Edna Jean Greenslade was the youngest born to James and Thriza Steele in North Battleford, Saskatchewan, on February 23, 1927. Jean had an older sister, Mary, and an older brother, Jimmy. The family grew up in the North Battleford area; Jean attended Grey School and Maymont School, where she completed Grade 10. While in school, Jean developed a lifelong friendship with Margaret Miller, and Margaret was Jean’s maid of honour at her wedding.
Jean met Alder Greenslade at a community dance. They were married August 11, 1948, in Maymont, Saskatchewan, at the Maymont United Church, on a day so hot the food purportedly melted. Shortly after their marriage, Jean and Alder moved to Edmonton, then to a farm East of Wetaskiwin. They farmed there from 1951 to 1961. Jean did a lot of work on the farm, which included planting big gardens, preserving vegetables and fruit for the winter, and butchering chickens. The milk the cows produced was used for cooking and baking. In 1961, Jean and her family moved to Wetaskiwin, and in 1968, they moved to their present home in Millet.
As Jean and Alder’s children, Diane, Alan, and Darlene, grew up, Jean sought to work outside the home. She began working for the Millet Post Office in 1972, and retired in 1984 after 12 years of service .
Jean dedicated her life to getting involved with the community, including the United Church, the Royal Canadian Legion, and the Arts and Crafts Guild. Her longest involvement was with the United Church. For well over 50 years, Jean was a member of both the Wetaskiwin and Millet United Church Women (UCW), and was a member of the Millet United Church for over 40 years. She held a number of positions in the church, including treasurer, and served as a Sunday school teacher. Jean’s biggest contribution to the church community was when she organized World Day of Prayer in Millet in 1970, and she continued to coordinate this event every year.
After Alder’s service during World War II, Jean and Alder joined the Royal Canadian Legion. Jean was a lifetime member of the Wetaskiwin Ladies Auxillary, and held President and Secretary positions. Jean recognized the importance of the Royal Canadian Legion, and participated in all the fundraising events they offered, including catering banquets and participating in bingos. Jean was always involved in the November 11th Remembrance Day Program and enjoyed the potluck lunch afterwards.
In 1943, Jean was fortunate enough to participate in a weaving training course from Searle Grain of Winnipeg. Six women and girls were chosen from the Maymont area to learn the art of weaving. Jean utilized her skill until she and Alder moved to Edmonton. It wasn’t until she joined the Millet & District Arts and Craft Guild in 1984 that she began weaving again. You can see some of her woven pieces of art at the Maymont United Church and the Millet United Church. She was sure to make her grandchildren woven afghans when they arrived. Many more woven gifts were presented to family members during special occasions. Jean spent countless hours knitting toques, dish clothes, teddy bears, prayer shawls, and scarves for the Special Olympics. Jean even had the patience to teach knitting to family, friends, and students at Millet School. In 2005, Jean was given the honor of a Centennial medal for being an outstanding Albertan.
Jean passed away on February 21st, 2017 at the age of 89.