Madison - Jean Wilder died on January 6, 2013 at Meriter Hospital, with her loving family at her side. She was 86.
Jean was born and raised in Maywood, Ill. She attended Proviso High School there, where she sang soprano in the school chorus, and graduated in 1944. In later years, her love for her classmates led her to write a newsletter that reached over 400 Proviso graduates.
She attended Coe College in Cedar Rapids, IA, and from there began her career in Chicago, where she worked at the Merchandise Mart. At one blessed lunch in that cafeteria, she met and wooed Dick Wilder, who was then back from his service in the Pacific theater of WWII. They married in 1952, and moved to Dick's hometown of Madison.
Jean worked throughout her life, but her principle job had her working in the Monroe St. offices of Drs. Rodder and Zolot for over 17 years.
In 1954, Jean gave birth to Jennie Wilder, now Schmidt, of McFarland, who went on to marry Jon Schmidt, and the pair produced three wonderful children, Nina Christensen, Aidan Schmidt, and Heidi Schmidt. Nina and Aidan gave Jean three great grandchildren. In 1958, Jean gave birth to Stanley Wilder, of Charlotte, NC, who later married Jean Coco, and had two equally wonderful girls, Coco and Alice Wilder.
Jean joined Luther Memorial Church in 1954, where she sang in the choir, and helped create a children's choir. She also served on the LMC Council.
Jean had a subtle, sophisticated sense of humor. She loved a long succession of dogs, naming most of them Bonnie. She was blessed with steadfast friends from every phase of her life, and she loved them all dearly. And yet her most important role was that of mother... we could not have asked for a more loving, supportive, and joyful person and we will miss her terribly.
A Memorial Service for Jean will be held on Sat. Jan. 26, 2013 at 11:00 a. m. at Luther Memorial Church, 1021 University Ave. with Rev. Brad Pohlman presiding. There will be visitation for family and friends from 10:00 a. m. until the time of service at the church.
Memorials may be made to Luther Memorial Church.