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Jean Louise Szantai (nee McPhail)

January 21, 2012

Passed away peacefully on 21 January at the Southwood Care Center in Calgary AB, after a brief illness. Born to Eugene and Margret McPhail in 1921 at Unity, Saskatchewan, Jean lived most of her adult life in and near Calgary. During several years in the 1990’s she lived in Sidney, BC to be close to her son Danford (Maureen) and his family. Missing the majestic Rockies, she returned permanently to Calgary in 1998. Jean served in the Canadian Woman’s Army Corps during WW II. Jean’s service records reveal she was a greatly respected skilled servicewoman and she quickly rose to the rank of Sergeant. She was awarded the Canadian Volunteer War Service Medal and left the Army in 1946. Jean loved to collect postcards, occasion cards and especially calendars. She was an accomplished calligrapher and a volunteer reader at several elementary schools. Jean worked for the Calgary School Board for 19 years many of which were as the secretary at the West Dover School. Jean’s family was a huge part of her life and she doted lovingly upon her grandchildren. Jean was predeceased by her son Danford E. Bodrug (2008), former husband Evan W.G. Bodrug (1980), husband Frank Szantai (1989), and by siblings Ida, Alex, Viola, Raymond and Murray. She is survived by her daughter Debi Bodrug (Ron) Noël, daughter-in-law Maureen O’Neill (Danford), grandchildren Sabrina (Justin), Evan, Cody and Ryan (Justine), Jessica and Taryn as well as two great grandchildren Ava (Evan) and Brayden (Ryan) as well as many nieces & nephews. As was her wish, there will be no funeral services, however a celebration of Jean’s life will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in Jean’s name to the charity or service association of the donor’s choice. Condolences and messages may be emailed to the family at

“To Live in Hearts We Leave Behind is Not to Die”

– Thomas Campbell

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