HARRIS, Jeanette (Jean) Spence (nee Dandeneau)
aka (“Jean, Jean the Dancing Machine”)
Born January 28, 1923 in Spruce Grove, AB. Passed away November 25, 2015 at Lakeview Lodge in West Kelowna with her son, Rob Pushor, at her side. Our Mother was raised on a farm in Spruce Grove, AB, the eldest of four children. She was predeceased by her parents Adelard and Cora Dandeneau, her sister, Yvonne Jacobson, her brother Bob Dandeneau, her husband Bill Harris, her former husband Jim Pushor, her daughter in law Nancy (Trevor) Quigley and her son in law Dick Fowler. She is survived by her children, Laurie (Deb) Pushor, Linda Pushor, Rob (Lillian) Pushor, Deb (Ron) Miciak, Dawne Fowler, Rick (Una) Pushor and the children of her husband Bill, Carol (Rick) Salt and Wayne (Joanne) Harris as well as 22 grandchildren, 25 great grandchildren and her youngest brother Bill (Hazel) Dandeneau.
Being raised during the Great Depression undoubtedly contributed to her lifelong incredible work ethic. Although she didn’t lack for verbally communicating the necessity of working hard and doing the best you could, she always led by example. Last to bed, first to rise was the norm.
She rode her horse “Buffalo” to school most days unless the weather was so cold her father had to hook up a team to a sled for transport to school under blankets with hot stones around the feet of Mom and her siblings. As a young teen her hard work began in earnest as she often cooked for the annual threshing crews through the harvest season. Graduation from Grade 12 was very unusual for young women in farming communities at that time but graduate she did. She then commenced working as a telegraph operator for the CPR. Throughout the second world war her work saw her leave home and work and live independently in Red Deer, Calgary, Banff and finally in Drumheller where she met her first husband Jim. They were married in 1946 and had six children then followed with years in Medicine Hat, a year in Edmonton and a lengthy time in DeBolt, AB. In DeBolt she was an active member of the community, a mom and a hard working part of the family hotel business.
After separating from her husband, Jim, in the late 70’s, she confidently reinvented herself as an independent woman and moved to Kelowna where she commenced working at The Bay. She loved her job and formed many lifelong friendships with her co-workers. During this time she became reacquainted with Bill Harris, a casual acquaintance of her school years. They ultimately married in 1987 and spent many wonderful years together.
Upon Bill’s demise on February 6, 2007, Mom moved into Sandalwood Retirement Resort where she legitimately earned the nickname “Jean, Jean the Dancing Machine”. Happy hours were rarely missed if there was dancing. Ultimately our Mom moved into Lakeview Lodge where she spent the last two plus years of her life. Hard work, family, loyalty, respect for others, playing games, entertaining family and friends and dancing epitomize her life. She was always there for her children even when we were in the wrong or at fault. Mother bears had nothing on her.
Our family would like to express their deep and heartfelt thanks to the terrific team of care providers at Lakeview Lodge and Sandalwood Resort who exhibited incredible care, compassion and respect for our Mom.
There will be a service at Springfield Funeral Home on Saturday, December 12 at 1:00 p.m.
A donation to the charity of your choice would be appreciated in lieu of flowers. If you wish to send a condolence, post photos or share a memory, please scroll down the page to the area called “Share Your Condolences.”
The service for HARRIS, Jeanette (Jean) Spence (nee Dandeneau) is scheduled for Saturday, December 12 at 1:00 p.m.. Below you will find the map for the service location and the contact information should you have any questions.