Agnes Jean Hoskin
(nee Morton) 1919 – 2012
Born July 28, 1919 in Shackleton, Saskatchewan, to James and Hazel Morton, preceded by sister Effie (the Model) and followed by sister Betty (the Athlete), Agnes Jean Hoskin made her mark in the hearts of those who had the privilege of knowing her.
It began in Winnipeg with not your typical childhood and adolescence that included skating, swimming and bowling at the Winter Club, summers spent at Farlane learning archery and how to shoot a .22, the odd shopping jaunt to New York with her sisters, a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Manitoba…the budding poet, writer, voracious reader, photographer and dry wit lived something of the glamorous life. A good thing, because life was about to change.
Jean married Dave on September 16, 1944, he being a dashing and decorated member of the First Special Service Force, back from the war and finishing up his degree at McGill University in Montreal. Home base was a small apartment where first son Jim was born. The family moved to an apartment above Dave’s warehouse and office in East End Montreal, where Tom, Dorothy and Gordon were born. Moving to St. Lambert, Jean and Dave rounded out the herd with the birth of Robert. She became an unofficial “block parent” on Edison Avenue. Running a busy St. Lambert house in winter and a Woodlands summer cottage, she added chauffeur to her job description as she ferried innumerable kids to and from all manner of sports, school and social events.
As if this wasn’t enough, Scouts Canada came calling and Jean was drafted as Akela for the Storer Wolf Cub Pack, a role in which she excelled for more than a dozen years. Moving to her beloved 155 Riverside Drive in St. Lambert, she managed a household that served as family campground for Expo 67, driver’s training track, auto repair garage, laboratory, animal shelter, snowmobile course and Teenage Party Central.
Jean took on the Sunday School Superintendent’s role at St. Barnabas, a task that she performed with her usual good humour and sense of commitment for many years.
Having seen four of five kids through university (the last one was just starting), it began to look as if there might be something called retirement after all. In 1977 she and Dave pulled up stakes and headed to their second true home – Salt Spring Island.
On Salt Spring Island Jean and Dave settled into their Tripp Road home on St. Mary Lake after a brief time at a home on Welbury. Jean again became involved in Scouting as the Akela of the Salt Spring cub pack. She participated in the camera club, entering many beautiful photographs in the Fall Fair. Her home became a favourite spot to visit by relatives and friends, far and wide. Main attractions were: her growing teddy bear and wind-up animal collection, the cows in her field (Mary Tyler Moo, Goldie, Kahlua, and Tia Maria), and swimming and sailing in the lake. She loved to row her boat on St Mary Lake and in the summers she became a regular early morning swimmer at the outdoor pool at Portlock Park.
After the death of her husband, Dave in 1980, Jean began traveling the world, enjoying visits to South Africa, the South Pacific, Alaska, Australia, England, Scotland, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Greece as well as Disney Land and Disney World. The photo of her going down Splash Mountain was featured on her fridge for many years.
She is the much loved Grandmother of Allison, Daniel, Jennifer, Caroline, David and Michelle. Jean had many happy visits with them at her Salt Spring home, as well as in Calgary, Brossard, and Vancouver. She is also the beloved mother-in-law to Flip, Eric, Christiane, and Nancy.
Jean was one of the first residents of Meadowbrook when it opened. She enjoyed meals with her friend Queenie. In 2007 she moved to the Extended Care Unit at Lady Minto Hospital. Here she led a dignified battle with the effects of progressive Parkinson’s disease and visual loss due to macular degeneration. Her friend Hilda Lucas coordinated a team of caring, conscientious assistants to feed Jean her meals. She was compassionately and professionally supported by Dr. David Woodley the ECU staff. Many thanks from the family to all her caregivers. She passed away on June 27 surrounded by the love of family and friends.
All who knew Jean admired her independent spirit, her “no frills” approach to life, and her wicked sense of humor. She is much loved and will be greatly missed.
At her request, there will be no funeral service. If you choose to make a donation in her memory, please consider THE LADY MINTO HOSPITAL FOUNDATION.