC, and Gillian McDougall (Peter) of Fredericton, NB; grandchildren, Melanie David (Cam), Michael Benn (Lisa), James Benn (Amber), Breanne Thompson (Jason), Matthew Hedges (Marie), Stephanie Gallant (Shawn) and Christopher McDougall (Kim) ; and great-grandchildren Kaleb Benn, Roland David, Kaydence Thompson, Kamryn Thompson, Marcus Hedges, Hannah Hedges and Max Gallant.
Jean was born in Red Deer AB, November 2, 1935 and then grew up in Edmonton, AB where she eventually met and fell in love with Bob, a Royal Air Force Sergeant. Ever a pragmatic and resourceful woman, Jean sold her much-loved horse saddle and her roller skates to purchase her beautiful wedding dress and to pay for professional photographs of their wedding day – September 21, 1956!
In 1958, Jean travelled with Bob and their infant daughter Laurie to England, where in 1961 the twins, Jacqueline and Gillian, were born at home with a midwife. The young family then travelled to Cyprus, where Jean called on her adventurous spirit and embraced a new culture – taking Greek lessons, trying out strange Mediterranean foods and braving living with tropical insects and snakes!
Wherever Jean travelled throughout her married life (Gloucester, England; Akrotiri, Cyprus; Albrighton, Wolverhampton, England; Edmonton, AB; Calgary, AB), she was a strong, organized, capable woman. Along with raising three children and creating beautiful homes wherever they lived, she held many careers through this time: beginning as a Radiology Technician, a Keep-Fit instructor, a Nursing Assistant, an Emergency Room receptionist, a busy doctor’s office receptionist, a school resources administrator and a school financial administrator.
Throughout her life Jean was very adept at sewing: everything from mending rugby boots to creating matching mother-daughter polka-dot bikinis and prize-winning fancy dress costumes! Jean had a love for horses and in earlier years was very accomplished at both Western riding and English riding styles. She also loved to dance and often people would stand and watch as she and Bob tore up a piece of the floor with their energetic jiving! Jean had a marked passion for reading, and in recent years, we joked that she had read EVERY book available in the library of every favourite author she had!!
Once retired, Jean and Bob moved from Calgary to Kelowna, BC. Jean had always loved the mountains, Bob loved sailing, and the Okanagan Lake nestled in the spectacular Columbia Range in the Rockies was perfect! They both often reflected on how Kelowna was like a ‘piece of paradise’, especially while strolling along the waterfront, hand-in-hand, at sunset.
Jean will be remembered by her family as a resilient, pragmatic, loving and caring person. She will be forever etched in the hearts and minds of her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren. Jean’s daughters look forward to hosting her friends and family at a Celebration of her Life but have chosen to wait and hold it on Saturday, September 22, 2018 (a special date with special meaning to the family) at Springfield Funeral Home, 2020 Springfield Road, Kelowna, from 2:00 pm till 4:00 pm where stories will be shared, and light refreshments will be served.
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Service: Saturday, September 22, 2018 from 2:00 pm to 4:00 pm
Location: Springfield Funeral Home
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