Jeannette Lorraine Alford

ALFORD, Jeannette Lorraine

1928 ~ 2010


Jeannette (Jan) Alford died October 13 in Comox, B.C. after a brief illness. Daughter of William and Marie Wadland, she was born in Stratford, Ontario and grew up in south-western Ontario and on Cape Breton Island. In 1949 she graduated from St. Joseph’s Hospital School of Nursing in London, Ontario. The same year she married Parker Alford of London and they settled in the USA where they lived for 24 years, returning to London in 1973. After retirement they moved to the Comox Valley on Vancouver Island where they lived at the time of Jan’s death. She is survived by her husband of 61 years, two sons, David of Whitehorse, Yukon and Stephen of Hood River, Oregon and by granddaughter Cambria and her mother Caroline, of Whitehorse. She was predeceased by daughter Mary Joan (1953-1977). She is also survived by many inlaws, cousins, nieces and nephews in Canada and the US.


After marriage Jan started a career as a registered nurse, working at Princeton University Infirmary in Princeton New Jersey, but soon left that for full time employment as wife, mother, and homemaker. That position remained the focus of her life for 60 years, but she had a wide variety of other interests. In addition to her experience as a nurse, she was a talented sculptor, an expert potter, and for several years a successful businesswoman. She enjoyed traveling and skiing and did much of both in younger years. With cheerful graciousness and endless energy she set up households in Princeton; Rochester, New York; Amsterdam, Holland; Munich, Germany; London, Ontario; Boulder, Colorado; Dundee, Scotland; Vancouver; Melbourne, Australia and finally in the Comox Valley which she truly considered home. Often as she looked at the mountains or sea she would exclaim how lucky she was to be able to live here. In later years she turned to bridge and books, and her friends in her book club became an important part of her life. She also developed a love of chamber music, and after attending the last Banff String Quartet Competition in August was already planning for the next one in 2013.


Jan was a truly elegant, beautiful person both in spirit and in physical presence. She had a marvelous sense of humour, and with her innate cheerfulness and sincerity and her radiant smile she made friends easily. She was loved and respected by all who came to know her.


At Jan’s request, no formal funeral was held, and after cremation her ashes were scattered in the Memorial Garden of Courtenay Cemetery. A reception will be arranged in the near future for friends to gather to recall memories of her and to celebrate a wonderful life lived to the full. Jan also hoped that anyone wishing to make some contribution in her memory would consider the CV CFUW Women’s Bursary Fund, Box 3334, Courtenay, B.C. V9N 5N5, or the Saint Joseph’s General Hospital Foundation, Comox, B.C. V9M 1P2