October 26, 1928 – June 12, 2021
It is with great sadness that we announce the passing of Mrs. Gratia Jean Alton, age 92 years, peacefully in Pioneer Ridge on Saturday, June 12, 2021.
Jean was born in Fort Frances on October 26, 1928, one of seven children born to Warren and Gratia McMillen. She worked a few different jobs including White's Drug Store, the B & B Store and the Red Rickshaw, but really dedicated her life to taking care of her family. Jean met Tauno (Don) Alton and they were married on December 10, 1949, before having their two daughters, Charlene and Diana.
Jean was talented and creative, sewing wedding gowns and dresses, knitting sweaters, crocheting afgans and slippers for all of her family. She was a consummate cook, delectable baker and was great at canning, pickling and creating jams and jellies from hand-picked berries. She also enjoyed writing stories and poems, entertaining her young siblings and later her daughters and extended family. Jean loved nature and was an animal lover, feeding the birds and local cats as she was able. She made many memories with all of the wonderful cat furbabies and granddogs over the years.
Jean was a woman of deep faith. She was trained in Child Evangelism and taught local children weekly in her home. She was also very active in the Lutheran Church, as a Sunday School Teacher, Ladies Aid, Treasurer of Mission to Lepers and singing in the Church Choir. Jean truly lived in a state of perpetual worship and thankfulness to her Heavenly Father. She was a witness for Jesus and was never shy to speak of her faith.
Knowing Jean, was to love her. She was a kind and loving soul, whose gentle spirit and cheerful, gracious nature touched everyone she met. Jean was keen to keep in touch with close childhood friends and maintain strong relationships. She took an interest in the lives of her caregivers at Pioneer Ridge, whom she was so grateful for, often writing out thank you cards and giving gifts.
Jean will be forever loved and missed by her daughter Charlene Syrduk and son-in-law Paul Syrduk; siblings Eva Stark of California, Janet Steinhoff, Stanley (Marilyn) McMillen, Myrtle McMillen (Mike) of Winnipeg, Lorne (Janet) McMillen and brother-in-law Ed Delwo of British Columbia, as well as many nieces, nephews, cousins and other relatives.
She was predeceased by her beloved husband, Tauno (Don) Alton in August 1989; daughter Diana in July 2008; her parents Warren and Gratia McMillen; sister Gail Delwo; brothers-in-law Elmer Stark, Eric Steinhoff and Bill O'Connell; nephew Max McMillen and special grandnephew Caiden Steinhoff.
A private family graveside service will take place in Lappe Cemetery. A Celebration of Jean's life will be held at a later date. Should friends so desire, memorial donations made in memory of Jean to Diabetes Canada or SickKids would be greatly appreciated.
Funeral arrangements have been entrusted to the Westfort Chapel, 420 West Gore Street at James. Memories
I'll hold your memories sacred, Mother Dear,
They will always be protected, Never fear...
I will keep them in a very treasured space,
And we will take them out, together,
Gently, face to face...
So if a time or two, you may forget
They will live inside my heart...forever set...
I will remember for you if need be...
I am eternally part of you, and you of me...
Your memories are so precious... Sacred space
I will hold them fast unto my Soul
With Love and Grace
We will have Eternity to unpack them
(All my Love forever and a day) – Charlene (Feb. 9/21)
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