Cover photo for Lea Graziella Jalbert's Obituary
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1919 Lea 2020

Lea Graziella Jalbert

October 26, 1919 — July 9, 2020

Lea Graziella Jalbert 1919 2020
Born in Vonda, Saskatchewan, Canada on October 26, 1919, Lea was the fifth of twelve children of Emile and Emelda (Grenier) Casavant. She was raised on the family farm and attended Arpsville school graduating in 1937. During the Second World War she worked in a Massey Harris plant in Brantford, Ontario. There she participated in the social life of the community of workers and played shortstop for the Mosquitos, the plants softball team.
At an extended family Mardi Gras celebration in 1945 she met Raymond Jalbert, who had grown up in Rolla, North Dakota and was visiting his family after having recently returned from military service in the Philippines. They began a long-distance courtship exchanging letters until a letter arrived in which Ray asked Lea to marry him. She wrote back immediately accepting his proposal.
Raymond and Lea were married September 9, 1946 in Tisdale, Saskatchewan. They moved to California where Ray had been assigned to work in the Texaco geological office. Settling into their new home, they began a series of projects: putting up fences, expanding the garage and adding a covered patio. They took up a number of hobbies including square dancing and upholstering furniture. As a mother, Lea was involved in almost every aspect of the lives of her sons, Edward and Michael. The boys joined the Cub Scouts, and Lea served as den mother while Ray served as the troops scout master. During the summers, they would take the boys camping in Cold Brook Camp in the Big Bear Valley. On the annual family vacation trips, Lea and Ray took turns driving the Ford station wagon across Nevada, Utah and Montana to North Dakota and Saskatchewan where they visited their large extended family.
During the boys school years, Lea volunteered as a room mother and was active in numerous school events: class field trips, paper drives and the womens chapeau luncheon. She also took a job at a yardage store to help pay the school tuition. In 1963 the family moved, to provide a granny unit for Rays mom. They also add a bedroom on their own home, so that each of boys could have his own room. They continued their projects by contracting for the building of the external shell for a cabin in Big Bear and finished the inside themselves.
In 1980s, after Rays retirement, they made frequent trips to see family in Canada, continued their social life through their local parish, square dancing and their building projects. In 1996 Lea and Ray celebrated their 50thWedding Anniversary with family and friends.
After Ray passed away in 1997, Lea moved to Redlands to be near her son, Michael, and his growing family. She became active in her mobile home parks social life and served as the parks social photographer and on the newsletter delivery committee. She often transported her grandsons to Sacred Heart Academy during the years they were enrolled there. On numerous occasions, Lea served as a child care provided for her grandsons, Joshua, Andrew and Matthew. They played in her small backyard at her mobile home and she had them help her in making cookies and cakes for their snacks. She also continued to visit her family in Canada on a yearly basis during the summer months. In their turn, her siblings would stop by for a week or two in January when they became "snowbirds" from the Canadian winter. After she turned 95, Lea moved into a senior living residence in Yucaipa. She quickly became well-known because of her regular visiting/exercise walks through the halls of the second floor of the residence. Though she claimed she was not "aiming for it" she reached her 100thbirthday and celebrated it with a pizza party with her family and friends. She passed away peacefully, July 9, 2020. She will be deeply missed here but warmly welcomed in the Lords kingdom.
Lea was a self-confident woman who enjoyed hard work and could handle any project from carpentry and plumbing to clothing design and financial planning. When she entered a room, she doubled the energy present and transformed ordinary activities into events. Her warm and engaging personality created friendships wherever she went, and her artistic talent brought beauty to her home and graced the homes of family and friends. A woman of deep faith and convictions, herself, she respected the views and commitments of others. She was a loving wife and life-partner for Ray and a wise and loving guide and support for her sons and grandsons.
Preceded by her husband of 50 years, Raymond Jalbert, her parents Emile and Emelda Casavant, her siblings: Annette Tremblay, Nora Mongeon, Herve Casavant, Real Casavant, Mariette Houle, Gabrielle Donahue, Therese Groat and Pierre Casavant. Survived by her sons: Ed Jalbert, C.J. of Santa Maria, CA and Michael Jalbert of Mentone, CA grandsons: Joshua Jalbert, Andrew Jalbert, Matthew Jalbert; her sisters Francoise Roy and Marie Ange Gregoire and her brother Eugene Casavant.
Emmerson-Bartlett Memorial Chapel
Private graveside service, Riverside California.

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