DEFOREST - On June 27, 2019 Frances Jean Craig, age 76, passed away peacefully at Agrace Hospice Care surrounded by love. Jeanne was born in Hammond, Indiana on April 28, 1943 at St. Margaret's Hospital to parents Florence Edith (Shelton) and Norman Harley Byerly.
Jeanne grew up and lived in Schererville, Indiana. Growing up in Indiana in the 1950's and 60's, Jeanne's family was very busy. Her father, Norman, owned and operated two gas stations that the family helped to run. Norman eventually packed up the family and drove to Fort Valley, Georgia to purchase school buses to operate in the local school district. Norman serviced and maintained his own coaches. Eventually the district bought Norman out, but he remained on as a mechanic and Jeanne's mother, Florence, as a driver.
Acting on the advice of her mother, "Jeanne, you better learn how to drive these school buses", she drove yellow bus from 1973 until 1976. Driving was a family tradition of sorts. As a child, Jeanne's parents loved to travel the United States with several trips to Florida and even spending Christmas in hotels. With the adventurous joy that family vacations would stir within, little Jeanne had no idea how much they would spark her lifelong gusto for travel, culture and people.
Up until 1976, Jeanne's adult life was piloted by her husband's military career. When first married she moved to Tucson, AZ, then Fort Hood, TX and next to Fort Rucker, AL. She eventually put down roots in Sun Prairie, WI.
With the divorce, a bittersweet twist of fate swept into Jeanne's life. She started working at Madison Metro Transit which was the spark that ignited her courage, determination and passion to take charge. Jeanne worked at Metro for over 40 years and was one of the very first female drivers.
Jeanne loved to drive, garden, camp outdoors and most of all…TRAVEL! She has visited Canada, Spain, Morocco, Mexico, Cuba, 47 of the 50 United States, France, Portugal, Italy, Switzerland, Hungary and the Bahamas. In 1998 she took her granddaughter along during one of two summers that she took to drive thru all the countries of Europe. Jeanne's grandchildren were her travel companion(s) for many of her trips.
Jeanne is preceded in death by her parents Norman and Florence. She is survived by her three children: Dawn Marie Jessie of Madison, Johnnie H. Craig of Ontario, Canada and Julie Ann Craig of Madison. Jeanne has eight grandchildren and three great grandchildren. Jeanne has also shared many happy years with her beloved dogs.
Jeanne was living proof that if you trust your happiness, it will enrich your life and those close to you. Good-bye for now, Jeanne. May the road go on forever and your travels never end!
Family and friends will be notified details of Jeanne's Celebration of Life once finalized. All Faiths Funeral & Cremation Services of Madison is assisting the family with arrangments. Online condolences can be made at www.866allfaiths.com