Thursday, January 27, 2011

Goodbye Jean

Today just after 1pm today Jean slipped away peacefully from us all. Her family was with her. Jean has been an inspiration to all those who knew her, not just in the courageous way she dealt with her cancer over more than a decade, but through her lifelong actions in the interests of children and families. A passionate advocate for all who surrounded her and beyond.

Jean lived life to the full on so many levels; those of you who were kindergarten teachers in the 80’s will remember her as the NZFKTA President. At the end of her term as President a group of teachers wrote this song as a tribute, titled  - “I wanna be like Jean”
 Chorus: I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be like Jean!
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be like Jean.

I want to have her style, I want her million dollar style, I want to be the president
I wanna be like Jean.

I remember the first time I saw her at Orongamai marae. The spot light it was on her, there was not an eye that was dry. I remember the adulation, the songs and the food and the wine.

I remember the frock she was wearing. It was dinky and pink with a tie.

There are so many ways to describe Jean, a remarkable woman in our time: A few words that I would use to describe her are:


We will all miss her so much. I feel very privileged to have known her. My thoughts and love are with Kerry, Katherine, Emma, Tom and baby William at this time of great sadness.

I just feel the tears sliding down my face, but at the same time, a life so well lived, so courageously - she was an inspiration. Much love Wendy

1 comment:

Wendy said...

It is the night before Jean's funeral, today was an opportunity to see Jean and say our final farewells. Tomorrow we look forward to celebrating her life at her funeral in Old St Pauls.
Today we had a small tribute in the Dominion it read...
We are deeply saddened to lose our friend, colleague and tireless advocate for early childhood education in Aotearoa/NZ. You fought your personal health battle in the same way you advocated for young children - with courage, determination and humour. You leave an incredible legacy and a huge hole in our hearts. Arohanui Wendy, Robin, Jeanie, Robin.S, Sarah, Clare, Rosslyn, Colleen, Cath, Anna, Di and Kenda.