Jean Elizabeth Henson

JeanHensonNovember 24, 1949 – July 13, 2007

Jean Henson was an absolutely delightful person and had such a presence about her. She was fun loving and enjoyed all those she gathered into her life.

Jean was born November 24, 1949 in Montreal, Quebec and died July 13, 2007 at Crossroads Hospice in Port Moody. Jean moved to Coquitlam, with her soul mate Jim, fifteen years ago. She was a respected professional social worker, committed to providing and/or advocating in the best interests of her clients.

All those who came in contact with Jean knew that her every breath, every thought, every action was mindful and with intent. Jean’s “How are you?” was never perfunctory, always an appreciative inquiry. After three different forms of cancer, Jean excelled at being an “informed patient”: never assuming, always clarifying.

Jean joined Abreast in Barnet as a novice in 2004. A highlight of her paddling year was being our “flag catcher” at the Portland Rose Festival Dragon Boat Races that year. If you missed the flag the whole boat had to turn around and try again! But Jean didn’t miss. She was the best!

Unfortunately she paddled only one year with Barnet since her cancer recurred and in 2005 she was our biggest shore supporter, coming to all the regattas and celebrating 10 Years Abreast with us. She enjoyed practices, rain or shine and reveled in the beautiful scenery of the Barnet venue. Jean was given the title “Resident Philosopher” for her comments and words on life. She also enjoyed coming to the Barnet parties even during her chemo. This year at the Alcan Festival Anita Cochrane made a rosette with Our Hero on it that we all signed. In true AIAB spirit Lita Joe gave Jean her medal.

In late June Jean moved into Crossroads Hospice after a family reunion which she had helped plan. That was Jean. She has affectionately been described as being: caring, inquisitive, insightful, empathic, spirited and determined, principled, inspiring and best of all, playful. We will all miss her great big smile and warm hugs.

We can hear her heartbeat from a thousand miles
And the heavens open every time she smiles
She gives us love, love, love, love, crazy love.

Jim Alloway, Nell Remple, Dorothy Fenning