"I want to be remembered for knowing Christ and for being a giver. Not just a giver with money, but with other things too. If I see that I have too much, I look around to see who might need something, and I give it to them. We need to treat other people the way we want to be treated.
“I didn’t always do the right thing though. Growing up, I was Grandma’s baby and spoiled rotten. She wouldn’t let us play cards. Her nor Mama either. But I loved playing, so my sister and I would sneak out the side window in the back room and go out and play cards anyway. We did that regular. One night, just as we were climbing back in the window, we heard Grandma coming down the hall toward our room, saying, ‘What’s going on back there?’ Scared us to death. I jumped under the covers with my clothes on like I was asleep. Grandma opened the door, looked in, and said, ‘Well, I guess it’s nothing. Jean’s sleeping.’ Oh, we were so scared. I never will forget that. I was 21 years old then. I never told her what we were doing.”
“There are so many activities for seniors here: aerobics, for one, and all kinds of exercise even for those who are not quite as active as I am. I’m wild. There’s crocheting, knitting, piano---and they serve us nutritious lunches, which I always stay for, since I don’t do much cooking anymore. I love this community center. I’ve been coming for years. I was an RN, and when I retired, one of my friends said, ‘Why don’t you go to the Orange Mound Community Center?’ So I did. You have to be at least 55 to be considered a senior.”
Jean earned her Bachelor’s degree from William Carey College (now University) and her M.S. degree from Trevecca Nazarene College (now University). She and her late husband had one daughter, who lives in California and calls her mother every week.