Our loved and loving mom, grandma, and great-grandma left us 8:30 a.m., Sunday, June 9, 2013, to take her place in Heaven with those who have gone before.
Jennie Irene Lewak Dunbar was born to John Lewak and Sophia Belinsky Lewak August 28, 1920 in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. She married Paul Dunbar of Washington, D.C. August 28, 1944, also in Edmonton. They met while Paul was serving in the U.S. Army and Jennie worked for the Army Secretarial Pool in St. John, British Columbia. Jennie worked for the Red Cross in Brooklyn, N.Y. while Paul attended Pratt Institute on the G.I. bill.
After graduation in 1949 they returned to be near Paul's family in the D.C. area, finally settling in Vienna, Va. where the family, which by this time had been expanded to include Stephen, born 1949 and Maggie, born 1952, remained until 1984.
1984 brought big changes as Maggie announced her move to Oregon. Jennie and Paul felt strongly about remaining close to Maggie and her five-year-old daughter, Rachel, so they too "packed-up" and headed west, landing in Ashland, Ore. There they opened a B&B, Oak St. Station. Jennie, Maggie, and Rachel ran the B&B together for nine years. Jennie also cared for Paul for four of those years as his health declined, until his death in 1988.
After selling the B&B, Jennie came to live with Maggie and Jeff in Medford. She adored her lovely, private apartment amid the gardens, birds, and wildlife at their beautiful home. She never missed a chance to share her joy and gratitude for all the blessings in her life.
Jennie was a long-time volunteer at Ashland Community Hospital and Providence Hospital. She belonged to many different bridge groups throughout the years, having been taught the game at age nine by neighbors in the tiny town of Lamont on the Canadian prairie.
Jennie and Paul were both avid gardeners. They opened "Little Creek Farm Nursery" while living in Loudoun County, Va. selling herbs, azaleas, and vegetable starts for several years. She was a graduate of the Fairfax County, Va. Master Gardener Program and devoted many a weekend day to the "Plant Clinic" at the local library.
An avid reader, Jennie would devour up to a half-dozen books each week and was a staunch advocate for childhood literacy.
Survivors include daughter and son-in-law, Maggie and Jeff Thompson; Maggie's daughter Rachel (Ben) Treiger and their children Sky, Zane, and Sabina; Jeff's children Chris (Melinda) Thompson and their children Peter, Andrew, Jeffrey, and Lydia; Dan (Coleen) Thompson and their children Daniel, Peggy, and Katie; Liz (Steve) Lorenz and their children Natalie (Andrew) Larson, Mary (Michael) Hall, Anna, and Sam.
Jennie also leaves behind many dear friends and her loving church families at both the Medford and Ashland United Church of Christ, and her devoted cuddle kitty, Phoebe.
The family wishes to thank Mom's health care team that kept her "chugging along" all these wonderful years: Cindee Connelly, Pim Solof, Darla Bennett, Nancy Specter, Dr. Newton and staff, Dr. Gross, Dr. Jorizzo, Dr. Rinkoff, and Dr. McClure. Special thanks to Ashland Hospice, especially Dorise Treiger, for their tender loving care the last two weeks of Mom's life.
The memorial service will be held this Saturday, June 22, 2013 at 10:00 a.m. at the Medford Congregational United Church of Christ, 1801 E. Jackson St., Medford, Ore. 97504.
Jennie's request was for attendees to dress in bright colors, no black please. A brunch reception to follow at the church.
Arrangements by: Memory Gardens Memorial Park & Mortuary, Medford, Ore., 541-773-7338, www.memorygardensmortuary.com.