With much sadness we announce the passing of Jeannette Lorraine Ponath on Tuesday, May 10th at the West Coast General Hospital in Port Alberni. Jeannette leave behind her children; Jim, Michael, Randy, Connie, Rhonda, Clara, and Carla; Grandchildren, Kristi, Corey, Dillon, Jordan, Jasmine, Brodie, Coby, Miranda, Hunter, Lachlan, Daelen, Kaitlyn, Xander & Gage; as well as her brother, Glen. She was predeceased by her parents, Alice and John Ponath; and siblings, Don, Jack, and Doreen.
With love in our hearts, we welcome you to discover and share the life of our mother, Jeanette Lorraine Ponath. Jeanette passed away suddenly, but all her children were able to visit and spend some quality time with her, sharing stories and laughs. Knowing that all her children visited her, was so important to her as her family was her only priority. She was in good spirits, she had just been to the spa, so she looked amazing.
Jeanette was born on the family farm on August 23, 1941, in Naicam, Saskatchewan. She came to Port Alberni with her parents, father John, and mother Alice in the early fifties where she raised her family. For most of her life, mom was a single parent. She worked as a waitress and did her best to provide for her children with the resources she was provided with throughout her life. Like many mothers, she at times had to make tough decisions that often landed her in extremely tight financial situations, but overall, she always made sure her children had food in their bellies and clothes on our backs. Thank you, Mom.
As her children aged and she had time for herself, she made sure her family stayed in touch. I remember one day after getting my mail there was another regular letter from mom, but it was addressed to her grandchildren. This letter once opened, revealed a $5 bill that was precisely cut in half, so to be clear, we received one half of a $5 bill. The note attached was noticeably clear and quite ingenious. The note explained that she had sent out the other half of that bill to one of her other grandchildren and her goal was to have all her grandchildren connect with the entire family to match their half bill with another. It was a fun and playful way for the grandchildren to contact their family. Thank you, Mom.
Mom was the keeper of family stories, and it was a real joy to sit down with her, a few photos, and just listen to her. The stories always ended up with everyone laughing and. we will all miss those times very much. Mom had a great sense of humour and cared deeply for other people. Mom loved to cook and bake breads. She worked extra hard around the holidays and our birthdays to make them special memories. Her turkey dinners, with all the fixings were most memorable. All her children and some of her grandchildren will forever remember the special birthday cakes. Although money was never discussed, we as children knew things were tight. Nevertheless, Mom would put money (coins) in the birthday cakes. We would all eat the amazing cake and cheer with excitement as we discovered the silver treasures inside. Thank you, Mom.
As Mom aged, she took courses in counseling and tried to help others even when she was the one that really needed the help. She was always making new friends. She was kind and gentle. She was old school in her family teachings, and we are all better people for that. Thank you, Mom.
A family gathering is being planned for when the time is right, and we will spread her ashes and honour her wishes then.
In lieu of flowers, the next time you see someone struggling in any way, step in, ask if may help, and watch the magic begin. This was Mom’s message.
The entire family would like to thank Yates Memorial services which went beyond our expectations.