On Sunday, July 23rd, 2023, Jean Elizabeth (Porter) Horn, passed away quietly at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto at the age of 95. Jean was the eldest child of Campbell and Annie Porter, sister to Eileen (Doug) Jarrett and William (Lorraine) Porter. She is survived by her 4 children - Nancy, Fraser (Julia), Alison (Kelly) Peterson, and Campbell (Lisa); 7 grandchildren - Georgia, Hannah, Ilse (Michael), Erika (Josh), Ingrid, Calvin and Ruth; 3 great grandchildren- Judah, Silas, & River; her separated husband, Dr. Andrew Horn; as well as a host of others who called her “Mum” or “Nana Jean”. She delighted in the lives & interests of her grand and great-grandchildren and was always eager for news, pictures and chats about their adventures.
Jean was born at St. Michael’s Hospital in Toronto in 1928 and lived in “The Beach” neighbourhood attending Kew Beach Public School and Malvern Collegiate. She graduated from Shaw Business College as a Legal Secretary mastering legal shorthand and winning the Silver Medal in typing speed and accuracy. An avid learner, Jean pursued every opportunity including her Real Estate Licence.
Among her many career positions, Jean worked for high profile lawyers on Bay Street, at Queen’s Park, and Canada Chewing Gum & Sales (Chiclets) before moving to Kingston, Ontario to work as the Administrator of the Christian Youth Centre. It was here that she established lifelong friendships, many of which she continued throughout the years. Her cheerful notes and her annual Christmas letter were legendary. In 1956, together with dear friend, mentor and founder, Charles W. Leach, Jean was instrumental in establishing and building Camp IAWAH (Proverbs 3:6). The camp is located 70 km north of Kingston. The IAWAH ministry was a labour of love that included the gifts and talents of many. Jean recorded the vibrant formative history of this camp ministry and Charlie’s work in the book she wrote, On a Lonely Side Road, published in 1983. After over 65 years, IAWAH thrives to this day welcoming youth and adults alike to seek, develop, and live out their Christian faith.
With children in tow, Jean found herself relocating many times. At one point, she moved 11 times in 10 years! She made homes for her family in Ottawa, Kingston, Toronto, Augusta (Georgia), Cambridge (Hespler), Kitchener and Darlington (South Carolina). The year 1984, after her separation from Dr. Andrew Horn, brought her full circle as she returned to Toronto, the city of her birth. In each community, Jean was active ministering to others whether by leading Bible studies, running a craft business and classes, a home bakery business specializing in a variety of muffins, and administering a family medical practice. She always made time to welcome others with gifts from her garden and homemade baked goodies.
Back in Toronto with the beloved family dog, Barney, and four much-loved children raised and launched, Jean became the personal secretary to the Head of Microbiology at The Wellesley Hospital before becoming Administrator of the historic Enoch Turner Schoolhouse on Trinity Street. Jean built her own bridal consulting business, “Mother of the Bride”, to much acclaim and stayed in touch with her brides and their families for many years after their weddings.
From 1984 until her passing, Jean was an active member of Little Trinity Anglican Church. She was particularly thrilled to be the “Camp Grandma” in the summertime at Ontario Pioneer Girls Camp where she taught knitting to the campers and was available for heart-to-heart conversations. Every August for decades, Jean attended a one week, ecumenical, Christian camp called “Grad Camp”. She called it her annual “B12” shot of intense Biblical study and practice in today’s world. There, she cultivated deep friendships, and a strong faith community for which she felt blessed.
Jean was the beloved “Grandma” to many at Cathedral Court Co-op which was her home in Toronto for over 30 years. She delighted in this opportunity to live and serve in community and was so appreciative of the love and care she received in return. Her Friday knitting group was a special source of rich friendship.
Jean cared humbly and generously for her family and neighbours offering her gifts of service and hospitality through nourishing food, knitted creations and by gifting meaningful treasures to those in need as God prompted. She was a prayer warrior to the end and would often wake up in the night to sit in her wing back chair and to pray for people and petitions - an active list that was regularly updated and kept in her Bible.
The family invites friends to join them on Tuesday, August 15th, 2023 at Little Trinity Anglican Church at 425 King Street East, Toronto. A Visitation from 1 - 2 pm will be followed by a Celebration of Life Service at 3 pm, and a Reception in the church hall from 4 to 6 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations would be welcome to these organizations for which Jean had deep respect and connection: Camp IAWAH https://iawah.com/donate/ , Little Trinity Anglican Church https://littletrinity.org/give/ , or ShareWord Global Canada https://sharewordglobal.com/ca/give/today .