Early in the morning of August 10, 2023, Jacqueline Jean (Thrun) Roberts ran headlong into the arms of her Saviour. Or maybe she danced there. We’re pretty sure she was upright.
Jacquie was born November 7, 1937, in Calgary, Alberta, the second youngest of six children born to Arthur William Thrun and Grace Annie (Smaller) Thrun. She was predeceased by all of her siblings, one in infancy. She was also predeceased by her husband of over 40 years, Victor Gordon Roberts, in February of 1999, and is survived by their children and grandchildren, Chuck (Donna), Craig and Carter and Susan (Brad), Amy and Brodie, and the three great-grandchildren that were the light of her life: Novah, Teagan and Alexcia, as well as a number of dearly loved nieces and nephews.
Our mother was born feisty, and she needed to be – she was born at 6 months gestation, weighing 2 lbs 10 oz. She was not expected to live 24 hours, let alone 85 years. She lived with cerebral palsy as a result of this early birth, and first walked independently at the age of 7. She was 16 when she met her husband Victor and 20 when they married. Mom and Dad moved often in the first several years of their marriage – from Vancouver to Burnaby, then to Fort William, ON, and then, when we kids were still preschoolers, to a tiny mining town in the northern Ontario bush, where my raised-in-the-city mother hauled water until the mining company installed running water. From there, they moved to Ear Falls, ON, then Winnipeg, MB, finally settling in Selkirk, MB in 1973 where they lived until Victor’s death in 1999. Mom wasn’t done moving, however – even though she was by that time in a nursing home, she moved to Calgary in her early 70’s, and then finally, to Red Deer, AB, in her early 80’s.
Mom did many things in her life that those early doctors considered beyond her – learning to walk, having children, learning to drive and ride horseback and swim - however, when asked what stories she wanted told at her funeral, she said only “Tell them Jesus loved me”. Our move to Ear Falls, ON, changed our family for generations to come, because it was there that we started attending a Baptist church and came face to face with the reality of the love of Christ. Our mother’s early feistiness was not without its sharp edges, and yet, the day her family was cleaning out her room at the nursing home after her move to heaven, two of the care aides stopped by to tell us what a lovely woman she was, and how much they would miss her cheerful presence. This is remarkable given that in her later years, Mom was completely bedridden, had the use of only one arm, and lived solely on pureed food. She could do nothing for herself other than turn on the TV to watch The Property Brothers, or dial the phone to talk to her family, and she bore it all with very little complaining, a mischievous sense of humour, and a huge amount of grace. She loved us deeply and it was a rare day that didn’t start with her leaving a message on our phones wishing us a blessed day.
Oh Mom. We will remember purple ice and bread pudding in baby food jars in school lunches and getting up far too early on Saturday mornings to clean house or bake or do laundry, but what we will remember most of all and forever is how clearly you demonstrated the transforming power of God in a person’s life.
And we are just so glad you’re done with that bed.