Jeff was born on February 18, 1942, in Bonnyville, Alberta. Jeff passed away on Sept. 1, 2020, in the University of Alberta Hospital with his wife, Rosella, of 51 and a half years, at his side.
Jeff had a number of jobs that led him to his ultimate vocation as an educator at the age of 32. One of those was serving in the Royal Canadian Navy, where he worked as a Radioman during the Cold War, and deciphered Russian messages to keep Canada safe. After meeting Rosella in 1967, who was in education at university, and working nights at a school as a custodian, Jeff decided to go to university to become a teacher. He quickly moved up the ranks into administration early in his career, working most of it as a school principal, and became a superintendent of schools before retiring in 2000.
Jeff and Rosella were married in Colinton, Alberta, on March 8, 1969. They lived and worked in Edmonton, where both their son, Shane (1969), and daughter, Kathleen (1975), were born. They moved around the province of Alberta when Jeff wanted a new challenge in his career, starting with his first principalship in Manning, and followed by moves to Grande Cache, Whitecourt, Bonnyville, Red Deer, Hinton (for a superintendency), and back to Whitecourt, where he retired. After Rosella also retired, they moved to Millet, where they have made their home ever since.
Jeff had many outside interests that kept him busy. He enjoyed curling, reading, camping, travelling, fishing, hunting, and trapping, at one point even owning a trapline of his own alongside his brother, Omer. Jeff was a veteran and an active member of the Royal Canadian Legion, having held membership for more than 55 years. He was awarded a Life Membership, the Meritorious Service Medal, and the Royal Canadian Legion`s highest honour, the Palm Leaf, as well as the Sovereign`s Medal for volunteers, in recognition of a life of service and volunteerism. Jeff was also a man who lived his faith. He was a lifetime member of the Knight`s of Columbus, in both the 3rd and 4th Degrees. He joined in 1966, and was active in all the facets of the service of the Knights, including holding executive roles such as Grand Knight.
Jeff was predeceased by: Lillianne (sister, 1936), Rolland (brother, 1951), Juliette (mother, 1986), Albert (father, 1989), Joseph Gyte (father-in-law, 1992), and Dorothy Gyte (mother-in-law, 2013). He is survived by: wife Rosella, of Millet; son Shane (Shelley) Plaquin, of St. Albert; daughter Kathleen (Rick) Salt, of Leduc; grandson Donuil Salt, of Leduc; as well as siblings Bernard (Jean) Plaquin, Omer (Marlene) Plaquin, Yvette (Marcel) Martin, Corinne (Leon) Dechaine, Pauline (Vic) Kotowich, Harold (Carole) Gyte, and numerous nieces and nephews.
Due to the AHS guidelines because of the Covid virus, the funeral is by invitation only. It will be live-streamed on September 27, 2020 at 2:00pm using the following link: https://distantlink.com/SerenitySG.html.
The family wants to sincerely thank the staff of Unit 3E3 at the University Hospital for the great care given to Jeff during his 2 month stay there.
In lieu of flowers, please make memorial donations to the Canadian Cancer Society, Multiple Sclerosis Society, the Alberta Diabetes Association or St. Michael’s Planning for Tomorrow.