Jean Louise Chikinda of Calgary passed away at Extendicare Hillcrest on December 24, 2008 at the age of 90 years.
Born in Calgary, she lived much of her early years in Barons, AB where her father was the town’s postmaster and magistrate. She later attended high school at Mount Royal College in Calgary. Upon leaving Mount Royal, she later married her first husband Aime Dechene and moved to Ottawa where she worked for naval intelligence during the Second World War. During that war, she took the flash signal that the German battleship Bismarck had been sunk. She moved back to Barons where she became (during her father’s illness) one of Alberta’s first female postmasters. When her father recovered from his illness, she began working for the post office in Calgary where she met her husband Walter. Jean then embarked on her third career working for the department of Veteran’s Affairs in Calgary. She retired from that job, but later decided she had retired too soon and thus began her fourth career working at the University of Calgary. Jean loved to garden and was a voracious reader. She enjoyed listening to her musical favourites: Johnny Cash, Nana Mouskouri and Luciano Pavarotti. In 2004, she was struck by a massive stroke. The doctors at the time thought she would die and placed her in a hospice. Jean was one of the very few to both enter and leave a hospice alive. She was transferred to Extendicare Hillcrest, where she spent her last years battling dementia. Though not always sure where she was, she never forgot the faces of her husband, son and daughter. Her characteristic sense of humour endured even until the end.
Jean is survived by her loving husband Walter Chikinda of Calgary; daughter, Aimee deValois of Barons, AB; son, Marc Chikinda of Calgary; grandchildren, Arie deValois of Lethbridge, Rachel Wittke (Paul) of Lethbridge and Rob deValois of Barons, AB; great-grandchildren, Abigail and Lilah Wittke of Lethbridge; sisters in-law, Rose Steedman (Doug), Claude Chikinda and Anne Chikinda; brothers in-law, Julian Chikinda and Orest Chikinda, as well as numerous nieces and nephews. She will also be greatly missed by dear friend, Frances Hedges. Jean was predeceased by her parents, Jean Andrew (McIntyre) and Alexander Andrew; son in-law, Allan deValois and dear friends, Edith Ellis (Kennedy) and Gladys Laak (Moen).
Funeral Services will be held at McINNIS & HOLLOWAY’S Chapel of the Bells (2720 Centre Street North) on Friday, January 2, 2009 at 2:30 p.m. Graveside Service to follow at Queen’s Park Cemetery. Forward condolences through www.mcinnisandholloway.com. The family would like to express its profound gratitude to Extendicare Hillcrest staff, Chen, Rachel, Nurse Anna and Jean’s visiting companion Rolita, for the love and care they unconditionally gave Jean.
In living memory of Jean Chikinda a tree will be planted at Fish Creek Provincial Park by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.Print This Obituary & Condolences