Jean Dyer Reese, age 89, of Wisconsin Dells, Wisconsin passed away peacefully September 21, 2013 at the Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center.
Memorial funeral services will be held Friday, September 27, 2013 at 11:00 A.M. at Holy Cross Episcopal Church in Wisconsin Dells with Mother Joan Smoke officiating. Visitation will be held at Holy Cross Episcopal Church on Thursday, September 26, 2013 from 4 to 7 p.m. and on Friday from 10 a.m. until the time of service at 11 a.m.
Jean was born to Ruth and Roland Dyer on October 29, 1923 and spent all of her life in Wisconsin Dells. She earned her bachelor's degree in sociology at Rockford College, Rockford, Illinois. She married Oliver Reese, Jr. on October 27, 1945. They raised three daughters: Debbie (Jim) Kinder of Wisconsin Dells, Betsy (Vernon, deceased) Grant of Wisconsin Dells, and Lisa (Andy) Hendrickson of Monroe, Wisconsin.
She is also survived by grandchildren Britt Kinder of Madison, Wisconsin and Geoff Kinder of Dartmouth, Massachusetts, and nephew Joe Dyer of Helper, Utah. She was preceded in death by husband, Oliver.
Jean and her husband, along with Ruth Dyer and her aunt, Miriam Bennett, operated the Bennett Gift Shop and other retail stores in Wisconsin Dells. Her family kept the photography business, established by her grandfather H.H. Bennett, pioneer landscape photographer in 1865 in continuous operation until Jean and Oliver retired. In 1999, Jean and her husband donated the H.H. Bennett Studio and the H.H. Bennett photographic collection to the Wisconsin Historical Society which restored the studio to its original state establishing the H.H. Bennett Studio, a Wisconsin historic site.
Jean was a Girl Scout leader for 12 years and she played a major role in the Dells Country Historical Society, taping interviews with many Dells residents and helping to write Others Before You: the History of Wisconsin Dells Country. Jean was a lifelong member of Holy Cross Episcopal Church, directing its annual Christmas pageant for many years. She was also active in Tuesday Club, a women's literary study group. A loving wife, mother, and friend, Jean will be remembered for her quick wit and for her kindness and empathy.
Memorials may be made to Holy Cross Church, Friends of H.H. Bennett, and the Stewards of the Dells of the Wisconsin River. The family is grateful to the staff of Reedsburg Area Senior Life Center, Southern Care, and Dr. Mary Beth Shear for their kindness.