Jennie B. MacLean
Jennie Beatrice MacLean of North Black River Rd., Black River Bridge, New Brunswick, died peacefully on May 4th 2021, at the Miramichi Regional Hospital at the age of 95, with members of her family by her side.
She was the loving wife for 61 happy years of the late Harold R. MacLean (1920-2011). Jennie was a dedicated member of the St. Stephen’s United Church Congregation in Black River Bridge all her life where she was an active member of the U.C.W. and the choir. Born in Black River Bridge on September 2nd, 1925, she was a daughter of the late H. Francis “Frank” and M. Marion (Cameron) MacLean. Jennie was the last surviving member of her immediate family. In addition to her beloved parents and husband, Jennie was predeceased in death by one brother, Ernest MacLean (2010), and two sisters, Catherine Newton (2001) and Frances Adams (2017).
Mrs. MacLean is survived by one son, Brian MacLean (Sheena) of Mississauga, ON; three daughters: Nancy (Gordon Russell) of Miramichi, NB, Margaret (Peter Legere) of Fredericton, NB, and Carol (Dr. James Porter) of Coaticook, QC; ten grandchildren: David MacLean (Olivia Alexandre) of Hamilton, ON, Kenneth MacLean (Krista Whittaker) of Georgetown, ON, Craig Russell (Christina Metcalfe) of Shediac, NB, Scott Russell (Aundrea Holmes) of Nelson, NB, Grant Russell of Miramichi, NB, Ryan Legere of Montreal, QC, Alison Porter (Rinat Rashapov) of Ottawa, ON, Christopher Porter (Victoria Taylor) of Baldwin Mills, QC, Daniel Porter of Toronto, ON, and Erica Porter of Montreal, QC; ten great-grandchildren: Madeline, William, Ethan, Gavin, Malcolm, Andie, Elliot, Lilia, Adelie, Charlee; one sister-in-law, Helen MacLean (late Ernest) of Fredericton, NB; twenty-two nieces and nephews; as well as many more extended family members and friends.
Jennie’s childhood was spent on the family farm on the South Black River Road. As an ambitious and independent young woman, Jennie made the bold decision to leave her community with the intention of pursuing a professional career of her own. She saw an opportunity in the unprecedented departure of so many men to fight for the Allies whose absence required women to fill many of these jobs which had largely only been held by men. Her post secondary studies, specializing in business, took place at St. Michael’s Academy in Chatham.
Jennie was employed as a Bookkeeper for the Bank of Montreal in Moncton, a period of her life which she often spoke of with great pride and could recollect with great clarity, even when her memory started failing in recent years. Her manual bank reconciliations at the end of each day were usually perfect, and her nickname in the bank was “first-shot MacLean”.
Jennie’s banking career came to an end in 1949 when she met and fell in love with Harold, the love of her life. He brought her home to Black River that year and following their marriage and honeymoon in P.E.I., they took up residence on the homestead farm of her husband’s family on North Black River Road where they began their new life as a married couple. Jennie was a remarkable Homemaker and worked hard to provide countless and constant meals not only for her own growing family, but for her husband’s family who lived with them, many visiting relatives, friends, and hired farm hands. Growing up, one's work on the farm was never done but Sundays were observed as a day of rest. Her children remember not being allowed to use scissors on Sundays as that would be considered work. As her children grew and started families of their own, Jennie loved when they would return home for visits. Summer vacations and March Breaks were wonderful but Christmas’ on the farm with her children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren packed in like sardines, all-day gift opening marathons followed by a suppertime feast was what Jennie looked forward to most. Her greatest joy was seeing her family expand each year as ten grandchildren and more recently ten great-grandchildren arrived in fast succession, all of whom mourn the loss of a beloved grandmother whose pride in each of her grandchildren was unmistakable. They will all miss her delicious pies and donuts, warm knitted socks, and who could forget the squeal of those hearing aids when you leaned in close for a hug and kiss.
Jennie was able to live out her years at the old homestead and greatly enjoyed Saturday card nights which never failed to include a late night snack of a few squares to properly finish the evening.
All of Jennie’s children and grandchildren wish to express their sincere appreciation for the steadfast support given by her faithful caregivers. Most importantly, of course, they kept the fire going in the stove (no matter the time of year)! She would never have been able to live out her final years at home, where she felt most comfortable and safe, without these wonderful people and for that, we are profoundly and forever grateful.
Jennie's life was long and well-lived with love for her family, community, and church. Although we miss her dearly, we take comfort in knowing that Jennie and Harold have been reunited at last with their earthly chores finally done.
There will be no visitation due to Covid-19 restrictions, however a private graveside service will be held at a later date. A memorial fitting for our family's matriarch will be planned when we can all gather together safely again and give Jennie the celebration she so much deserves. In lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to St. Stephen’s United Church in Black River Bridge, NB, Muscular Dystrophy Canada, or a memorial of one's choice.
Arrangements are entrusted to Adams Funeral Home Ltd., 140 King St., Miramichi, telephone (506) 773-3492, or messages of condolence may be sent online to www.adamsfh.ca
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