R. M. Jean Neal
It is with great sadness that the family announces the passing, in her 86th year, of Robena Mary Jean (Hamm) Neal of Rothesay, NB, wife of the late Douglas (Doug) Ronald Neal of Saint John NB, which occurred on August 16, 2012 at Bobby’s Hospice in Saint John NB. Born October 6, 1926, she was the only child of the late Frank McLeod and Robena Mary (MacLaren) Hamm.
Jean graduated from Saint John High School in 1943 and subsequently attended business school. Prior to starting a family, she worked with her father at F.M. Hamm Coal and Wood in West Saint John. Jean was married June 12, 1948 and spent the following 36 years raising five children and supporting her husband Doug in his business activities. With the exception of the period from 1665 to 1971, when she lived in Don Mills, ON, Jean lived with her family in communities in the Saint John area.
Very important to Jean in her younger years were the summers spent in St. Andrews, NB with her grandparents and family. In her late teens and early 20’s she enjoyed her summers and loved to swim at Epworth Park, with many who would become her life-long friends. For the remainder of her life, her favourite place to be and share with others was the summer cottage at Epworth Park. This beautiful white home with its arched windows and expansive verandah situated on the Saint John River holds fond memories for anyone lucky enough to have spent time there. It is the family "summer home" frequented by her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and friends.
Jean and in her latter years "Nana" always made visits to the summer cottage very special, spoiling visitors with attention. Even in her very last days, when unable to be there in person, she explained exactly where the right toys for her visiting 18 month old great-grandson could be found.
"Nana" lived her life with a style and grace all her own, blessed with a wonderful sense of humour and a love of children, music, dancing, reading, and all things young. She had a special way of dealing with people, whether they be shopkeepers, teenagers, or lifelong friends. Her mark was left in many places, and those who knew her will always be better for it.
Jean is survived by four sons and one daughter; Brian (Elizabeth Dallon) of Fredericton, NB, Frank (Diana Chuang) of Toronto, ON, Gordon (Jacqueline Kaiser) of Halifax, NS, Robert (Dianne Boucher) of Quispamsis, NB, Andree Neal Safford (Garry Safford) of Rothesay, NB; 13 grandchildren, Jason Neal (Gemini AbouAssaly), Philip Neal, Jessica Dallon (Matt LeBlanc), Emily Dallon (Greg Bates), Jeffrey Neal, Douglas Neal, Gregory Neal (Meaghan Eye), Tyler Moar, Steven Neal, Jillian Neal, David Neal (Susan Watters), Laura Jean Neal (Jeff Gale-O’Hanley), Garrett Neal Safford; four great grand children, Carter, Abigail, Lillyan, and Alexander; her former daughters-in-law, Carmen Neal of Truro, NS, Diane Crosley of Saint John, NB, Nora Mikkelsen of Lower Sackville, NS and Karen Young, Halifax, NS with whom she remained in touch; as well as several cousins.
The family would like to express their special thanks to the New Brunswick Extra-mural Palliative Care staff and staff and volunteers at Bobby’s Hospice for the care and compassion she and the family received while she was in their care.
In keeping with Jean’s wishes there will be no visitation or funeral service. A private family committal service will be held at the St. Andrews Rural Cemetery at a later date. For those who wish, remembrances to Bobby’s Hospice, Saint John or any charity of the donor’s choice would be appreciated by the family. Arrangements are under the care and direction of Brenan’s Funeral Home, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (634-7424). Online condolences and remembrances may be placed at www.BrenansFH.com.