Jennye Frances Clearwater


The family of Jennye Frances Clearwater announces her passing on April 5th at the age of 96 years, one month before her 97th birthday.

She will be remembered and sadly missed by her sister, Verona Danchuk; her daughters: Shauna Shaw, Lea Clearwater, and Teresa Bennett, and their families; her grand-children and great-grandchildren, her nieces nephews and her friends.

A Funeral Mass will be held on Tuesday, April 18th at St. Agnes Catholic Church in Edmonton at 1:00 pm, with interment to follow at St. Anthony’s Catholic Cemetery.

On behalf of Jennye, the family wishes to express sincere appreciation for many acts of friendship, kindness, caring, and support, especially in her last years.

Memorial donations may be made to the Jennye Clearwater Scholarship in Recreation and Leisure Studies at the University of Alberta, through their Office of Advancement, or to a charity of your choice. 

The Blessing of St. Francis of Assisi

The Lord bless you and keep you. May He show His face to you and have mercy. May He turn His countenance to you and give you peace. The Lord bless you!

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St. Agnes Roman Catholic Church

10826 - 62 Avenue NW Edmonton AB CA

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My friendship with Terry Clearwater (Bennett) began in junior high. As teenagers, Terry and I spent much time together – which meant getting to know our respective families. I spent much time in the Clearwater home. I remember the gentle presence of Mrs. Clearwater as we visited in her kitchen or in her cozy living room. I remember her smile, her kindness, her confidence in her strong beliefs, her innate wisdom and the way in which she took genuine interest in both me and my family.
Terry and I have remained close over many decades. No longer living in Edmonton, my visits with Jennye ( as she later insisted I call her) were infrequent. However, we were able to keep informed of each other’s lives through Terry.
Over these decades I have witnessed how Jennye’s wisdom and kindness now lives on in Terry as well as her children.
Jennye – you were an exemplar of strength, wisdom and kindness to many – including me. May you rest in peace and may we all aspire to emulate your spirit.
Love, Pat

Patrick Bennett

The news of Nanny’s passing hit me harder than I expected. Some of my earliest memories are of family gatherings, either at my parents house or at Nannys. There was never a time in my life that she wasn’t around for; be it birthday parties, holidays, school performances, or any of my numerous music recitals.
I will remember Nanny most for her overwhelming sense of generosity and family.
It was a common practice in my household when she parked out front, either my dad, one of my brothers, or I would be waiting with open arms, not just for a hug, but to help unload. Always more than one trip needed to be made. Anything from food to clothes, to monetary assistance. She would show up with things you wouldn’t even know you needed! It would be the same when you visited her house. You would always leave with more than you came with.
She was continually supportive of my academic and musical pursuits, and I will never forget that. I remember, whenever we had family dinners, my parents would try and get me to play a few songs on my guitar after everyone had finished their meal. I was always pretty nervous, but after each little performance, I could see how much she enjoyed it, which made me happy too.
I will remember a strong sense of family. A feeling that I was always being looked out for, just from having her in my life. A sense of real, genuine love.
Those values she was able to pass on to her children and grandchildren are her legacy. I hope you are at peace now Nanny. Wish I could play a song for you one last time. Rest easy.
Love you xoxo

Matthew Bennett

Dear Nanny,

I learned of your passing a few days ago from Mom. It made me very sad to know I would not be able to see you again. I decided to write to you today as I had meant to do many times before.

I thought of your life and all that you had accomplished. The full and incredible journey you were able to experience is incredibly inspiring. I cannot imagine how difficult it would have been to raise three daughters from a very young age at a time when the options for women aren’t the same as they are today. I believe that your resilience, strength, and leadership helped paved the way for the strong women of today. When I think of Ada and her future what you and Verona have done is so amazing and should be celebrated. I knew it was very important to you as you would always ask about Marissa’s academic pursuits, it means very much to both of us and gave me a glimpse into your pride.

Growing up going to Nanny’s house was always fun and exciting. A big back yard, a garage full of many mysterious items, and a basement with a whole other house inside of it; what a magical place! I remember many times playing so many different games with you, you always encouraged me to enjoy myself. I can still remember playing marbles, or hide and seek in your basement, running around and getting into places I shouldn’t be.

You spent so much time with us, coming over to our place to take care of us, going to our soccer or hockey games when you could. Spending the odd day at Mom and Dad’s cabin, whenever you were able to make it to those things I was always really excited to see you and it just made it extra special. I still remember you taking me for sled rides, I can’t even think of how young I must have been but it’s one of my earliest and now most cherished memories.

