Jean was a quiet force in the world who cared deeply for her family and friends. She is survived by her beloved husband and sweetie George, daughters Heather and Ali, son-in-law Michael, and grandsons Henry and Duncan. She was born in London, England, in 1946 to Andrew and Alison Rhodes. She was a loving daughter, sister, wife, mother, gran, aunt, friend, teacher and artist.
She loved her family, her garden, coffee, crosswords, reading, mosaics, and 4 o’clock gins on the deck in Nevis. She was a reluctant but long-term camper, and while not an enthusiastic sailor, she loved spending time with the family at the lake.
Jean was a voracious reader and took no prisoners during a game of Scrabble or Banana-grams. One of her favourite things to do while travelling would be to sit drinking coffee and plan out where we would get our next coffee.
After retiring from teaching, Jean started a new path as a mosaic artist. It brings us comfort that she lives on through her art, which is out in the community in so many homes. She was a member of the Society of American Mosaic Artists, the Society Of Canadian Mosaic Artists, and the artist collective Octarine and served as the chairperson of the Elora-Fergus Studio Tour for four years.
A chance encounter with a mosaic artist and some broken crockery led her to take a mosaic course at the Haliburton School. She worked in Smalti, mixed media and stained glass. Her favourite medium was stained glass, cut and glued to solid backings. She loved the play of light on vibrant colours that stained glass created. In her family, she was known as "the Queen of Grout".
Those close to her describe her as a source of light, a force, a true team with Geo and will be remembered for her dry wit, sly humour, generosity and creativity.
It has been an amazing year for backyard birds! All the songbirds arrived one Friday morning to join our permanent blue jays and cardinals.
I knew there had been sightings of Baltimore Orioles in town so I set out orange halves and waited, not so patiently! One day I saw a post on Facebook from an Elora friend who posted pictures of 3 orioles on her feeders.
As I was complaining about our lack of orioles, I looked over to see this beauty on our perch! It was so obliging, I had time to run upstairs get our 'good' camera and George took this beautiful shot! The pair stayed around for several days and then left for someone else's yard.
I was thrilled to have them for any time!
This was my year of Great Blue Herons. First a smaller one i created for the first annual Ontario Mosaics show in Toronto in the summer. Then a larger one that I created for the opening of the Elora Fergus Studio Tour before Thanksgiving. The tour was a huge success
This is Jean's final piece.
She was working on it for the Octarine group show at the Elora Centre for the Arts in January 2022.
Jean had a particular affinity for the animals found in and around the island of Nevis in the West Indies. Many of her subjects were birds and plant life native to the island.
The sea turtles nest on the secluded beaches of Nevis and are protected. No one is allowed on the beaches where they nested when they come out of the sea to lay their eggs.