OBITUARY

Jean Ann Smith

APPEARED IN PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER, INTELLIGENCER, AND NP REPORTER

Jean Ann Smith
By Ben Winderman

Jean Ann Smith 47, of Warrington Pennsylvania, passed away unexpectedly in her home Monday July 20th. An autopsy being conducted by the Bucks County Coroner’s Office will provide her friends and family with specific medical explanation, but all evidence indicates that this loving wife of Jack and adoring mother of daughters Anna and Claire died from natural causes.

Born February 16th 1968 in Sellersville PA, Jean Ann Smith was raised by her strong and beautiful mother Helena Walters. Known to her grandchildren as Grammy Mrs. Walters of New Britain PA now survives her only daughter. In addition to her husband, children, and mom Jean’s life and memory will be by her brother John of Harrisburg PA, his wife Sarah and their children David and Sean. David now 12 years old was diagnosed with cancer in 2009. David maintains a clean bill of health thanks in part to the Four Diamonds Fund and its affiliation with Penn State’s Dance Marathon. Jean, who herself worked as a nuclear medicine technician at Grandview Hospital, spent countless hours with her brother’s family, helping her nephew to a full recovery. Jean became an annual supporter of “Thon” and a passionate advocate for the care and research this philanthropy provides. She expressed this altruistic spirit in many ways and nurtured her own daughters with a wonderful sense of humanitarianism.

The Smith residence provided shelter and foster care to a variety of rescued animals, many of whom became her family’s pets. Jean volunteered with several local animal welfare agencies and as her family mourns the sudden loss of their wife/mother they have simultaneously rescued and adopted Zoe, an eight month old lab mix who might be actually rescuing them. Before Zoe arrived the Smith family included two grey-hounds, three cats, and even several rabbits. It was at Jean’s insistence that Jack agreed to shelter these desperate animals. For Anna, a junior at Central Bucks South and Claire a freshman at Tamanend Middle School, Jean’s devotion to rescued animals provided an opportunity to grow up in a home that was rarely lonesome and often delightful; a home where friends feel like family and photographs portray the memory of Jean’s enduring love.

Jean Smith was an honors student at Central Bucks West in Doylestown and a stand-out lacrosse player. During the summer she shared her mother Helena’s love for the beach and visiting Ocean City NJ was a tradition that many generations of their family upheld. After graduating from high school in 1986 Jean attended Bloomsburg University. Her eventual husband Jack, a graduate of Pennsbury High School and William and Mary University escorted Jean as a blind date to one of her college formals. Jack’s father Henry Smith and his mother Maria immediately adored Jean. The couple became engaged on a visit to Hawk Mountain and married October 20th, 1995 at The Joseph Ambler Inn. Jean acquired employment from Grandview hospital, where she’d been born, and Jack was hired as a math teacher at Hatboro-Horsham High School.

As a couple they traveled many places: Alaska, Ithaca, and New Orleans to name a few, but the beach remained Jean’s favorite destination, each summer spending time with both sides of her loving family. Maria succumbed to cancer last year and was missed each day by Jean and so many others who remember her kindness and warmth.

Jean maintained friendships for years and consistently she is described as a person who devoted herself to giving. She opened her home without reservation to all sorts of people and breeds. She offered herself in the form of a daughter, a sister, a student, an athlete, a camper, a healer, a neighbor, a rescuer, a jokester, a beach bum, a devoted and loving wife, and a reliable, understanding, flexible, and proud parent.

If you would like to pay tribute to Jean in a way she would truly appreciate please consider: cracking jokes that make little sense to anyone, throwing ice cubes into crowds at concerts, ordering take-out at least twice a day, fostering and inevitably adopting animals that have more issues than your kids, or...making a donation to the following, in Jean’s honor and spirit:

PSU Four Diamonds Fund

Names and details changed to protect identies.


Ben Winderman

bwinderm3@gmail.com