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VALK, Jane Barbara Florence (nee Williams)



Passed away peacefully at the Leacock Care Centre, Orillia, in her 94th year on April 26, 2019.  Jane is survived by her husband Matthew Valk and daughters Juliana (David Hawke) of Coulson and Christine (David Taylor) of Winnipeg; her younger brother Dan Williams (June) and predeceased by older brother Mack (Angela) Williams.  Jane's grandchildren are Erin (Anthony Cirino) and Shannon Hawke, and Matthew and Nicholas Taylor; great-grandson Toby Smit.

Jane was born to James and Victoria Williams in Toronto on 28 December, 1925. She moved with the family in 1930 to a farm in Medonte Township where they homesteaded by raising goats and sheep, and planting pine trees; this farm is today known as Valley Croft and Cathedral Pines at Horseshoe Valley. Jane attended MacDonald College at McGill University and graduated with a Bachelor of Science degree, specializing in Entomology (one of the first five women to so graduate). She then worked with Agriculture Canada researching vegetable pest insects.

Jane married Matthew Valk, a Dutch immigrant, in 1954 and they had two daughters, Juliana and Christine. Jane and the girls followed Matt as he worked in Ontario, Quebec, Florida and England providing advice to carrot and onion growers. They eventually returned to Medonte Township and settled on a small farm property near Coulson where Jane enjoyed gardening and skiing with friends (known as The Silly Six).

As a watercolour artist, Jane became well known at local art shows and festivals, and showed her work on the Images Thanksgiving Studio Tour, the Coldwater Studio Tour, and with the Orillia Fine Arts Association.  She also recorded her memories of growing up in Medonte in the 1930s to 1950s, which will soon be published as a book called "Sand In The Butter Dish".

Very special thanks to the staff of Leacock Care Centre for five years of exceptional care.

Cremation has occurred and Jane's ashes will be scattered on the family farm as per her wishes.

If you wish to make a donation in Jane's memory please consider the Couchiching Conservancy Land Trust, as she always had a strong reverence for nature and the land. If you wish to contact the family, do so via email at [email protected].   A celebration of Jane's Life will be held at a later date.

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