JACQUELINE “JACKIE” KATHLEEN ARLETTA JOHNSON
Early Friday, January 5, Jackie passed away with family at her side.
Being the youngest of six siblings, in the North End, she learned early in life that hard work was necessary to get ahead. She graduated from the Tec Voc Commercial Course and landed a job with Freed and Freed.
In 1961, she met Martin at Nancy's on Selkirk Avenue and they married in 1962. In 1963, they moved to Transcona where the family grew by 3 with Brian, Susan, and Jim. Jackie readily took on the role as mother and homemaker.
As the children grew older, she volunteered for many years with the Health Sciences Centre White Cross Guild at the Health Sciences Centre, and later at Concordia Hospital. With Martin and the boys in Scouts, and Susan in Ringette, Jackie became a convener for the Jr. Belles Division.
She helped Martin with the Firefighters' Burn Fund throughout the years. Through it all, she found time and pleasure in her hobby of needlepoint, resulting in pieces of her work on almost every wall in the house. She did it the hard way, working with a blank canvas, one stitch at a time. And when there was time, she enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, Word Search, and Sudoku.
As the kids grew older, when she accompanied Martin on some of his trips, she would set out on her own, sitting in on the New York Rockettes dance rehearsals, getting to the top of the Empire State Building and walking through Central Park, finding the Beaches in Chicago, being selected as Tourist of the Year in Fredericton, experiencing the Underground City in Seattle, Climbing to the top of the Diamond Head volcano in Hawaii, enjoying the sights and sounds in Las Vegas, and Disney World, High Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria to name a few, but her favorite experience was cruising on tall mast ships in the Maritimes.
We mustn't forget Winnipeg Beach. As children, our respective parents took us and our siblings there. We, in turn, felt it would be ideal for our family, so we bought a shell of a cabin on Oak, which served us well for many years. It did have its challenges such as a wood stove or hotplate to cook on, having to go several blocks to an artesian well for water, and the outhouse was a scary place, particularly at night. Jackie made it a home for us, and later when we decided to renovate, she dug right in, getting bruised and tired. Once it was complete, she was able to relax and appreciate the changes.
Then, as the kids got married, Brian (Corinne) had Kayla and Jessie; Susan and Jeff had Samantha and Markus; and Jim and Colleen had Jaden and Josh. And now there is great granddaughter Aaliyah.
Jackie, like Baba said, "When you are the mother, you are the tree, and the children are your branches".
Cremation has taken place. Internment will be at a later date.
Jackie's favourite quote: "If they can't see me when I am alive, they sure as heck don't need to see me when I'm dead.”
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