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Jeane Thompson

Jeane Thompson

Jeane Alberta Ross was born in 1914 in Edmonton, Alberta to Winnifred and Harold Ross. Jean had no siblings, and her father Harold died in Vimy Ridge in 1917. Jeane’s mother Winnifred made the decision to move to her brothers’ farm. Fred and Keith Thompson operated a farm near Millet. Winnifred and Jeane were first to move to the farm; they were soon joined by Howard George (Carl) Thompson, their younger brother. They were then joined by Hector Thompson, one of their older brothers, and later on their parents George and Zelia Thompson. The farm became known as the Ross -Thompson Farm.

Jeane’s mother Winnifred was a very busy woman involved in many community organizations. Jeane spent her days on the farm with her uncles. She found ways to entertain herself, such as building a playhouse out of an orange crate. Since she had no siblings or children her age to play with, her sheepdog Ponto was a true companion. Jeane and Ponto would explore for hours. Jeane developed a strong interest in the environment around her. She was especially interested in the plants native to the area. Jeane also recalled riding the binder around the field with one of her uncles through the ripening grain in the late summertime. 

Jeane started school in Millet in 1921. She appreciated the company of her fellow classmates and enjoyed learning to read. As she was growing up, Jeane also gained new responsibilities on the family farm. When she had completed high school in Edmonton she moved onto attending Normal School. Jean became a teacher and taught at Coal Lake School for one year. She then decided to continue her education and went to university. Upon completing her university schooling she received a degree in Commerce.

Jeane first worked for the government; she then moved to the Department of Education in Edmonton. Jeane also worked for the Alberta Wheat Pool and the United Farmer’s Association in Calgary. Jeane’s work in education and agriculture seems to reflect what her mother thought was important too. It is evident that Winnifred passed on many of her values to Jeane. After working in Calgary, Jeane travelled east for two years. While she was there she was married and had one son, John Thompson. Jeane and her son soon returned to Millet. As her family was aging and experiencing health problems, Jeane cared for them and helped to look after the bookkeeping and farm duties. Her son John attended Millet School; he was a good student and also very musical. John went on to graduate from the University of Alberta and then traveled to England, where he attended the University of Liverpool and earned his doctorate.

Just like her mother, Jeane belonged to many community organizations. These included the Millet Red Cross, Millet Library Board, United Farm Women’s Association, and “Home and School”. Jeane was also a member of the Millet Anglican Church. Her love and appreciation of nature was reflected in her work for The Canadian Nature Federation, The Federation of Alberta Naturalists, The Humane Society, and the Friends of the Devonian Botanical Gardens.

Jeane understood the great importance of preserving history and was also a member of the Historical Society of Alberta. On November 30,1976 Jeane called a meeting to form the Millet and District Historical Society. Jeane’s goal for the society was to write the history of the Village of Millet. She inspired the creation of Tales and Trails of Millet, which tells the history of Millet and the thirteen surrounding school districts. Jeane never got to see the final copy, as she became ill and passed away in January 1977 before it was completed. Tales and Trailshas been dedicated to Jeane.