JEAN ESTELLE LUST (NEE KURTZ) – January 17, 1926 – December 21, 2018.
After a very long and productive life, at the peaceful dawn of the winter solstice, Jean followed her light in the arms of her angel to her eternal home. Born in Calgary, AB to Jack (John) Fredrick and Esther Ida Kurtz (nee Rova), Jean graduated from Western Canada High School and attended the Banff School of Fine Arts, before marrying the first and only love of her life, Edwin Lust in 1943. Many considered Jean to be an early pioneer of equal opportunity for women. While Ed served his country during the Second World War, Jean, in all her formidable 100 lb, 5’2” frame, convinced the head contractor that she could assist the war effort as a construction worker on the Colonel Belcher Hospital expansion project in Calgary.
As entrepreneurial and equal partners throughout their life together, Jean honed her culinary skills and supported their growing family with Jean running successful restaurants and Ed, automotive repair businesses. Of her culinary roles, Jean was especially proud of her work as head pastry chef at the iconic Calgary Golf and Country Club with many of her special event creations showcased in the society pages. Jean was multi-talented as evidenced by her artistic and sought after dressmaking skills as well as her journalistic talents as a reporter for the community paper, the Whalley Gazette, and paste-up artist for the regional Peace River Record Gazette. Jean was also a published magazine contributor and proud of her literary accomplishments. When the spirit moved her, she was also a captivating storyteller and family historian. Jean was an avid and extremely knowledgeable sports fan her entire life, well known for her statistical knowledge and especially for her raucous support of her favorite sportsman or sports team. Jean also enjoyed challenging crossword puzzles and games, maintaining her sharp mind to the end. Anyone who visited Jean could anticipate a challenge to a game of cribbage, Jean’s favourite card game.
Although their large family and businesses would seem more than enough for them to manage, the Lust family home was open to all, and often a sanctuary for friends who needed a temporary home. Sadly, on August 17, 1982, just a few short years after their retirement to Peachland, BC from Peace River, AB, Ed passed away. Jean’s tenacious spirit would not let her rest. At the age of 57 and until her health could no longer withstand the rigorous duties, Jean became a caregiver, both professionally and of many family members. Jean also found time in her busy schedule to serve as the President of The Women’s Institute and was a member of the Canadian Legion for many years.
Jean was predeceased by: eldest twin sons Richard (Roma) on February 21, 2013, from Edmonton, AB; and Ronald on March 12, 2017, from Winter Harbour, BC; on August 14, 2018 her sister Reta Aiello of Honolulu, Hi; on May 12, 2008, her brother George Kurtz (Lila) of Didsbury, AB. Jean also lost an infant son, Brian, on December 24, 1958.
Jean is survived by her brother John (Ted) Kurtz (Marie) of Surrey, BC; Jean’s daughters Rita of Delta, BC; Rhea (Ronald Bates), of Burnaby, BC; Patricia (Bruce Pheasant), of Port Moody, BC; Laura (David Bosse) of Edmonton, AB; sons Robert (Dawn Brazdil-Lust) of Creston, BC; Raymond of Powell River, BC; and Darren (Natalie) of St Francois Xavier, MB. Jean found an abundance of love and joy, as well as great pride in the accomplishments of her many grandchildren, great grandchildren, nieces, nephews, cousins and all generations of family from both the Kurtz and Lust Clans.
Jean genuinely loved her Normanna caregivers and will surely be missed by the compassionate and caring staff and the residents at Normanna Care Home. In lieu of flowers, it was Jean’s wish for donations to be made to Normanna. Donations in Jean’s memory may be sent to: Normanna Foundation, 7725 4th St, Burnaby, BC, V3N 5B6.
A private celebration will take place at Normanna in mid-January 2019 to honor Jean’s long and productive life, as well as the difference she made in the lives of many. The celebration will coincide with the anniversary of her birth. Jean’s wish was to be cremated, and the family thanks Just-Cremation for its courteous service. Jean will join Ed and other family members at the Lust family plot near the picturesque village of Moyie, BC. Interment is anticipated to occur near the summer solstice of 2019.
“Our family wishes to express our deep gratitude and sincere thanks to Normanna Care Home staff for their gentle and compassionate care of Jean, as well as the respect and consideration extended to all family during our vigil. The Normanna care team will forever remain close to our hearts.”