28 May, 1930 – 22 April, 2021
KEYS, Jean Evelyn Bowie Peacefully on Thursday, April 22nd, 2021. Beloved wife of the late Millar who shared over 48 years together. Loving mother of Tracy Keys and Scott (Lori) Keys. Cherished Gramma of Ashley (Eric) Nelson, Dale Keys, Christopher (Anna) Dempers, Stephanie (Sam) Thomas. Loved G.G. to Margaret Mae, Edwyn, Brooks and Jon Riley. Sadly missed by her beloved puppy Prudence. A private service will be held on Monday, April 26th at 10:30 a.m. Interment at Thornton Cemetery to follow. Please join the family in celebrating Jean’s life via the livestream link: https://funeraweb.tv/en/diffusions/28518 Memorial donations to the Lakeridge Health Foundation – Cancer Care Unit would be appreciated.
Monday, 26 April , 2021
26 April 2021
Dear Tracy and Dale-
We are all very sorry for the loss of your mom and grandma. A wonderful, kind and considerate lady.
It was always a pleasure having her at the office and we look forward to seeing her lovely outfits every time .
She was a one of a kind gem!
Sherman, Ellen, Wendy, Golriz and Jenn
26 April 2021
My deepest condolences to Scott and Tracey,
Very many pleasant memories with your Mom and Dad.
They will last forever.
Carol & Wayne Routly
25 April 2021
Carol and I wish to extend condolences to the Keys family with the passing of Jean. We were neighbors of Jean and Millar for a few years and we enjoyed their company as neighbors. As well I worked with Miller for many years and have fond memories of the strong partnership that Jean and Millar had.
24 April 2021
Scott, Lori & family,
We were deeply saddened to hear of the passing of Jean.
There are so many fond memories of the times we had together back when we also lived in Oshawa. She always treated us as family. We will cherish the many special occasions we shared together at the Keys household.
We also remember a favorite cheese stuffed mushroom appetizer Jean loved to make. We were lucky enough that she shared the recipe with us as well. She would be glad to know that we now make it as a go to appetizer to please friends and tell the history of it thanks to Jean.
All of our prayers are with you and you family at this difficult time.
Pete and Dawn Hill
Jean Evelyn Bowie McKay was born in Regina Saskatchewan on May 28th, 1930 to parents John and Gracie and she was also welcomed by older siblings Bill and Marg.
Both parents came from Scotland. Dad was a WW1 Vet who worked hard as an accountant while Mom kept house and home together.
When the depression hit Canada, the family went back to Scotland for a couple of years to look after the family’s needs. The depression was very hard on many throughout Canada, but if you were in the prairies, you met extra challenges.
Jean was very active at her church and was part of the Presbyterian choir. She also was active in the Canadian Girls in Training which was a non denominational Christian group for girls, grades 7-12.
When Jean was a young woman spending time with friends, she decided to go to Calgary, in 1952 to a football game. Being a lifelong Roughriders fan, she was with a group of other like minded, out of towners, to cheer on their home team. In that group was a young man named Millar. They realized that they lived in the same area and a love was started. They would marry on June 5th, 1954.
Millar worked at General Motors in Parts and Service in Regina and that job would cause him to move with his family a lot.
Now the family had grown with Tracy and with Scott.
My Mother. Where to begin.
She was an extremely fun loving, stubborn, opinionated, generous and loving person. She also had some interesting quirks.
One of them was that she was a bit vain when it came to her age. I smiled when I heard Rev Kate stating the date of her birth. It wasn’t until I was in my early 40’s that I learned of her true age. My Mom and Dad had come to spend a few days at a cottage that Lori, I and the family had rented in Grand Bend. Lori and my mom had gone off to shop at the some of the local stores and Dad and were wandering around the town. I noticed a church that had a cornerstone etched with “built in 1934”. I pointed it out to my Dad and said “look, this church was built the year Mom was born”. He just laughed and said, “is she still telling you that” and proceeded to tell me the real year of her birth but told me not to tell her I knew. Many years later I accompanied my mom to a specialist’s appointment. She was providing registration information to the receptionist when she was asked what her birth date was. She looked at me with real pain in her face, hesitated and then stated May 28th, 1930 and then turned back to me with the look of a little kid that had just been caught in a lie. I laughed and told her I knew as Dad had told me many years back. The real funny thing was that she had allowed us to celebrate her “65th” birthday in the wrong year.
Another funny thing was the main gift from my Dad to her every Christmas. My mom loved nice clothes and learned early on that my Dad had no fashion sense. She would go shopping in the early fall to her favorite stores and would find that year’s perfect outfit. She would put it on lay away and my Dad would then pay for it throughout the fall and then give it to her, packaged beautifully, on Christmas morning with much fanfare. She would always act surprised and would compliment my Dad’s taste although Tracy and I knew the truth, but we all went along.
