Jean (Smith) Cleave

January 20, 1948 ~ November 19, 2019 (age 71)


It is with heavy hearts the family announces the passing of Jean Cleave (nee Smith) on Tuesday, November 19, 2019, peacefully in her home surrounded by her loving family, at the age of 71 years.

Left to cherish her memory are her husband Mel of 48 years, her children Marsha and daughter Summer, Michelle and her husband Jean and their 2 children, Emma and Noah, and her son Cory. Also surviving are her brother Norman, and numerous nieces, nephews and extended family members.

Jean was predeceased by her father Wilfred in 1995, her brother Allan in 2008, her sister Joan in 2012, and her mother Margaret in 2013.

Jean was born on January 20, 1948 in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan. She was the third of four children. When Jean was 2 years old, the family relocated from Dorintosh, Saskatchewan to a farm in the Turtle River district. Jean grew up on the family farm, helping with the outside chores, cooking, baking, gardening, and learning new skills. Her elementary years were spent in the Turtle River School and then she attended Dauphin Collegiate for high school. After High School, Jean moved to Winnipeg to attend the Misericordia General Hospital School of Nursing where she graduated with honours. Following her nursing graduation in 1969, she moved back home to begin her nursing career. After nursing Jean worked in a number of caregiver roles, including as a teacher’s Aid for 10 years. She touched many lives during her career and numerous patients, students, and families were known to comment on how caring, compassionate and efficient she was. 

In July of 1971, she married Mel Cleave. In November 1973, they welcomed their first child Marsha, their second child Michelle followed in October 1975, and their third child Cory arrived in October 1978. They lived in the town of Dauphin, until they built a home south of the airport. They raised their family there for 19 years, until moving to their current home in the eclipse. Jean had a great love of gardening and took care of her indoor flowers and a large outdoor vegetable garden, all while participating in her children’s activities.  She enjoyed entertaining friends and family, a meal and good time were always readily available and welcome. 

Jean took pride in her children’s accomplishments and never missed a moment to speak of how proud she was.  She was thankful for the family that she created and believed that God gave her a very good life, regardless of her on-going fight with cancer.
She was very excited with the arrival of her grandchildren, Emma, Noah and Summer, and she bragged of them often, and how she could not wait for them to visit and spend vacation time with her at the cottage.  
Jean faithfully remembered birthdays and the occasion was always marked with a gathering and her and Mel belting out happy birthday over the phone or in person when possible. She enjoyed celebrations of anniversaries, birthdays, graduations and family weddings whether it be near or far. 
She was a dedicated Dauphin Kings fan and held a season ticket right to the end.  She also made frequent appearances on the bargain bin where she loved to sell her collected antiques. 
Jean was thankful to be able to press on and continuing to travel back and forth to Winnipeg and Brandon to spend time with her children and grandchildren.  She never stopped reliving her travel memories with Mel, their friends, her children and her grandchildren.
She kept her mind sharp in the last few years by staying positive and engaged with family, and being grateful for the life she was fortunate enough to live.  She did not complain about her continuous battle with cancer, but instead she faced it head on and always had the belief that it was happening for a reason.  Over the last 33 years she never gave up the fight. Jean’s faith remained constant, and she took pride in knowing that she had prepared her family for life without her. 
She will be remembered as a lady of intelligence, strength, courage and determination with a love for laughter and her family. 
The family would like to thank Dr. Penrose and Dauphin General Hospital Chemo Unit for the wonderful care and patience they shown over the years, and Audrey Labelle and the Palliative Care Program for making Jean’s last weeks as comfortable as possible.

A Service of Remembrance was held on Tuesday, November 26, 2019 at 1:00 p.m. at the Dauphin First United Church, with Ilene Dowd officiating, and a luncheon will follow. A private interment will be held at the Turtle River Cemetery prior to the service. 

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Cancer Care Manitoba or to a charity of one's choice.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean (Smith) Cleave, please visit our floral store.


Memorial Service
November 26, 2019

1:00 PM
Dauphin First United Church
37 3 Ave NW
Dauphin, MB R7N 1H7


Cancer Care Manitoba
675 McDermot Ave., Winnipeg, MB MB R3E 0V9

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