"Jean the Queen" to her many admirers - passed away peacefully August 15, 2021, aged 90.
We have no doubt she was greeted on the other side by a host of family and friends, many of them feathered.
Jean was a strong, smart woman with a core of kindness and a love of information and current events and, maybe most of all, animals. She owned and loved many parrots - beating Canadian zoos to be first to breed an African Grey parrot, in her home — as well as dogs, cats and countless other beasts. Some, like wolves, she admired from afar.
Jean Wood was born October 5, 1930 and grew up on Roncesvalles Ave. with her father's dental practice downstairs, and her grandfather's candy shop across the street. She was an excellent student at Parkdale Collegiate and the University of Toronto's Victoria College, earning academic medals while studying modern languages. She loved the U of T and Vic and for a time worked for professors including Harold Innis.
Jean married the late Don Rider in 1954. She raised four children, Patricia (Brian Cross), Joanne (Peter Nicholson), Sheila (Chris Brown) and David (Dawna Dingwall), and many pets while moving between Vancouver, Montreal and then home to Toronto. Vancouver was particularly golden because her beloved sister and brother-in-law, the late Joyce and Douglas Maddock, were neighbours.
She had boundless love and pride for her grandchildren Perrie, Adelaide, Parker, Benson and Tess. She will also be missed by her cherished brother and sister-in law Murray and Pat Wood.
In 1961, Jean and Don moved to Etobicoke and made lifelong friends on Jeff Drive. After their separation she worked at Etobicoke libraries, returning to U of T in her 50s to earn a masters of library science. Jean loved library life and worked into her 70s.
A lively spirit, at age 70 she took up rollerblading and would glide past surprised neighbours pulled by her basset hound, Digby.
Jean spent her final years at Centennial Park Place retirement home, sharing a room with, at various times, orchids, tropical fish, a bird, a dog and bags of licorice.
A private family funeral will be held next Monday at 11 a.m. Family and friends will be invited to watch online, Please copy and paste the link into your browser
In lieu of flowers, those who want to honour Jean are invited to make a donation to COPE Service Dogs https://copedogs.org/support/donate/