Marion Jean Strong

April 9, 1928 - June 6, 2022
June 8, 2022 11 Condolences Print Obituary Send Flowers

It is with sadness that the family of Marion Jean Strong announce her passing at 94 years on June 6, 2022.

Jean was born on April 9, 1928 in Lethbridge, Alberta to parents Angela and John Malacko. She grew up in a large family: Leona, Ernie, Marie (died as an infant), Jean, Jim, Ed, Jerry, Doreen and Dick. Brother Ed is the last surviving sibling.

Jean attended Lethbridge Collegiate Institute (LCI) where her basketball team won a provincial championship. While attending Southminster United Church, Jean discovered that she could apply for nursing school. Jean had good scholastic marks and was admitted. After completing high school she boarded a bus to start the Nurses' training program at Archer Memorial Hospital in Lamont, Alberta where she graduated and became a Registered Nurse in 1950.

By coming to Lamont, she met the love of her life, Herbert Ashley Strong. They were married on October 4, 1951 and settled in Ashley's hometown of Bruderheim. Jean was employed at the Lamont Hospital while Ashley managed the Strong & Sons family businesses including a hardware store, farm fuel, fertilizer and garage service. They raised their two daughters, Laurette and Jocelyn, in this wonderful small community. In 1965, they built a beautiful home in the center of town with a large yard and massive garden where Jean would spend many of the best years of her life. Planting potatoes each spring became a family event and volunteering in the community.....a way of life.

Tragedy struck in 1972 with Ashley's untimely death, widowing Jean at the age of 44. Jean was determined to continue to live in her home so Laurette and her family moved in. The first grandson was named after her husband, and began saying her name as 'Nean' which stuck with family and friends for the next 50 years. Her four great grandchildren called her Grandma Nean.

Jean continued nursing, furthering her education and professional responsibilities until retiring in 1988. She really enjoyed travelling during the early years of her retirement with friends and nursing colleagues, visiting many different places including England, Israel, Greece, Australia, Japan, Cook Islands, Mexico and Alaska. Jean was a remarkable cook and baker. Her chiffon cakes were always requested for special occasions. She loved gardening in her vegetable patch and flower beds and volunteering her time to support others. Her efforts were recognized through the 'Bruderheim Citizen of the Year' program and she was also a recipient of the Queen’s Jubilee Medal.

The family moved to Sherwood Park in 2000. Jean missed Bruderheim but kept in contact with many good friends. Her new neighbors loved her help with flowers and recipes and her Christmas cinnamon buns became a neighborhood tradition.

Jean endured 4 major surgeries in 2010 that required a lot of recovery. Jean was strong-willed and this resilience served her well. As dementia began to set in, the changes were a challenge for the whole family. Nevertheless, her spirited independence remained a hallmark as the care she required became more extensive. Even though the last few years were difficult and confusing, Jean would always light up whenever family was around and she hung onto pieces of her personality to the very end and made her feisty presence known wherever she went.

Jean was our matriarch and a very generous woman who deeply loved her family.

Jean is survived by her daughters, Laurette Strong (Don O'Kurley) and Jocelyn Strong (Mario Orlando); four grandchildren, Ashley O'Kurley (Sandra Beggs), Austen O'Kurley, Avarey Amyotte (Jeremy) and Luke Orlando; four great grandchildren, Rainen O'Kurley, Amaia O'Kurley, Owen Amyotte and Jaxson Amyotte.

Jean requested Cremation and no service. A private family gathering will be held at a later date.
Memorial donations can be made to a charity of your choice or
The Mustard Seed, Community Support Cnt,
105680-114 St NW, Edmonton, AB T5H 3J7

Alzheimer Society of Canada
20 Eglinton Avenue West
16th Floor
Toronto, ON M4R 1K8

  1. May God’s loving arms welcome Jean home. Treasure your memories. May your reflections bring you smiles. We pray God’s comfort and peace be with you.
    Our love

  2. Very special woman.So sorry for your loss 🤗👏

  3. Laurette and Jocelyn, and families, our sincerest condolences on the loss of Auntie Jean. She will be fondly remembered by the sparkle in her eye, her spunky presence and her wonderful cooking.

  4. Our condolences on the passing of Jean. We used to love her coming to see us in Bruderheim; she was a wonderful person; always cheerful, friendly & considerate. May the Lord give you peace & blessings during these sad times.
    Sincerely, Linda & Morey Schneider

  5. Dear Laurette, Don, Jocelyn, Mario and your families:
    We are so very sorry to hear of the passing of your beautiful Mom, Mother-in-Law, Grandmother and Great-Grandmother. Jean’s obituary is such a wonderful tribute to a very special lady. May she rest in eternal peace and may her memory be a blessing always. Wishing you all peace and comfort during this sad time. With our sincere condolences, Carrie Serink, MaryAnn Poznansky, and Tina Poznansky.

  6. Dear Laurette, Jocelyn and family. Jean is one iconic person I will always remember very fondly. The playhouse, Halloween trick or treating, all sorts of gatherings, July 1, and of course how we Stewart girls got our China patterns started…by Jean. May precious memories live in your hears forever. Vichnaya pomyat…memories eternal. With deepest sympathies.

  7. Sorry for your loss Jean is fondly remembered by myself Andrea (comfort) Varga and lots of class 65 A well respected head nurse of 1st west Very fair to student nurses she spoke often of her daughters at work as well
    Hugs to all in your sorrow
    Andrea Varga (chuck)

  8. We will always remember Auntie Jean and many good memories. Thinking of you all,

  9. My condolences to the family ! Jean was an amazing Head Nurse and role model for me while a student at Archer Memorial Hospital . class of ‘69

  10. I will always remember your mother fondly from my nursing school days (class of ’72). She was a role model for so many of us. Please accept my sincere condolences.

  11. Dear Laurette, our heartfelt condolences to you and your family. Nean will forever be the “grandma” of our beautiful cul-de-sac on Heritage Drive. She knew all the goings on with her birds eye view from her room over the garage, and her many hours out in the yard tending her garden. I absolutely loved our “tell it like it was” chats and tea times. My boys grew up cherishing her baking. We’d often answer the door and there she was holding a poppy seed cake, cinnamon buns, butter buns or big hollow Easter Eggs with each boys name hand-iced with love. She loved to dole out those Costco pack blue whales to all the neighbor children. I remember a time where I wondered, “Where did Noah get to?” After a quick search of the neighborhood I found him at her door, a mouth full of blue whales, saying “Nean… just one more please”… his little pointer finger in the air. The image of her grin and this entire scene is forever etched on my heart. Rest well dear friend. You will forever be a blessing to us all. Love, Leslie, Marty, Benjamin, Noah and Matthew Schmidt

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