Jean passed away quietly and peacefully surrounded by love. Born on a farm in Elma, Manitoba she moved to Calgary in 1953. As a young adult, she was an accomplished marksman. In 1964 she won the Canadian Fullbore Rifle Championships Governor General’s Prize becoming the first woman to lead the Canadian team to the Commonwealth competitions in Bisley, England and was named Calgary’s Sportswoman of the Year in 1965.
Jean was a life-long volunteer that understood Calgary’s complex social issues and did everything she could to have a positive impact on the city she proudly called home. In the early 1950s, Jean found herself raising four children with little community support. At a time when community advocacy was low, she rallied the Provincial Government to amend the Mothers’ Allowance Act. Over the years, Jean used her tenacity to accomplish many things. She selflessly gave her time to numerous groups; The Calgary Foundation, Seniors Police Advisory Board, Calgary Health Region, Seniors Advisory Council for Alberta, Mayor’s Seniors Advisory Council, the Canadian Association of Retired Persons, the Alliance to End Violence, and numerous others.
Many will recognize Jean as the “Voice for Seniors” in the Calgary Herald – Neighbours.
When faced with closing the doors of her church (Christ Lutheran) she worked tirelessly on a vision for a seniors housing complex on its site (Glenway Gate – Richmond Rd and 39 St SW). Her health failing, she saw the dream take flight and spoke at the groundbreaking ceremony on August 4th. She left those that will carry the dream forward with a message
When things go wrong, as they sometimes will.
When the road you’re trudging seems all uphill.
When the funds are low, and the debts are high
And you want to smile but you have to sigh
When care is pressing you down a bit
Rest if you must, but don’t you quit.
Jean was awarded the Alberta Centennial Metal in 2005 for her accomplishments and the Community Vision Award for her visionary spirit in 2010.
She was energetic, tenacious, funny, expressive, outgoing, and full of life. Jean never met a stranger. She took life for a ride. Her passing is felt in the hearts of her children: Dayle (Ken) Sauers, Debbie McKeever, Cherie McKeever, Lorne (Sherry) Dreger; her grandchildren: Scott, Stacey and Kelli; Michael and Steven; Julie, Janice, and Martin; Deanna, Angela and Lana; her fourteen great-grandchildren; her brothers Anton (Mary) and Edward Sitar, her sister Clara Racine, and many dear friends and community leaders.
Jean joins in heaven her son Don, husband Carl, parents Pauline and John Sitar, sister Minnie, and her loving puppies Snoopy and Mandy.
The family would like to offer their heartfelt gratitude to Camelia Lee, Drs Hao, McFadden and Johns, Homecare, Agape Hospice and the many friends who provided comfort and caring through her last few months.
A Celebration of Jean’s life will be held at the Lutheran Church of the Cross (10620 Elbow Drive S.W.) on Monday, October 18, 2010 at 1:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, memorial tributes may be directed to the Jean Dreger Fund for Gerontology by cheque or on-line at The Calgary Foundation, Suite 700, 999 – 8th Street SW, Calgary, AB T2R 1J5, www.thecalgaryfoundation.org.
In living memory of Jean Dreger-McKeever, a tree will be planted at Big Hill Springs Park, Cochrane by McINNIS & HOLLOWAY FUNERAL HOMES, Chapel of the Bells, 2720 CENTRE STREET NORTH Telephone: (403) 276-2296.
Print This Obituary & Condolences