Jean Frances Alford Myers passed away at age 91 on June 27, 2013, at home in Middleton.
Jean was born in Chicago to Leland and Helen (Dawley) Alford on August 14, 1921, and grew up in Riverside, Illinois. As the family’s roots were in Kansas, she attended Kansas State University, where she received her bachelor’s degree (1943) and met her future husband, Phillip S. Myers.
After their marriage, they moved to Madison, where Jean earned a master’s degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison (1947) and Phil became a Professor of Mechanical Engineering. Jean was a consummate care-giver, defining herself in terms of how she could be helping others. In addition to raising her own five children, she was mother-away-from-home to the many graduate students who came from around the world to study with Phil, making their entire families part of her own extended family.
After her children were grown, Jean took nursing courses and then served as an EMT on the Shorewood Hills Emergency Medical Service for 10 years. She worked for the Shorewood Hills Police Department for 5 years and also served as President of the Shorewood Hills Community League. She helped organize, staff, and direct the food pantry at the First United Methodist Church, where she and Phil were active for many decades. After moving to Middleton Glen, she served as resident member on the board of directors for several years.
She was an expert seamstress and made costumes for Tibor Zana and the Wisconsin Ballet Company, not to mention wedding dresses for two daughters. In later years she did mending and tailoring for fellow residents at Middleton Glen and made hot pads and dolls for American Cancer Society fundraisers.
She is survived by daughter Katharine (Alan) Muirhead of Middleton; daughter Elizabeth (William) Baird of Corvallis, Oregon; daughter Phyllis (David) Rathbone of Barnardsville, North Carolina; son John (Ann) of Batavia, Illinois; son Mark (Denise) of Raleigh, North Carolina; and by 8 grandchildren, 4 great-grandchildren and numerous nieces and nephews. She is also survived by her sister Margaret Ferguson of Latham, New York.
She was preceded in death by her husband, her parents, and a brother and sister.
The family is grateful for the loving care and support provided by Senior Helpers and by Agrace HospiceCare. A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later time. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the KSU Foundation, Jean F. Myers Memorial Fund, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502, or to the UW Foundation, Jean Myers Memorial, US Bank Lockbox, PO Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807.
Online condolences may be made at www.gundersonfh.com.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the KSU Foundation, Jean F. Myers Memorial Fund, 2323 Anderson Avenue, Manhattan, KS 66502 or to the UW Foundation, Jean Myers Memorial, US Bank Lockbox, PO Box 78807, Milwaukee, WI 53278-0807.
A Celebration of Life service will be held at a later time.