April 17, 1939 – August 12, 2022
With sadness in our hearts, we announce the passing of Jennie Irvine, dear Sis, Mom, Grandma and friend. Jennie is survived by sister Lillian Reinfort, sons Doug (Megan Wilson) and Garry (Jennifer Quaid), and grandchildren Wyatt, Thomas, Christopher and Caroline. She is predeceased by sisters Annie, Helen, Nellie, Polly and Katie and brothers Mike, Joe, Harry, Roy, Nick, Martin, and Philip, former husband Thomas John Irvine and a daughter that died at birth. She died from complications of long covid in Nanaimo Regional General Hospital with son Doug at her side to comfort her.
Jennie was born April 17, 1939 on the farmstead in the Ukrainian community of Moosebay, Manitoba, 13th of 14 siblings with whom she had close bonds maintained throughout her life. In the late 40’s the family moved to nearby Rorketon where she grew up. She was educated at teachers college in Winnipeg whereafter she taught at Regent Park primary school. There she met Tom and married October 19, 1963 (both Tom and the military). Garry was born in Winnipeg (1965), and Doug was born in Victoria (1971) with other postings to Chilliwack, back to Winnipeg, Germany and finally to Kingston. Retirement in 1989 brought them back to B.C. settling in Nanaimo in a house surrounded by massive trees where she lived to the end. After 28 years, Tom and Jennie separated amicably with Tom moving to Port Alberni and Jennie staying in Nanaimo. In 2005 Jennie met her dear friend Jack with whom she shared many happy memories. After several years they decided to go their separate ways but remained on friendly terms.
Jennie loved sports both as a spectator and participant. Among her favourites were tennis, curling and later in life she became a formidable table-tennis player. She enjoyed golfing with nephew Wyatt at the Pryde golf course. In 2004 she visited Garry and Jennifer in Melbourne during the Australian Open and got to see an emerging Roger Federer (her favourite) off center court.
Jennie loved games and particularly loved playing cards. She was active in the Nanaimo Euchre club in nearby Bowen Park, and at the Royal Canadian Legion (branch 256) where she developed many friendships while socializing and playing table-tennis, euchre and darts.
Family was so dear to Jennie and she devoted time to maintaining close contact in particular with her sisters Polly, Dorleen and Lily whom she spoke often on the phone. Jennie took great pleasure in her four grandchildren. She made time to travel to Ottawa in 2005, 2007 and 2010 to see newly arrived Thomas, Christopher and Caroline. There were numerous video calls and occasional family visits out to B.C. Birthday cards from Grandma were highly anticipated for kind words and supplementary contents. Grandson Wyatt was much closer in Campbell River and she got to see him frequently. They did many things together including golf where she would fondly recall a memory of a young Wyatt offering ‘I can tell you what you’re doing wrong Grandma’.
Jennie will be remembered most for her humour, kindness, empathy, selflessness, generosity and caring – virtues that we were so fortunate to benefit from. She was always there to share in the joys of good news, and was the rock to provide comfort on occasions of bad news. We will miss you very much Grandma, Mom, Sis.
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