Jeannette Rathjens

Funeral Service

1:00 pm
Wednesday, May 1, 2024
Brenan's Paradise Row Funeral Home Chapel
111 Paradise Row
Saint John, New Brunswick, Canada
(506) 634-7424


Ocean View Memorial Gardens
715 Latimore Lake Road
Saint John , New Brunswick, Canada

Obituary of Jeannette Eugenie Rathjens

In the hands of loved ones, and with few regrets, Jeannette Eugenie (Tomme) Rathjens of Saint John, wife of the late Johannes “Hans” Rathjens, passed on Saturday, April 6, 2024 at her residence, Turnbull Nursing Home. 

Born on October 3, 1926 in Belgium, she was a daughter of the late Georges and Rais (Vandenberghe) Tomme.  Beloved mother of Victor Poelzer (Donna) of Ontario; cherished grandmother and great-grandmother of Jennifer (Mitchell) Day, their sons Graham and Charlton Day, and Brenda Poelzer (Matthew King), who adored her; the loving sister of Cecile (Gaeten) Daniel; and unforgettable aunt, mentor, and friend to people in both Canada and overseas.  Besides her parents and husband, she was predeceased by her sisters, Anna Desmet and Marcella Baetens as well as brothers-in-law, Severino Daniel, Albriek Desmet and Prosper Baetens, not to mention the friends too numerous to name who she valued more than gold.

Jeannette could light up a room with her smile, and with unyielding passion, time spent with Jeannette was enlivening and thought-provoking; filled with laughter and tears, her sense of humour was second only to her seriousness for life (not to mention politics).  Those close to her knew her to be a trusted confidant, and source of honesty and wisdom; anyone she crossed paths with could count on her for a friendly and genuine encounter.

Jeannette proudly came to this country with ten dollars in her pocket, and worked hard to build a life with her husband.  She had a cherished group of immigrant women who she regularly gathered with for coffee and comradery; they were family to her, and loved each other dearly.  Jeannette took their children and families into her heart as her own.  Often lovingly giving us Canadians a hard time, Jeannette had many homegrown family, friends and neighbours, and she adored every one of us, as much as she loved this country; with great esteem calling Canada home for more than seven decades, she raved about it often, including at her 90th birthday party in an unforgettable speech.  Her passing is a loss felt far and wide, and deeply within our hearts.

The funeral service will take place on Wednesday, May 1st, 2024 at 1:00 PM from Brenan’s Funeral Home Chapel, 111 Paradise Row, Saint John (506-634-7424).  Interment will take place in Ocean View Memorial Gardens.  All are welcome to share in this celebration of a life well lived.

For those who wish, remembrances may be made to Saint John Regional Hospital Foundation or the charity of one’s choice.

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