Born on August 9, 1932, it is with sadness that we announce the passing of Jean Skobalski on April 10, 2021, after a four year battle with cancer. Jean was the seventh of nine siblings born to Frank and Willa Marshall, longtime residents of Armstrong. Jean was predeceased by husband Bill in 2016, four brothers Tom, Bert, Dick and Norman, and three sisters Frances, Bernie, and Kay. She is survived by son Glen (Robyn), daughter Marnie (Dan), her younger sister Alma, and many nieces, nephews and friends. In lieu of a reception Jean has suggested a small gathering with your family or friends and enjoy a meal at your favorite restaurant and listen to some good music by Andre Rieu, KD Lang, Billy Joel, Andrea Bochelli, Celine Dion, or Willie Nelson. Jean will be listening too! In lieu of flowers please make a donation to the Vernon Jubilee Hospital Foundation, CMHA, or a charity of your choice.
Throughout her school years, Jean excelled in most sports, basketball and track being her favorites. She played hockey with a women's team but admits sister Alma could skate circles around her. As a teenager Jean was an enthusiastic 4H'r. Her exhibit of potatoes in Toronto's C.N.E. captured first place. She was a two time recipient of major awards in citizenship and scholastics at Armstrong High in 1948 and 1949. Following graduation she completed the program then known as Grade 13 or 1st year university. Later she completed an open learning course in anthropology.
In 1951 she began eleven years employment with NOCA Dairy in Vernon. She met her husband Bill and they were wed in1956. Son Glen arrived in 1962 and daughter Marnie in 1964. In 1968 a 20 year career began with Kal Tire. She saw the expansion of this company from four outlets to more than 30 when she retired in 1987. Curling became a major part of her life in the early 1950s. She was a Vernon Curling Club member for 30 years, a highlight of which was the opening of the new 8 sheet rink. Her passion for the sport took her all across BC and in 1999 she was part of an International Friendship Tour to Minnesota and North Dakota. As a skip her local senior ladies team captured second place in the BC provincial championships in Victoria in 1985.
Upon retirement Bill and Jean took many extended motorhome trips including one across Canada and one up north to Inuvik, Tuktoyaktuk, and Alaska, a most memorable adventure. Daily journals of these trips and many more to the western United States, were happy reminders. One of Jean's most memorable adventures was a 60 kilometer backpack of the Westcoast Trail from Bamfield to Tsusiat Falls and back. Not easy for a 59 year old but wonderful nonetheless. In 1989 Jean joined a quilting guild and since then she has shared her quilts with dozens of family and friends, as well as donating to over thirty charity groups.
The family wish to express their sincere thanks to all of Jean's friends including the “lunch bunch”. Special thanks to all of the physicians and staff involved in her care, the BC Cancer Center and the Community Care staff. To view an 18 minute video of Jean reflecting on her life, produced by her son-in-law Dan Odenbach, please search "Jean Skobalski 2021" on YouTube.
I''ve known Jean since she was a teen and I a little kid. We met at visits at uncle Cliff Husband's and at Uncle Len Husband's. These past dozen years we shared a mutual love of quilting and I valued her knowledge and experience of the art of quilting. She was a very special person and I am grateful I knew her. Love, Hugs, and Prayers, Helen.