In loving memory of Jacqueline Ilene Stratton:
Jackie passed away peacefully on February 1, 2023, in Rimbey, AB surrounded by family and friends after her battle with lung cancer. Throughout treatments and appointments, Jackie never lost her spirit, always her vibrant and beautiful self shining through the hard moments that she came up against. She leaves behind her mother (Maureen Collins), her two daughters (Sydney and Mackenzie Stratton), her brother (Jeff Collins), sister-in-law (Shannon Collins), as well as many other cousins, aunts, and countless friends.
Jackie was born on February 27, 1964 in Edmonton, AB. Growing up in Killam, AB on the farm, Jackie quickly developed a love for animals - caring for a variety of chickens, pigs, cows, horses, dogs and cats. She carried on this love for animals her entire life, eventually going on to run a dog rescue/foster home out of the family acreage, teaching her daughters to ride and care for horses, and adopting many a feral or stray cat into the family as they wandered in throughout the years. She passed this love for animals onto her daughters, teaching them to love the dogs, horses and cats, but also to care for the rest of God’s creations like the frogs, birds and bugs.
Besides being a compassionate animal-lover, Jackie was the epitome of a self-taught “jack-of-all-trades”. There was truly nothing she could not teach herself if she put her mind to it. As a young adult, she attended fashion school in Calgary, where she went on to design plenty of beautiful garments, vests, jackets, dresses, you name it. She went on to make a name for herself as Authentic J. Stratton, having several fashion shows and events. At one point, Jackie even sewed small dresses for her daughter’s Barbies as per the girl’s imaginations.
In 1994, she would move to Rimbey, as she wanted to move to a more rural setting to start a family. It was during these years that Jackie also taught herself how to trim horses’ feet, something she took great pride in being able to do the entire herd’s foot maintenance herself. Not only was she heavily involved with the Chamber of Commerce in Rimbey, Jackie also led Girl Guides for several years, touching many more lives through every meeting, craft, camping trip, and the many songs that were sang together.
Jackie also had a hidden talent of interior design, where every once in a while she would pull out her paint chip collection and create beautiful rooms for many people. Along with these skills, Jackie never shied away from a DIY project. Anything that involved using power tools, paints, and stains, she would pour her heart into every piece she created.
Most notable of all, Jackie bought her first piece of equipment in 2006 that would eventually be the cornerstone of her very successful business in town: her laser engraver. She spent countless hours down in the basement of the house, learning the software, running many test pieces through the engraver, and eventually, opening her first storefront in Rimbey, AB in 2007. It was around this time that she would deeply plant her roots into the community through designing and creating various items for the community and surrounding area over the years, like plaques for the hospital and the schools, doing signs and decals for various businesses and causes, trophies and awards for groups, collaborating on special gifts for customers, and most importantly, sharing her truly extraordinary gift for imagination with the world. In 2017, she won “Best Business” award for the entire town, something that she cherished and more than deserved.
Anyone that had the privilege of meeting Jackie at any point in her life would agree - she was incredibly creative, endlessly compassionate, and had a certain zest for life that is difficult to sum up in words. She enjoyed various hobbies like gardening, sewing, kayaking with friends, reading, hiking, exploring, and creating. She loved fiercely and lived fully. Her imprint on this world, this community, and everyone that ever connected with her, is immense. Her energy is not lost to us - you will see it in every beautiful sunset she reveled in, the delicate hoarfrost on a sunny winter’s day that she loved so much, the impressive color of storm clouds and the electricity they carry on a warm summer night. Think of Jackie every time you see a wild tiger lily growing in the prairie grass, every time you pick a fresh raspberry off the cane, or dig up potatoes and carrots out of the garden that were lovingly tended to over the long summer days. Jackie will be deeply missed and always remembered; may she rest in everlasting peace with her Lord and savior, whom she loved so passionately.
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