April 11, 1943 – July 6, 2020
It is with heavy hearts we announce the passing of the jewel of our family, (Sarah) Eleanor. Eleanor passed away surrounded by her loving family on Monday, July 6 at the age of 77 in Duncan, BC after a valiant 11 year war with cancer.
Born April 11, 1943 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan, Eleanor was predeceased by her father John James Whitbread, mother Gladys Mae McMahon, step-mother Maryann Jaggers, father-in-law Charles Jordan, mother-in-law Dorothy Jordan, brothers-in-law David Jordan and Ken Johnston, and nephew Shane Whitbread.
She is survived by her immediate family – devoted husband of 58 years, Chuck, children Brenda, Gail (Rob), Brett (Karen) and Duane (Sherie), 7 grandchildren (Robbie, Tania, Sean- Marc, Marcus, Naomi, Kyle, and Brianna), 4 great grandchildren and counting, siblings Marion Johnston, Gordie Whitbread (Roberta), Linda Lauriente (Al), Laurie Griffith (Bryan), Jerry Jaggers (Donna), Darrell Jaggers (Carole), as well as numerous cherished nieces and nephews.
Eleanor was born in the time when life on the Prairies was difficult and going to school a luxury. At 5 years old, she lost her mother. The family anew would move to the Cowichan Valley in 1956, where her grandparents, aunts and uncles already resided. It was here that the family grew and Eleanor got to know her many cousins, who became like siblings. It was also here in 1960 that she would meet Chuck, the love of her life, and start her family in the Sahtlam area near the Jordan homestead in 1961.
With Chuck working in the woods or shift-work at the Youbou sawmill, Eleanor was always there for her children and their activities. As if four children weren’t enough, she did the same for the neighbours’ kids.
She enjoyed knitting, sewing, playing cards and camping. Most of all, she enjoyed family dinners and time spent with friends.
Once the children were of school age, Eleanor began her work career. Of her many jobs the one she was passionate about was at the Duncan Manor where she was a cook for 19 years. After her retirement, she was a beacon through her kindness and generosity, forming everlasting friendships.
As her children grew and became parents of their own, their children became her treasures. There is nothing she wouldn’t do for them. In their own words she was: a mama bear, showing strength beyond her size, fierce yet loving, selfless, generous, humble, full of unconditional love, compassionate, gracious, spirited when she had to be, accepting of all. She was extraordinary, awesome, authentic and would leave the room glowing. Above all other, she was family-oriented. She was our matriarch.
Sincere thanks must go out to Drs. Ibrahim, Masuda, Glitch, and Milsom as well as the numerous ER nurses at Cowichan District Hospital. A special note of thanks for the compassion of the lady who offered her bed space, so our family could be all together in those final moments. Also to her dearest friends, Marion, Joyce, Penny, Delia, Marcia, Betty, Gail, and Cavetta who kept her mind and spirits healthy even when her body was failing. To her son-in-law Rob, a thank you for being there at a moment’s notice.
Her struggle is now over. No longer does she have to pretend she is not in pain. At her request, in lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the BC Cancer Foundation to pay it forward.
In different times, to honour Eleanor, we would have held a larger event for family and friends. Due to the current health risk, a private gathering is being arranged. Thank you for your understanding.
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