Holidays and birthdays were always an event. Every Christmas I still reminisce about going to yours or Verona’s place, opening the door to a warm room and being greeted by love, excitement, and the most wonderful smells of cookies, turkey, perogies, and cabbage rolls.

As we grew older I eventually learned how helping out could be fun and rewarding. I remember learning how to cut grass, shovel walks, paint; even how to build a fence. I wasn’t the best at it, and many times didn’t want to lend a hand but you always made me feel like what I was doing was important. I look back on those times and now realize how much it taught me about hard work and I would not be where I am now without those lessons.

When I decided to move with Marissa to Vancouver you were one of the only people who didn’t question if it was a good idea. You encouraged me to experience as much as I could and that means so much to me and always will. Then you told me a story about Verona (or Millie) teaching you how to drive and ‘what a riot’ it was. You had refused to drive your whole life but came to a point where you decided it was something you needed to do. I knew what you were getting at even though it was difficult at times to express your thoughts.

I always think of how special it must have been to grow up with Verona, you were always so close and I think that’s a reason Mark and myself became so close. Your kindness that you showed to Brooke was felt by us when we moved to Vancouver and stayed with her and Benj. I feel as though it’s because of your examples that all of us (and Patrick) have grown so close over the years.

I’m very thankful that you are a part of me and my life and I will always carry your strength, kindness, and wisdom with me wherever I end up. I’m sorry I couldn’t be there today but I know you would understand.

Love always,

Matthew Bennett xoxox

Brent Shaw

They say that you can only have one mother, but was lucky enough to have had two. They were very similar and they had to cope with very similar problems in their lives, not the least of which was having to raise a number of children all on their own, with very little help from others. Then I came on board, and was instantaneously adopted as one of her own–another person to be taken care of–which she did until the very last times that I saw her, constructing for me, somehow, out of nothing in her rooms, a mini-banquet for me. Just one of the endless number of gifts that she gave me by just being herself, the very greatest of which was her own daughter…

Mark Bennett

I grew up with my grandmother (Nanny) as a big part of my life. We spent a lot of time together during frequent visits to her house, the holidays, and going over to help her with odd jobs during the summers. She meant a lot to me. She was smart, funny, strong, kind, caring, and thoughtful. Nanny shared a lot of meaningful wisdom with me over the years, including how to treat people, how to carry myself in public, and how to try to be an all around good person. It meant a lot that she was able to see her great grandson William several times before her passing. In fact she was in the same hospital at the time of Williams birth and met him when he was barely a few days old. I’ve uploaded a few pictures including that special moment. I wish I had spent more time with her in the last few years, but was lucky enough to see her very recently before her passing. During that visit she seemed happy and content. This is how I will try and remember her. I love you Nanny, you will be missed.

Lea Clearwater

Our family thanks the many people who have contacted us to offer condolences and support. I have posted a photo of a prairie crocus – pasqueflower – which was one of our Mother’s favourites. She was a great rememberer, and often talked about finding them in early spring, and loving them. We have received flowers in memoriam and many cards, and we acknowledge all of them with thanks and much gratitude.

Charlotte Caton

With sympathy to your family, for a special person remembered, and a life honoured. While I write with sad condolences, my primary sentiment is to offer you words of celebration for a life well lived. Jennye is to be admired for raising her family so successfully. She lived to welcome grand children and great grandchildren. Well done, Jennye. May you rest in peace. Love, Charlotte Caton

Kathy and Don Lea

Jennye came into my life through her daughter and I admired her without ever meeting her because of her early good works for her daughters. Later I heard from students who met her and enjoyed working with her at the University of Alberta. In later years she was aware and able to share in the academic accomplishments of her son-in-law at Princeton. Finally I was so impressed she developed and maintained her own exercise routine at the retirement home. Rest in peace Jennye…..your busy life’s work on earth is done. You will be truly missed by family, friends and those you have never even met.

Kathy Lea
Nobleford, AB

James Shaw

Some of my fondest childhood memories are of running around “Nanny’s” house in the summer, when we visited for vacation. She showered us grandchildren with love and attention. Amazingly, she continued to shower that same attention on her great-grandchildren! When she learned my wife and I were adopting our first child, Angelica, just this past year, she sent a beautiful and thoughtful handwritten note to welcome her to family, which will soon be framed on Angelica’s wall. Though she never had the chance to meet Angelica in person, I know she’ll have a place in Angelica’s heart through the stories and memories that we’ll pass on.

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