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November 30, 1933 - October 4, 2013
Jean Elaine Korchin (née Greenman) died quietly at the age of 79 on October 4, 2013, at the Sherbrooke Community Centre in Saskatoon. She is survived by her husband of 58 years, Lawrence Korchin, her sons David and Christopher, her sisters Bonnie Stewart and Carol Doyle, and 11 nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by her brother Robert, her father Ross Greenman and her mother Anne Greenman (née Craig). Jean was born in Burstall, Saskatchewan. Her father was a schoolteacher who frequently took up new postings, so Jean grew up in a succession of small prairie towns. She was a good scholar and a good shot – one of her greatest joys was to pick up her trusted Cooey .22 rifle and explore the countryside with her brother Bob. She was a Girl Guide who never lost her enthusiasm for an outdoor adventure. She had a lovely singing voice and could dance the highland fling or the jitterbug. As a young woman, Jean went to business college in Saskatoon, then began a colourful career in radio and television, working her way up from secretarial and copywriting duties to eventually become program director at CFQC-TV. She was a well-known on-air personality in the early days of Saskatoon television whose ease and grace in front of the camera stood her in good stead in an era of live broadcasts and one-take commercials. Whether she was shooting ads as the Habitant Pea Soup woman or explaining to irate viewers that the TV series Star Trek had ended production and it was beyond her power to bring it back, her years at "QC" were among her happiest. In the 1970s, Jean left television and entered politics, working as campaign manager for eventual MLA Evelyn Edwards and making her own bids for office, both provincially and federally. She had a highly rewarding experience serving as campaign chairman for the United Way. Later, she worked in public relations for the Saskatchewan Lung Association, helping to bring several books to press, and was instrumental in the success of the Pink Panters Association and the children's Asthma Camp, projects of which she was particularly fond. Jean later worked in insurance, criss-crossing the province to meet with clients, which brought her full-circle – back to many of the towns she had known as a child. Though Jean liked to spend her downtime reading books or gardening, she was also naturally gregarious – a people person who loved to visit with friends and family. Equally adept at the wheel of her little convertible or on horseback, Jean was also an accomplished seamstress and enjoyed taking her sons to Adilman's, where they would nap among the bolts of fabric while she picked out the latest Vogue pattern and a couple yards of cloth. She was competitive by nature: For years she proudly carried a Molstar ski certificate for a third-place finish in her wallet, and loved to discuss that exploit. She was also Big Sister to a delightful girl named Leslie-Anne – this was a valued friendship for both of them. And though she was a hardworking career woman at a time when not all women chose to enter the workforce, she nonetheless had a talent for homemaking and decoration and a particular zeal for housecleaning. She was also an eager cook with somewhat avant- garde interests. Jean was a bold and passionate woman, and those who knew her will remember her flair for stating her opinions with the utmost vividness. She was a loyal friend and loving wife and mother. As her mind grew clouded in her final years, her spirit remained – she was still known to smile beautifully at visitors, even when she could do little else. Jean's life was celebrated in a private family service, performed by Rev. Brian Maitland of Knox United Church, at the Saskatoon Funeral Home on Tuesday, October 8. She will be keenly missed. The family would like to extend its heartfelt thanks to the staff of the Sherbrooke Community Centre for their tender and loving care of Jean over the last several years. In lieu of flowers, donations to the Alzheimer Society of Canada are welcomed.
Saskatoon Funeral Home
338 4th Avenue North
Saskatoon, SK S7K 2L7
Published in The Saskatoon StarPhoenix on Oct. 12, 2013