It is with profound sadness that the family of Jeanne Montague announces her passing on November 11th, 2020. Jeanne contracted Covid-19 in early November and succumbed to the virus in the early morning of November 11th.
Jeanne Mawditt was born in Bristol, England, in August 1940. As an only child, she was a proper little shadow to her father, who was a Public Health Inspector. Bristol was heavily bombed during the war because of its proximity to a crucial local port and vital aircraft factory, both within 5 miles of the house. They spent the war under the stairs while air raids raged overhead. They even survived the house being strafed by a lone Nazi fighter.
Jeanne received a private education and trained to be a hairstylist at a fashionable salon in London, and then entered a family hairdressing business. She met Barrie Montague when he was a University of Bristol Mathematics student. She would watch him walk up the main street to the University from the salon window as she worked. It was love at first sight, and a romance flourished in the local Jazz scene. They married in 1963.
Barrie’s career took them throughout England and Wales. After having three sons, Barrie’s career took an exciting turn, and in 1970, having joined a multinational company he was offered an opportunity to transfer to Canada. An initial short-term contract quickly turned into a full-time position and the start of a lifelong move.
While raising three sons, Jeanne found the time to be an active member of the Burlington Jaycettes and volunteer at the boy’s schools. She remained a homemaker until the boys left home on their separate journeys. Never the one to sit idle, she looked for something new to do. Approached by a local needlework store, Jeanne started to work part-time. Her love of the craft made her believe that it was a paid hobby. She was a gifted seamstress, knitter, smocker; her talent was endless. There was nothing with thread or needle she could not accomplish or master in short order – her hands were rarely still. She sewed wedding dresses for friends, knitted for charity, and stitched Christmas stockings for family She loved to share her vast talent for cooking, such as her trifle, spinach dip, French onion soup, or her famous Christmas stuffing balls for her family and friends.
While at the shop, she was approached to become a volunteer at Drury Lane Theatrical Productions, a community theatre in Burlington. Which, after a short time, turned into the Wardrobe mistress’s position, which she retained to this day. It was a perfect match; she had been in love with theatre and ballet since she was a little girl.
Jeanne loved traveling. Barrie’s work in the trucking industry allowed them to travel across North America, seeing many exciting places and meeting many wonderful people. With relatives and childhood friends still living in the UK, there were many trips back to the UK. She never forgot her roots and loved her homeland. They enjoyed trips to her favourite cities, Paris and London, and the many ancient cities throughout central Europe. And there were never to be forgotten trips to South Africa and Tuscany with dear friends, and a wonderful 3-week experience in New Zealand.
She had an enormous circle of friends. Childhood playmates became lifelong friends, her co-workers became dearest companions, and neighbours became family. It is impossible to express how much all her friends meant to her.
Despite her small stature and gentle demeanour, Jeanne was an incredible force of immeasurable beauty and light. Always kind, compassionate, and accepting of everyone fortunate enough to know her. Her generosity was limitless, as was her passion for people and life. A hug from Jeanne was a true gift, genuine and full of love. Her smile could light up the darkest room and instantly made one feel warm and welcome. Her giggles were endearing, and her laughter infectious. Her wit, grace, and charm will remain in the hearts of those lives she touched, and her endless love and devotion and bright spirit will continue to dwell among us forever.
Jeanne was preceded in death by her father, Leslie, and her mother, Lilian. She is survived by her husband Barrie and their three sons Simon (Debbie), Nick (Corinne), and Andy (Liz). Jeanne had the joy of 8 grandchildren; Ashley (Travis), Brittany (Jared), Meagan (Adam), Kyle, Kaylee, and Kameron and Liz’s children Adam and Megan. One of her greatest pleasures was being Great-Grandma to Cooper, Noah, Beckett, Nixon, and Paislie.
She had a beautiful life and enjoyed every minute of it. A small funeral service was held on Thursday, December 3rd, at Burlington Memorial Gardens. Due to Covid-19, the ceremony was limited to immediate family only. A celebration for Jeanne will be planned in the new year when we can all gather and celebrate her life in a fashion that reflects her remarkable life and beautiful spirit.