OBITUARY

Jeannette Elizabeth Tootell

19 May, 19392 April, 2021

It is with great shock and overwhelming sadness that we announce the passing of our mum on Friday, April 2nd, 2021. Jeanettte was born in South Cayuga to James and Frances Cossar on May 19, 1939 and raised on the farm alongside her brother Charlie and sister Edith. At the age of 16, after graduating from high school, mum moved to the “big city” of Hamilton, and into the YMCA. There she met a woman who would become a dear friend and would take her to Wentworth Baptist Church for the first time. Mum has worshipped with her faith family at Wentworth for over 65 years. It was through Wentworth and Hamilton Baptist Youth that she made dear friends who have lasted her lifetime, and ultimately, our dad, Clifford. Mum and dad were married on April 23 ,1960, beginning a partnership that would last 52 years, until dad passed in 2012. She was a proud Artillery spouse, and supported dad’s role in the regiment , while, forming lifelong friendships with the other members of “The Three Musketeers”. Mum worked as a secretary in the Pigott Building up until us the kids came along, then became a stay home mom for the next 20 years. However, she wasn’t idle once we started school! Jeannette was a reading buddy at school, and went on all the school trips. She baked our family’s bread and cookies, and was always there when we got home from school. Around 1976, she started doing up the church bulletin every week-a job that morphed into becoming each pastor’s Girl Friday and sounding board – a role she maintained for 35 years.

When Alzheimer’s hit our family with our grandma’s diagnosis in 1982, mum stepped into the information and assistance void in the city, and the Alzheimer Society of Hamilton started in our basement. By 1985, she was assisting to open Alzheimer office, and stayed on until her retirement, then volunteered by facilitating care-giver support groups. Mum’s life centered around family, faith, and service. She loved greeting every new niece and nephew , then great-nieces and nephews, but never got to be a grandma. Until one special little girl, Jordan, titled mum and dad as NanaPapaToots”. It was a title mum was honoured to carry, and has continued to all the littles at church, too!! Jeannette is survived by her brothers-in-law Chris Tootell (Carole) and John Greenfield(Erna), many nieces and nephews and grands, the extended Cossar Clan, and of course, us –Gavin and Sheila. We know mum’s life and work touched many lives, and she will be missed, but for those of us who had the privilege of being loved by her, the loss seems insurmountable. Although we cannot all be together at this time, please know we will have a Celebration of our amazing mum’s life as soon as COVD restrictions are lifted.

Funeral arrangements are entrusted to Cresmount Funeral Home. Cremation has taken place and a small family service will occur. In lieu of flowers, Jeannette asked that people donate to her favorite charity, The Alzheimer Society, or to her faith community, Wentworth Baptist Church 120 Wentworth St N, Hamilton L8L 5V7.

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Jeannette Elizabeth Tootell

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Michelle Vanderby

9 April 2021

I first met Jeannette when my friend Joannie asked me to be her aunt’s Avon lady. A friendship formed and I always enjoyed talking to her, listening to stories about the family. When I was unable to work due to illness, Jeannette kindly drove me to a medical appointment, unfortunately resulting in a parking ticket (I did reimburse her later). She was so kind and funny and will be missed enormously. My condolences to Gavin and Sheila and the rest of the family.

Joan Plaice

9 April 2021

I’m so sorry for your loss. Jeanette was my facilitator for weekly meetings at the Alzheimers Society. She was caring and loving and so helpful with all the advice she helped not only me with but the rest of the group as we went thru the journey of a love one with either Alzheimers or dementia. She will certainly will be missed by your family and all that knew her. May she Rest In Peace.
Hugs Joan Plaice

Pat Ford

9 April 2021

My thoughts and prayers are with all of you at this very sad time. Her passing is a tremendous loss to many.
I had the pleasure of first getting to know your Mum over the years that I was on the Alzheimer's board. Her care, compassion and commitment were outstanding . We continued to collaborate and advocate on other challenges impacting seniors. She was always so wise yet practical.
She has earned her crown in Heaven.
Pat Ford

David and Susan Bassi

7 April 2021

Gavin and Sheila
We were saddened to hear this news about your mom.
Jeanette was a lovely lady and we have many fond memories of her. She was always welcoming and friendly to all. Our sincere condolences.
David and Susan Bassi

Donna Vyse

7 April 2021

Dear family of Jeanette: My heart goes out to you in the loss of your very special "Mom". I met Jeanette through a phone call I made to the Alzheimer's Society many years ago. I had reached my limit in caring for my dear Dad and had no idea what to do. In desperation I called that number and it was your Mom that answered! When she asked how she could help, I just cried .....and she said, "it's OK, I'm going to help you." At that moment we became friends and yes, she did help me in person and on many phone calls over the years. God gave her wonderful gifts of kindness, caring and being a friend to many people. I will never forget her. You were very blessed to have such a wonderful Mom with such a strong faith in God. He will help you through the upcoming days as you have many wonderful memories of Jeanette.

Anne Dunham

7 April 2021

I am deeply saddened to hear of Jeannette’s passing. She was an amazing lady and she became a wonderful friend after we met at the Alzheimer’s society. She always had time for a coffee when I returned to Canada for visits, and was interested in our travels and experiences. She would take out her atlas and check out the places I’d mention in our email correspondences. She and I would share our faith experiences and beliefs together and we shared the phrase “It’s a God thing”. I have very very fond memories of all our chats and emails and will miss her dearly. A truly special lady. My sincerest condolences.

Milena Balta

6 April 2021

Jeannette had a smile and it was like having sunshine. She was very friendly, happy and kind.
It was a pleasurer knowing her and any time I saw her my day was brighter.
Rest in peace my fiend.

Greg Baran

6 April 2021

It's been years and years, but I instantly recognized the family name. I've never run across another.

The Baran family sends heartfelt condolences to you and your family Sheila. We are so sorry for your loss. It sounds as if the world just lost another great one.

Angela Shimizu

5 April 2021

Jeannette was the epitomy of strength, grace, wisdom and caring. She handled all the challenges that came her way with such fortitude - demonstrating to us all how faith can carry us through the deepest waters. She encouraged, served, loved, provided for those who needed it - all with such grace. The countless times she came to see "how I was doing" - or to share a word of thanks and encouragement for anything I had done - I will sorely miss these gifts. You were one in a million dearest Jeannette. We will always remember you.

Betty Tapuska

5 April 2021

Dear family
You do not know me but I was one of the many people whose life was touched by your Mom. My Mother had been diagnosed with Alzheimers and I was trying to move her to Ontario so that I might care for her here. I reached out to the Alzheimer Society and was visited in my home by your Mom. What an incredible woman, so helpful & understanding! Her kindness will not be forgotten! . May her soul rest in peace!
With sympathy for your loss,
Betty Tapuska

From the Family