Gratia Jean Alton
1928 - 2021
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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
And Embrace...

(All my Love forever and a day) – Charlene (Feb. 9/21)


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Published in The Thunder Bay Chronicle Journal on Jun. 15, 2021.
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Memories & Condolences
Guest Book sponsored by Everest Funeral Chapel The Westfort Chapel
Not sure what to say?
4 entries
June 21, 2021
Charlene and family:
Catherine and I have wonderful memories of Aunt Jean throughout the years and when I leaved next door growing up. Jean treated us all as family and continued to do the same for our children when they came to visit Grandma. Her love of God always came through in how acted and she treated us. She always had a sweet or treat handy for our kids. She was an amazing person. We are sorry for her loss and pray for God’s comfort for you and your family during this time.

Catherine & Mark Lindberg
Catherine & Mark Lindberg
Neighbor
June 18, 2021
Charleen

Our sincere condolences for the passing of your mom. Jean was a very kind, gentle and gracious person. So sorry for your loss.

June Brown (Gray) and family
Family
June 17, 2021
DEAR CHARLENE AND FAMILY:

YOUR LOSS IS OUR LOSS.

HOW TRUE THE WORDS, “TO KNOW JEAN WAS TO LOVE HER”

I LOVED JEAN VERY MUCH. I FIRST MEET JEAN WHEN I STARTED TO GARDEN FOR HER. JEAN WAS BUSY LOOKING AFTER DIANA AND ALSO DEALING WITH HER ON HEALTH ISSUES.

SHE WAS A OUTGOING, GIVING PERSON. WE USE TO SIT OUTSIDE SOME EVENINGS AND TALK AND LAUGH...I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER HER LAUGH.

JEAN WAS A VERY INTELLIGENT AND UPRIGHT PERSON. IT HAS BEEN A PRIVILEGE TO KNOW HER.

ALTHOUGH WE WILL MISS JEAN, WE KNOW THAT SHE IS AT REST AND NO LONGER IN ANY PAIN.

I WILL ALWAYS REMEMBER JEAN UNTIL WE MEET AGAIN.

CHARLENE AND FAMILY, PLEASE TAKE CARE OF YOURSELFS AND EACH OTHER.

AGAPE LOVE,

MARTHA
MARTHA JOHNSON
Friend
June 16, 2021
Lois Barrie
Family
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