With sad but full hearts we announce that Evelyn (Jan) Janet Norn left us peacefully in the early morning hours of 30 June 2020. Mom died at home in Dad’s arms—her favourite place for a rest.
Mom was born on 17 April 1936. She was christened Evelyn Janet Potts, but everyone knew her as Jan. She was born in New Zealand, the youngest of seven children. Mom grew up on her family's dairy farm in the beautiful rolling green hills of Matamata (later made famous as the Hobbit town in the movie Lord of the Rings). After university, Mom planned a trip to England by ship with two of her girlfriends. She made it as far as Canada, where she decided to have a stay-over and do some teaching at a small one-room schoolhouse just outside of Quesnel, BC. One of the families invited Mom to dinner one evening and she said she entered the house and ‘there were three of the most exotic-looking boys I had even seen’ (there were four brothers, so not sure who was missing!) One of the boys was of course, Dad (Dan) and they went on to marry and raise five children—Bryan, Byron, James, Julia and Maria. Mom never did make it to England.
Mom is remembered for always, always seeing the good in everyone she met, and the magic in the everyday things. She instilled in us a great love and respect for animals, and we were raised in a busy, loving environment filled with horses, dogs, goats, chickens and some particularly rogue geese. Mom was always pointing out the beauty in nature and she especially loved the wildflowers of Canada.
Mom is survived by Dad, her five children and their families (Canada and Australia), and her sisters Alison and Isobel (New Zealand).
‘The light doesn’t go out—it just gets much brighter.’ – Jan Norn