Winifred Jean King (nee Swancar) RN, born in Guelph on June 26, 1920, died at Kingsway Lodge, St. Marys on March 24, 2021 at the age of 100. One pandemic indirectly resulted in her birth and the isolating lockdown of a second pandemic broke her spirit.
Her parents met and married during the 1919 influenza pandemic (with her father as an influenza patient and her mother as his nurse) and Jean’s life ended during the Covid-19 pandemic. Beloved wife of the late Robert B. King (2015). Mother of John (Jane) of Wyevale, Paul (Patrick) of St. Marys, and Alyson (Karl) Driedger) of Douro-Dummer Township. Grandmother of Jacob (Lorraine), Jonathan, Michael (Adrienne), Joanna (Eugene), Meghan (Ryan), and David (Gina) and also survived by five great-grandchildren.
Predeceased by her parents Joseph Swancar and Mabel Bowen, her brother David (Gwen), her sister Dorothy, and her infant daughter Elizabeth.
During her life she made “soul mate” friends wherever she lived,, namely, in Guelph, Toronto, Windsor, Tecumseh, Regina, Winnipeg, Dryden, Saint John, Quebec City, Scarborough, Calgary, Eden Mills and St. Marys. Her genuine interest and concern for others touched many people in all walks of life, including staff members at Kingsway Lodge who took such kind and thoughtful care of her. Her ready laugh and her wicked sense of humour either brought joy - or confusion and consternation - to all.
She graduated from Women’s College Hospital as a Registered Nurse in 1944 with an award for bedside nursing and started her career working at Deer Lodge Hospital in Winnipeg nursing injured soldiers returning from WWII. This challenging work involved caring for many young men suffered from horrific war injuries such as severe burns and missing limbs. Later in life after her children were grown she returned to nursing at Scarborough General Hospital in the intensive care unit for newborn infants. Her last employment was as manager for a large retirement residence in Calgary.
Over the years she also pursued many volunteer activities at hospitals, museums, Anglican churches, art galleries, libraries, the Eden Mills writers festival, and with the Red Cross. In her leisure time Jean's knitting, sewing, embroidering and smocking resulted in items such as sweaters and outfits for her children, grandchildren and any new babies. As a member of the Guelph Embroiders Guild, she loved learning about and creating embroidery. While at Kingsway Lodge, she knitted and gave away shawls to those needing a prayer shawl, those just needing love and comfort, and those suffering from the chills of cancer.
Cremation has taken place.
A Celebration of Life Service will be conducted at St. James Anglican Church, 65 Church St S, St. Marys, on June 26, 2022 at 2 p.m.
Interment in Woodlawn Memorial Park in Guelph will be at a later date.
Memorial donations may be made to Doctors Without Borders
or St. James Anglican Church (St. Marys).