Jeanne Evelyn Beasley (née March)
January 7, 2022
Peacefully passed away on Friday, January 7, 2022 at London Chartwell LTC Residence, Jeanne Beasley, in her 104th year.
Survived by daughter-in-law Manon Proulx (Therrien); step-daughters Terrie Beasley and Dorothy De Rose (David); niece Eleanor March; nephews James, Christopher and Andrew (Buckland); and distant relatives including Robin Mayes and Susan Main.
Predeceased by beloved husband Ken Beasley of 27 years (2015); sons Michael Therrien, Philip Therrien (Manon); brother-in-law Ivor Buckland and sister Rita Buckland (March).
Jeanne March was born in Lambeth, London, England on January 30, 1918, the first child of Frances Eveline March (née Morris) and Seymour William Muncy March. Jeanne’s sister Rita was born on November 21, 1919, and shortly afterwards the family moved to Reigate in Surrey. As a young person, Jeanne excelled at mathematics and music and was an excellent tennis player.
Jeanne’s first job was as a Junior Civil Servant at the London Ministry of Education. During World War II, she transferred to the Admiralty where she often saw Winston Churchill. She worked on projects such as Operation Pamplemousse which mysteriously involved the French Foreign Legion in Scandinavia.
In 1943, Jeanne married a Canadian Soldier; soon after their first son Michael was born in 1944 in Reigate. In 1946, Jeanne moved to Canada as a war bride, landing in Halifax, then settling in Montreal where she lived for about 40 years. Her second son Philip was born on Christmas Day, 1948 in Montreal. While in Montreal, Jeanne succeeded in becoming one of the first women to reach a senior management position at Readers Digest.
Jeanne moved to London, Ontario in 1984 and in 1988 she married Ken Beasley. Ken and Jeanne enjoyed 27 years of marriage as they travelled the world visiting all 7 continents, sailing on numerous exotic cruises and travelling to lands ranging from the African plains to the Antarctic Glaciers. They enjoyed meals with friends at their gourmet dinner club, were avid bridge players – Jeanne enjoyed embroidery, knitting, reading and crossword puzzles.
Jeanne was most proud of her sons for both being acclaimed for their hard work and dedication towards others. They learned well from her. She was always interested in the people she met, asking “what is your name and where are you from.” Jeanne loved her time at Longworth Retirement Residence where she made many great friends of the residence and staff. Jeanne was very generous toward a diverse range of charities which she supported over the years. Her church, St. James Westminster Anglican Church and the social values it embodied provided Jeanne with much comfort and support.
When asked what advice would you offer based on all that you had learned so far in life – she responded “Stay positive and do everything with a smile.” Jeanne will be sorely missed by all those who had the good fortune to meet and get to know her.
Cremation has taken place. Due to COVID-19 restrictions, a Celebration of Life for Jeanne will be held at a later date. If you would like to make a donation in Jeanne’s memory, please consider Doctors Without Borders or the Canadian Cancer Society.
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I always enjoyed my visits with Jeanne at the flower stand and also at Longworth, where I delivered flowers to her for quite a few years. She was a delight to visit and always had time for a fun chat and a glass of wine. I respected her interest in others, her enjoyment of gardens and beautiful flowers, and the news of the day. She was always reading something interesting and told me stories of her life during the war. What a determined and strong woman she was and what an interesting life she lived. I always admired her. I send my condolences to her family. She will be missed.
I’m so terribly sorry to hear of Jeanne’s passing. She was a remarkable woman and an inspiration to us all. I’ll always treasure the wonderful times we shared.