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Mrs. Frances Jean Valas, 78, of Howard City, formerly of metro Detroit, a retired public health nurse, passed away in her home on Wednesday, 11th October, 2006.

The daughter of John Durwood Calvert, a dentist, and Frances Nita Sloan, a schoolteacher, she was born on Feb. 27th, 1928 in Armstrong, British Columbia, Canada. Jean attended the University of British Columbia and served as a Nursing Officer in the Royal Canadian Navy Reserve from 1951 to 1953, with the rank of Sub-Lieutenant. She moved to Michigan to serve in the Washtenaw County Health Department as a public health nurse, and met her husband, John, at Ann Arbor, marrying in 1956. They would be together for nearly fifty years.

She left nursing to raise their four children, returning to the profession later to serve again in Macomb and Kent Counties. Throughout her life she acted on a deep commitment to caring for others, volunteering for an endless list of charity organizations, including work with the Inter-Tribal Council of Michigan, Meals on Wheels, Project Literacy, Helping Hands, and many others. She was firmly and quietly religious, serving as an Elder at the St. Thomas Presbyterian Church in Shelby Township, Michigan. Jean (as she was known to all) lived a country life as a child, later moving with parents to Victoria on Vancouver Island, a place she would return to all her life. She grew up surrounded by her mothers flowers and her fathers dogs (she never met a dog she didnt like). She played tournament bridge and wrote poetry, and she loved travel, from her first trip to Mexico (a present to herself on graduation from high school) to living in Europe in the early 1970s. One of her earliest memories was playing hockey (she was a goalie) and she passed her love of the sport on to her children. One of her lasting and final pleasures was taking the family dogs for walks in the woods, near the lake she retired to with her husband in Howard City, Michigan.

She was preceded in death by her loving husband, John Chris Valas, and is survived by his brother, Dale Valas; four children, Chris, Catherine, Elizabeth, and John, who always called her Momma-Hey or Jeanie; and her four grandchildren, Grace Valas-Iverson, Hayden Valas, John Valas, and Dexter Valas Hermans, all of whom she loved dearly.

There will be a memorial gathering of family and friends from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. on Thursday, October 19th, at the Brown-Teman & Christiansen Funeral Home, 511 S. Franklin Street, Greenville. Private interment services will be Friday at Fort Custer National Cemetery, Augusta.


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