Jacquelyn Phelps O'Conner Profile Photo
1943 Jacquelyn 2022

Jacquelyn Phelps O'Conner

August 20, 1943 — September 3, 2022

 

My life with Jacquelyn as and when it started;

Before I begin talking about our journey together: Her Name, Jacquelyn; What a beautiful name.  Back, a long time ago, I was divorced and single for many years.  My search for a mate and partner was not very successful.  So I decided to try a personals column.  As I recall, my ad started out from the song “Looking For Love In All The Wrong Places” by artist Johnnie Lee.  With that being placed, Jacquelyn responded to the request.  We started to write letters and later had conversations on the phone.  We talked about our dreams and interests, and what plans and goals that each of us had. 

One of the letters that I recall talked about the song “The Yellow Rose of Texas”.  I made the comment that I would just love to be driving across Texas with the windows open in my old pick-up truck, hair waving in the wind, and the radio playing that song.  Jacquelyn’s return letter said that she would just love to be driving with me.  With those words we grew fonder of each other. 

It was not until about seven months into our correspondences before I ever saw what Jacquelyn looked like.  Her photo she sent me was so stunning.  What a gorgeous looking person she was.  Another five months of correspondence continued until one day, she booked a flight to Canada to come and see me for the first time.  Not only was I so very impressed, but my parents really took a genuine liking to Jacquelyn in that first visit.

We lived together for a short time and got married April 27, 1988 in Gatlinburg, Tennessee. Just the two of us. As we were together, and grew in our relationship, I became very aware that Jacquelyn had a heart for reaching out to help people without hardly ever receiving a thank-you from the ones that she was helping.   

In 1996 we were up in Canada.  I was building the tallest glider swing in the world and Jacquelyn was out there helping to lift parts of the swing with me.  When completed I was placed into the Guinness Book of World Records.  Jacquelyn stayed by my side from the beginning to the completion of the project.

On one of our trips to Canada we stopped at the Field of Dreams.  I had seen the write-up, “If you build it, they will come”.  We were standing in the center of the baseball diamond, and I looked into her eyes and said: “I will build it!”. Meaning Country Acres and the community that we built.  When I came up with the name Country Acres, the name really appealed to Jacquelyn.

One day when I was working on our dream, Country Acres, Jacquelyn brought me a cool lemonade.  So, we sat down on the grass.  I told her I was thinking, and that I wanted to make her a promise.  I told her that when this project gets more advanced, that I plan to take her to Canada each and every summer.  So, we traveled to Canada every summer after that year.  The memories of our journeys are instilled in my mind forever.

Then came another venture, my love for threshing with all those old antique threshers.  Jacquelyn traveled the countryside with me in search of these old machines and met so many people that became our friends.  In all those years of doing threshing shows Jacquelyn was in her glory to cook and meet other ladies to share in all the great times we all had.  In doing all the threshing, I with Jacquelyn’s help, got an organization together and ended up taking the world record away from the United States. And now, it is held by Canada.

The roses that you see today, thirty light pink and five darker roses, reflect the years that we were married.  The first thirty represent the healthy, good years being active and really enjoying our life.  The darker roses represent the years as Jacquelyn’s health was declining and I became her caregiver.  At first it was not that difficult. And thinking positively, my thoughts were always that Jacquelyn would become herself again.  The last two years were very difficult, and I looked after her continuously.  Every night I would help her into bed, lift her legs, and place several pillows under her legs.  Then I would cover her up.  In the morning I would deliver her breakfast. During all the times when Jacquelyn had medical appointments, I would take her by the arm and help her every step out to the vehicle. So that is how my life changed, but I stayed with her to the very end.

After Jacquelyn’s passing, I was confronted with making a decision in a very short time.  I could have cremated her remains or I could have done the burial in our family cemetery, next to my parents, who loved Jacquelyn so very much. And it was only half a mile from our home.  Some of her family members wanted her to come home. With that final thought, I sent her home to be with her family, and Jacquelyn always wanted to be placed near her grandmother.

Jacquelyn’s body is now here before you, and it was the best that I could have done for Jacquelyn. But her spirit is still with me, and no one can take her away from me.  My daughter, Desiree’s life began July 23, 1971 in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan Hospital and my wife Jacquelyn’s life ended September 03, 2022 in Esterhazy, Saskatchewan Hospital.

Goodbye Jacquelyn. I have cried for you and my tears come at any time.  Thank you for all the memories. With all my love and your heart of gold, All my love.

 

                                                                                                ~ Ken

 

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Monday, September 19, 2022

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