Don Ayre

About Jean Ayre

Born Pittsburgh March 9, 1931

JEAN AYRE: Jean graduated from the Pittsburgh Academy School of Business.  She worked for the City of Pittsburgh and wrote a column for the Pittsburgh Courier before her employment with Family and Childrens Services of Pittsburgh where she met her husband Don. Jean met Don on the elevator making daily trips to the Family and Childrens Services on the fifth floor.  It was the 60s and It was a difficult decision for her to marry and move to Don’s home of Winnipeg.  But she uprooted and replanted herself in Don’s home city 1500 miles from Pittsburgh regardless.  She moved to Winnipeg in 1966, became citizen of Canada 1972.  A very active person socially, she often expressed her appreciation of the introductions that her in-laws made for her in Fort Gary community.  Don and Jean lived in the same home in Fort Gary for 46 years.

Jean had always had a strong interest in child development and welfare and was a loving person who devoted herself to teaching children that loving themselves was the greatest love of all.  Sharing it was the greatest gift. When she first came to Winnipeg, she was active as a child advocate and leader in many volunteer organizations including the local Fort Gary community centre, the local United Church and Childrens Hospital.  She later made a career out of commitment to child welfare beginning as a supervisor at the Manitoba Youth Center and eventually moved to probation serves. She was caring while at the same time, demanding of her clients.  After she retired in 1993, she was appointed to chair the General Authority of Child and Family Services for the Province of Manitoba.

In 2012, Jean and Don left their home on Somerset Ave of 46 years and joined the Portsmouth Retirement Community where Jean immediately was elected President of the Residents Committee.  After her term as president and then as past president, she continued to work on behalf of the Portsmouth community as chair of the welcoming committee for new residents.  She continued to demonstrate that not just for children, loving oneself is the greatest love of all.  Sharing it is the greatest gift of all and Jean shared her love freely.  Jean had the joy of a child in her and a love for happiness that she brought out in others just by her very presence.  She known to be outspoken about her love of life.

However, she began to be troubled by an extremely painful hip but she was unable to have a hip replacement operation due to the fact that she had had a hole in heart from birth that had made her heart work harder for her 86 years of life.  Although she was in and out of hospitals due to the hip pain and other complications, she never lost the joy of living that she passed on to friends and family.  She was diagnosed as terminally ill and then after three long weeks in the Victoria Hospital, the doctors were able to get control of the pain and to release her to her home in palliative care.  While in the hospital, she was also offered medical assistance in dying (MAID) and found to quality.  She was nine months at home in palliative care before opting to have medical assistance in dying on December 23, 2017.