She also loved a good argument or “discussion” as she called them. My family always had dinner together and we would have many interesting conversations at the dinner table. As I got older, my Mom and I often would get into a heated disagreement about some obscure fact. These would not be settled until dinner was finished and we would go downstairs and check out the encyclopedias. Our life would have been so much easier with Google!
I mentioned that my Mom was social and fun loving. She loved a good party and a fun time. Boy, did she love a good party! My Dad was a very proud charter member of Parkwood Rotary here in Oshawa. She had may wonderful times at the Rotary club functions and as a member of Rotary Anns. I am extremely grateful to the great members of Parkwood Rotary who continued to invite my Mom to their social events long after my Dad had passed away. This meant the world to her. Thank you
Mom always did her best to ensure my sister and I were happy and felt secure. My family moved often when I was a child. Starting in Regina, we moved 5 times and ended up in Oshawa. As I got older those moves became tougher on me emotionally, particularly the move from Montreal to Oshawa. I will always fondly remember coming home each day from my new school to find mom had baked something new, ready to play cribbage and just talk. She did all she could to help ease the transition.
Although, I am going to miss her very much, I am eased by knowing that she is now reunited with my Dad. He was the love of her life. They were very much partners and had such a joy for life together. They travelled often later in life. London, Morocco, Hawaii, Caribbean and Alaska cruises were among the highlites.
Goodbye Mom, I know you are with Dad in our Heavenly Father’s Kingdom. Be at peace. We will see each other again someday. I love you.
Thank you so much, Scott.
From the day she became our Grandma our bond grew through our love of fancy things. Whether that be clothes, shoes, jewelry our favourite thing to do is dress up.
I used to love getting her old heels for dress up. I was so disappointed when I quickly grew bigger than her and couldn’t fit into her hand me downs.
It wasn’t just fashion we had in common. Our love for politics and current events always kept the conversation going. Grandma was always a great reminder that women can contribute and have an opinion in the conversation.
I had the honour of having Grandma at all my major life milestones and she was always the life of the party. My friends would often comment how cool my Grandma was. She was very cool.
I’m going to read some words from my brother as he isn’t able to be here today.
Cheers to a woman who took us in as if we were blood. Cheers to a strong Scottish woman full of Scottish heritage red hair and all. Cheers to a woman who would sit in the kitchen to watch the Blue Jays win the World Series because every time she went to the kitchen the Jays would score and we told her to stay up there. Cheers to a woman who battled cancer for the last five years. Cheers to a woman who made the best banana bread anyone has had and who always had one waiting for me anytime I was able to visit. Cheers to mom, grandma, GG. Miss you, love you.
Stephanie, Sam, Brooks and JR so wish they too could be here and will think of you often and love you always.
Cheers to you Grandma. Thank you for all your love and support through my life. Maggie, Wyn, Eric and I will miss you terribly.
We hope you are in the fanciest dress, highest heels surrounded by all our loved ones and a rum & coke in hand!
We love you
The Parable of Immortality by Henry Van Dyke
I am standing at the seashore
A ship at my side spreads her white sails
To the morning breeze
And starts for the blue ocean
She is an object of beauty and strength
And I watch until at last she hangs like a speck of white cloud
Just where the sea and the sky come down
To mingle with one another
Then someone is at my side and says,
“There she goes” Gone where?
Gone from my sight, that is all
She is just as large in mast and hull and spar
As when she left my side
And just as able to bear her load of living freight
To the place of destination
Her diminished size is in me, Not in her
And just at that moment
When someone is at my side and says, “There she goes”
There are other eyes watching her coming
And other voices ready to take up the glad shout
“Here she comes”
The Dash – Linda Ellis
I read of a man
Who stood to speak
At the funeral of a friend
He referred to the dates on the tombstone
From the beginning to the end
He noted that first came the date of birth
And he spoke the second date with tears
But he said what mattered most of all
Was the dash between those years
For that dash represents all the time
That she spent alive on earth
And now only those who love her
Know what that little line was worth
For it matters not, how much we own
The cars, the house, the cash
What matters is how we live and love
And how we spend our dash
So think about this long and hard
Are there things you would like to change
For you never know how much time is left
That can still be rearranged
If we could just slow down enough
To consider what is true and real
And always try to understand
The way other people feel
And be less quick to anger
And show appreciation more
And love the people in our lives
Like we never loved before
If we treat each other with respect
And more often wear a smile
Remembering that this special dash
Might only last a little while
So when your eulogy is being read
With your actions to rehash
Would you be proud of the things they say
On how you spent your dash.
Don’t think of me as gone away
My journey has just begun
Life holds so many facets
This earth is all but one
Just think of me as resting
From any sorrow or any tears
To a place of warmth and comfort
Where there are no days and there are no years
Think of how I must be wishing
That you could know to day
That nothing but your sadness
Can really go away
And think of me as living
In the hearts of those I have touched
For nothing loved is ever lost
And I know I was loved so much.