Obituary of Jean Margaret Freeman
Jean Margaret Freeman (nee Arnett) born in Weyburn, Saskatchewan, on August 11, 1934, passed away Wednesday, January 17, 2024 in Regina, SK.
A word from Jean herself:
I’ve always considered myself one of the luckiest people in the world. I’ve spent my life in the province and country that I loved, surrounded by affectionate and supportive friends and a loving family, doing creative work I enjoyed, helping people to communicate and making people laugh. I’ve been a friend, a writer, a performer, a teacher and mentor, a daughter, sister, mother, aunt and grandmother. I’ve enjoyed life but welcome death as my next great adventure. Who knows what might be waiting on the other side?
I’m sure my memory will be kept bright by my cherished children, Willa Rudder (Keith Cowen) of Regina, her brother Jack (Anne) Freeman of Roslindale, MA., grandchildren Chris Freeman, Jared Rudder (Tanesha Thompson) and great-grandchild Kohen, my brother Jim Arnett (Sheila) and nephews Ian (Lorelei) Arnett of Cochrane, AB, and Kirk (Karen) Arnett of Calgary, AB and their daughters Kelsea and Kendra.
I have many dear and loving friends, whose ranks are led by Lyn Goldman, Carol Gay Bell, Claudette Keller, Chris Dodd, Garry Oledzki, and The Usual Suspects.
My career in Communications included working at radio and television stations in Yorkton, Regina, Moose Jaw and Winnipeg, as well as with the Saskatchewan Arts Board and Cable Regina, before starting Speak Easy Enterprises.
I’ve written several children’s books, including Wascana Wild Goose Chase and Do Trees Sneeze? Also, Fists Upon a Star: A Memoir of Love, Theatre and Escape from McCarthyism (University of Regina Press) co-authored with the late Florence James.
After many performances in theatre productions, I may be remembered best for my role as the mayor’s grandmother in Saskatchewan’s Corner Gas.
One of my proudest accomplishments was co-authoring the brief which preserved Saskatchewan House (now Government House) for generations to come.
Rewards have gratefully been received for performing, mentoring, writing, and service to the PR profession: 1984 YWCA Woman of the Year, 2012 Lifetime Achievement (Mayor’s Arts and Business Award), 2014 National ACTRA Woman of the Year, I was honored by Hadassah-WIZO Regina and in 2014, received an Honorary Doctor of Fine Arts from the University of Regina.
Waiting for me on the other side are my beloved husband of 51 years, Bill, our adored son, Mitchell, my parents, Mary and Jack Arnett.
I am standing on the seashore. A ship at my side spreads her white sails to the ocean.
She is an object of beauty and strength.
I stand and watch her until at length she hangs like a speck of white cloud
just where the sea and sky come to mingle with each other.
Then someone at my side says, “There, she is gone!”
“Gone where? Gone from my sight. That is all.”
Her diminished size is in me, not in her and just at “There, she is gone!”
There are other eyes watching her coming and other voices ready to take up the glad shout.
“Here she comes!” And that is dying.
Henry Scott Holland
Thanks for listening; see you on the other side.
Cremation has taken place. A celebration of Jean’s wonderful life is planned for the future. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Regina Wascana Grace Hospice.