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Jane McKeague
November 20, 1924 - November 20, 2017
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<div itemprop="description">McKeague, Jane Belmore -- November 20, 1924 - November 20, 2017 <br>Jane died peacefully at Queensway Carleton Hospital on her 93rd birthday, surrounded by her five children and one of her grandchildren. Jane was born to Frank and Agnes (Dolly) Thompson in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The youngest of three sisters, she had a happy childhood. After graduating in 1945 with a BA from United College (now the University of Winnipeg), she went to the University of Manitoba to become a teacher. After two years teaching in Milita, Manitoba, she started at a school in Kimberley B.C, where she asked a fellow teacher named Alex McKeague to help her put up a map in her new classroom. She was soon head over heels in love with this shy former farm-boy from Alberta. <br>Jane and Alex married in 1952. Their first child, Paul, was born in Comox, B.C. in 1953. By this time, Alex had decided that teaching was not his calling and, with Jane's full support, returned to university to study science. The next years brought multiplying children and a life of stretched finances that was a far cry from the comfortable life Jane had known in Winnipeg. But she adapted with her characteristic good humour. She gave birth to Eleanor (Elly) in Vancouver, where Alex got his Bachelor of Science degree. Martha and Shirley followed in Edmonton, where Alex got his Masters degree. The family then went to Ithaca, New York, where Alex got his PhD in soil science at Cornell University, before moving in December 1961 to Ottawa, where Alex would have a very fulfilling career at Agriculture Canada. Another child, Ruth, followed in 1963. "I must say that the five days I gave birth were the happiest days of my life," Jane later wrote. "My children were my calling in life." As her children became older, she brought foster children into the home and then refugee children from Cambodia. <br>The lives of Jane and Alex were shaped by their commitment to help people less fortunate than themselves and to advance social justice. At Trinity United Church, they found like-minded souls who became their community for more than half a century. They helped refugees from the former Yugoslavia settle in Canada and in their 60s did international development work in Tanzania for three years. Jane was a kind and welcoming woman whose positive spirit and radiant smile touched many lives. She valued everyone in her life, and everyone in her life knew it. When her beloved Alex died in 2007, Jane carried on, lavishing a growing number of grandchildren and great grandchildren with her love and indulging her passion for reading and cross-word puzzles. She had a large social circle and as she entered her 90s was still circulating all over Ottawa in her little Hyundai, going to her bridge clubs, volunteering at a program for adults with disabilities, attending church events, visiting her children and showing up for the recitals, performances and graduations of her grandchildren. <br>A series of mini-strokes slowed her down earlier this year, but her curiosity and sense of adventure never diminished. Barely a month before she died, she completed a two-week trip to Italy with her daughter Elly and son-in-law Mark. She said in her final weeks that her death would be nothing to be sad about. She had had 92 wonderful years (that would become 93). The family would like to thank Trinity United Church for filling Jane's life with meaning, purpose and love; the Carlingwood Retirement Community for enabling Jane to enjoy her last months to the fullest and to those doctors and nurses at Queensway Carleton Hospital who treated mom with compassion and showed understanding to the crowds of family members who filled her room to thank her for all she has given them and to support her on her final journey. We will carry her in our hearts till the end of our days. <br>Jane was predeceased by her two older sisters, Helen Turley and Ruth Boudreau. She is mourned by her five children -- Paul (Katya Feder) McKeague, Elly (Mark Haughey) McKeague, Martha (Don) Hall, Shirley (Peter) Stanton and Ruth (David Gardner) McKeague. Jane was the beloved grandmother of 14 grandchildren: Isaac, Sarah and Samuel McKeague; Lucas (Paula) and Kate Parker; Rebecca (Nico Koenig), Madeline (Michael Milne) and Bridget (Lucas Maloney) Hall; Crystal (Corey Walsh), Taylor and Haley Stanton; and Rachael, Charlotte and Elizabeth Gardner. Jane adored her two great-grandchildren, Taylor Stanton and Hattie Koenig-Hall (whose birth brought joy to Jane's last three weeks of life). Those who would like to make donations in Jane's memory may do so to Trinity Jubilee Foundation, Trinity United Church, 1099 Maitland Avenue, Ottawa, ON, K2C 2B8. The Foundation is dedicated to helping disadvantaged people in Canada and developing countries. There will be no visitation. Celebration of life service at 10 a.m. on Saturday at Trinity United. Reception to follow immediately thereafter in the church hall. <br> <br></div>