Family thanks neighbors for support
On Dec. 24, 2012, we said farewell to our matriarch, Zellah “Jean” Tovey (Cruickshank). Jean, she wasn’t fond of Zellah (which always made me laugh), stayed strong on her own for almost two years after her husband, Albert Joseph Tovey, passed away on March 9, 2011. Before his passing, the two of them hadn’t been apart for more than two weeks in their entire 64 years of marriage. She was a strong and caring woman who inspired respect and love from her family and those around her.
With the outbreak of World War II, while her future husband volunteered for the Royal Canadian Air Force and was shipped overseas in 1943, Jean was active supporting and entertaining the troops at home. She was a member of the Leslie Bell Singers from 1943-1945. In remembering her time with the Leslie Bell Singers, Nana had a story that always made me laugh. She always said she would “only date officers” because a “girl had to have standards.” It was a good thing Albert was a flying officer.
While entertaining the troops, she also took time to volunteer at the Christie Street Hospital in the prosthetic unit making sure the wounded had someone to talk to and care for them for a comfortable recovery and, in this writer’s opinion, a “pretty face to look at.” This calling to serve her community would carry on the rest of her life as she would regularly volunteer in her local communities after the war and later she would dedicate many hours at the Douglas County Senior Center in Gardnerville.
Albert later returned safely from his overseas tour and was honorably discharged in 1945 at Manning Depot in Toronto. Two years later, June 1947, Jean would marry Albert (the officer she was looking for) and spend the next 64 years of her life with him. They were married in the Olde Davenport Road United Church. Wanting a family, Albert and Jean Tovey became proud parents of their first daughter, Cheryl, in 1948 and in 1952 they welcomed their second daughter (and my mother) Susan. In 1955, Al, Jean, Cheryl and Susan, moved from Ontario, Canada to Long Beach, Calif., to begin their new life in America.
After Al’s retirement from the Automobile Club of Southern California in September 1982, the couple moved to Carson Valley after both daughters and their families, including her four beloved grandsons James and Timothy Ojeda and Bryan and Scott Ness, moved to Carson City area. Nana was such a huge part of their lives and always supported them with everything they did. Al and Jean could be seen at the Douglas High School football games cheering on Friday nights and spending weekends watching Bryan and Scott’s baseball games. Their Grandson’s friends even knew her as “Nana” because she worked with a lot of them at Walley’s Hot Springs in Genoa where she spent nine years.
Jean loved being social with her husband. She attended “Barn Dances” with Albert simply for the love they had dancing with each other. She adored fishing with her husband, daughters and four “boys” at June Lake. She regularly joined bowling leagues in Carson City. Nana also enjoyed traveling and over the years visited places like: Hawaii, Mexico, Scotland, England and later Ireland where she and Albert would celebrate their 50th Anniversary.
Jean spent the last 30 years living in the Carson Valley. She loved to toil in her beautiful gardens throughout the years at her various homes. She was gifted in arts and crafts, especially her ability to crochet, and created wonderful gifts for others. Jean will forever be remembered as a friend, community servant, proud great-grandmother and grandmother, supportive Mother of two daughters & a loyal, loving and unwavering wife.
To the folks of the Carson Valley, our family wants to express our sincere “Thank You” for all the love and support given to our family during this time; A special and heartfelt thank you to Emily, Colene and Joan for being such great friends to our “Little Nana” while she was coping with the loss of her husband. Thank you to the Drug Enforcement Administration, Jean’s daughter Susan is an employee, for such a warm and caring message sent out to the DEA community. The out pour of condolences and stories were so inspiring and appreciated. To the Carson Valley Senior Citizen Center in Gardnerville, we want to thank you for providing a place for our Nana to go for warm meals and even warmer friends. Lastly, we would like thank the caring staff at Mountain Springs Assisted Living in Carson City, for taking such good care of her while she was with you.
Gone but never forgotten; Jean and Albert Tovey had a love affair most of us will never know. Goodbye and we will always love you Nana.
Timothy J. Ojeda is a technical sergeant in the U.S. Air Force at Ramstein Air Base in Germany.