Jeannette Anne Cameron
October 26, 1917 – October 2, 2017
Jeannette – known as Gram to most who knew her – was born in Tisdale, Saskatchewan to Alfred and Rose Alba (Lalonde) Parent.
When she was eight her family moved to Lumberton, where her father worked for the BC Spruce Mills company and her mother raised the children and acted as the community midwife.
She completed Grade 8 and then moved to Calgary to work at the Holy Cross Hospital. She returned to Cranbrook for one more year of school and to work.
She cleaned rooms and served tables at the Cranbrook Hotel, altered garments for local seamstresses, and worked at the Zenith Cafe, which is where she met her husband, Bruce Cameron. They married in 1941 and raised three children together.
Bruce died in 1980. Around that time Jeannette began working as a home support worker, a job she found very fulfilling. Jeannette believed in public service and was an ardent volunteer her entire life.
Through the years she weighed babies before their inoculations, raised money for charity (particularly the Canadian Cancer Society), did census work, helped establish the Red Cross Equipment Loan Cupboard with her sister-in-law Mary Muraro, and volunteered for the federal Liberal Party.
She was delighted to have made and served sandwiches to Lester Pearson during his campaign stop in Cranbrook in 1962.
She was a talented self-taught artist and gifted seamstress. She donated her time and talents to Cranbrook’s arts community many times, making costumes and props for plays for Mount Baker Secondary School and the Cranbrook Community Theatre, and painting backdrops for church and community events. People sought after her talents to make outfits for the Sam Steele Sweetheart program, figure skating, weddings and other special events. For a number of years she sewed costumes for Tink and Judy’s annual shows at Fort Steele’s Wildhorse Theatre.
Many people had the good fortune to receive cards she painted or items she sewed as gifts.
Jeannette was also the founding secretary of the Cranbrook Archives Museum and Landmark (CAMAL) Foundation.
Jeannette was proud of her French Canadian heritage; her family and her memories of life in Lumberton were extremely important to her. In her later years she enjoyed living at Moyie with her daughter Heather. She died at East Kootenay Regional Hospital surrounded by family.
Jeannette was predeceased by her parents and siblings Wilfred, Beatrice “Bea,” Elden, Ulric, Florence “Flo,” Gilbert “Gib,” and Maurice “Perry.”
She is survived by children Marianne (Rick: children Lee-Anne Franklin, Robert Martini, Heather, Christine Mayne, Brian Smith, and their spouses), Jim Cameron (Harriet Pollock), andHeather Browning (children Sioux, Steven and Jennifer Browning, and David Grexton, and their spouses), honorary daughter Robyn McTague, and many great-grandchildren, nieces, and nephews.
Jeannette was also adopted as an honorary Gram by many people who loved her and were inspired by her.
The family would like to thank the nurses and doctors who cared for her during her hospital stay, particularly Dr. Scheibenstock.
An open house celebration of life for Jeannette will take place at The Studio (11 – 11th Ave. S. Cranbrook, BC, V1C 2N9) Saturday, October 7, 2017, 1 to 4 pm. Donations in her memory can be made to the Cranbrook History Centre (P.O. Box 400, Cranbrook, BC, V1C 4H9) or the Cranbrook Community Theatre (11 – 11th Ave. S. Cranbrook, BC, V1C 2N9)
Arrangements entrusted to McPherson Funeral Service.
Condolences for the family can be offered at: www.mcphersonfh.com.
McPherson Funeral Service