October 15, 1932 –  April 10, 2024

Jean passed away on April 10, 2024 at the age of 91 years and leaves to mourn her three children; Douglas and his wife Morgan, Larry and his wife Brenda and Janice and her husband Stan. She also leaves four grandchildren, Dustin, Chantel (Rich), Samantha (Stephan) and Sara and two great-grand-daughters, Chantel’s daughter Taylor and Dustin’s daughter Zoe.  Jean was predeceased by her husband Albert,  mother, father, brother, and many relatives and friends.

 Jean was a social butterfly and liked nothing better than meeting new people and making new friends. Although Jean suffered from dementia and memory loss, she continued to make friends late into her life. Unfortunately, she eventually lost her language skills and could only answer very basic questions with yes or no. Her life became a prison for her, where she could no longer talk, laugh, visit…all the things she held so dear. Many thanks to those friends who continued to keep in touch and visit Mom as her health declined. She, as well as her family, are so grateful and appreciative of your friendship and caring.

Jean was born in Selkirk Manitoba to Katerina and Paul Chmara. She lived in East Selkirk with her parents and older brother Steven until she was four years old, when the family moved to Winnipeg’s north end. Jean referred to her childhood years as “living on the prairies” with no water or electricity and fondly recalled sailing on a “raft” her older brother Steven had built to get them to school during spring flooding and skating to school in the winter.

Jean got her first full time job at Codville’s Grocers after she completed her schooling at St. John’s High School. Codville’s was located in the Lombard area at that time and Jean had tales about getting to work by boat during the great 1950 Winnipeg flood. She continued to work there until her marriage to the love of her life, Albert Rech, on January 13, 1952.  She and Albert had three children, Douglas, Larry, and Janice. Jean and Albert initially lived in Norwood and made many lifelong friends while living there. In 1960 they moved to Tudor Crescent in East Kildonan and raised their family there until 1978 when they moved into North Kildonan. Mom kept active during those years with her coffee clubs, curling, cross country skiing, and many other activities. Dad and her also bought property on Sandy Lake just outside Kenora, Ontario in 1970.  Summers were sweet, providing the entire family with many years of special memories. After Albert’s retirement they sold their home in Winnipeg as well as the cottage. They wintered in Fort Lauderdale for 25 years and bought a condo in Gimli (Albert’s home town) to enjoy the summers at. After a few summers in Gimli, they relocated back to Winnipeg where they enjoyed living closer to their children and grandchildren until Bert passed away in 2006. Jean continued to live in their condo until 2016 when her failing memory and dementia facilitated a move to an assisted living complex. After that her decline increased in speed and she eventually ended her days in River East Personal Care Home. Even though she could not speak and did not understand relationships at the end, she remembered those she loved. A smile always greeted us, right until the end.  

Throughout her life, more than anything, Mom enjoyed people. She enjoyed entertaining and having houseguests and always made everyone feel welcome and made sure they were well fed (like any good Ukrainian). She participated greatly in her grandchildren’s lives when they were young. Her dementia stole those relationships away from her as her condition declined, but she always knew she loved them, even if she couldn’t remember their names.


A lifetime of fond memories of Mom at home, cooking and baking, watching “Wheel of Fortune”,  reading her books on the deck of the cottage, going for long walks (she was an avid walker!) will keep her with us all the years of our lives. We will miss her forever but rest easy knowing she is no longer suffering and she is with all Albert and all her friends and family that she so missed after they passed on. Thank you, Mom, for being a constant source of comfort and care in the lives of all those that knew you, but especially your children. We love you and will miss you always.


In accordance with Mom’s wishes, cremation has taken place and a funeral will not be held. Instead, again in accordance with Mom’s wishes, a celebration of life, for family and friends will be held this summer at her son Larry’s acreage.

A Memorial Tree was planted for JEAN HELEN
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at 1442 Main Street
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