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‘When Calls the Heart’ Author Jeanette Oke’s Husband Dies

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‘When Calls the Heart’ Author Jeanette Oke’s Husband Dies

By Movieguide® Staff

Dr. Edward Oke, husband of author Janette Oke, died on Jan. 3, 2022, at the age of 86.

Oke is best known for her inspirational and uplifting novels, several of which have been developed into movies or television programs, like WHEN CALLS THE HEART.

Oke’s book inspired the beloved Hallmark show of the same name. Sadly, the show’s executive producer, Brian Bird, announced that Janette’s husband, Dr. Edward Oke, died on Jan. 3, 2022. 

“#Hearties, on Jan3, our beloved Janette Oke lost her husband of 64 years, Dr. Edward Oke, after his long cancer battle. And as we might expect from the author of WCTH and so many books filled with faith and love, Janette was by his side when he passed,” Bird wrote on Twitter. 


The Rimbey Review reported on the life of Dr. Oke, who pastored several churches during his lifetime. Dr. Oke received his Master’s degree at Goshen Seminary and later received his Ph.D. in Higher Education Administration at Andrews University in Michigan.

The Rimbey Review reported:

Edward enjoyed Boy Scouts, playing hockey, summer Bible Camp and his woodworking shop. His daughter Laurel and seven granddaughters are proud of their individually designed cedar chests. He also enjoyed music, being a vocalist in choirs, male quartets and as a soloist, and having had several years of training, he was a good pianist. He graduated from Mountain View Bible College in Didsbury in 1957, and shortly after married fellow graduate Janette Steeves. 

Edward pastored churches in Montgomery and Edmonton before being appointed as a President of MVBC in 1963. From then on, he spent his years in Christian Higher Education at Bethel College, Indiana and Rocky Mountain College in Calgary. His primary focus was New Testament and Greek. It was especially meaningful for him to help young people learn and grow in their Christian faith. 

He loved the interaction with his many students and they in turn, often dubbed him their favourite Prof. Teasingly, he was known as the College Cupid, as he kept a keen eye on student romances, officiating in a number of marriage unions. He was also known as the “girl-runner” opponent, being challenged by the fastest female sprint racer year by year. Even though they came prepared with proper track shoes and he came directly from his office in suit and oxfords, he never lost a race. 

Janette Oke’s books are full of faith, redemption, and uplifting content. Over the years, Hallmark has adapted several of Oke’s stories into award-winning movies and TV shows. 

Movieguide® honored the TV movie adaptation of the Evangelical Christian author’s book LOVE COMES SOFTLY with the $25,000 John Templeton Foundation Epiphany Prize for Most Inspiring TV Program of 2003.

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