On December 2, 1933, she was born in McKeesport, PA to Agnes and James Martin. Married for 55 years to husband, Jerry, who preceded her in death in 2012, they moved between Pittsburgh, PA; Fairmont, WV; and Toledo, OH - raising their four girls (Bobbi Case, Nancy Grice, Jeri Lee Edwards, Robyn Card) and one boy (Marty Dewey) - before settling in Virginia Beach in 1979. While in Pittsburgh, she held several administrative jobs. Following in her mother's footsteps, she was drawn to the medical field. She worked in hospitals in Toledo and Virginia Beach, spending 24 years at Virginia Beach General, and 6 more years at Sentara before retiring.
Music was a big part of her life. It started with drums in the school marching band, because they were the only free instrument available to students (her dad passed away when she was 15). Later, as a mother, she moved on to directing church youth choirs during their time in Ohio. She watched all of her kids get involved with music along the way. While she encouraged her children to play music she was also blessed to see her grandchildren get involved with music too.
In addition to music, Jean enjoyed doll making, sewing, camping, Steelers football, and Christmas. Her love of family and music culminated with "The Family Band". Her children, their spouses, her 10 grandchildren, and two great-grandchildren, as well as extended family and friends, have many fond memories of spectacular annual impromptu, but mandatory, Christmas living room concerts. Best of all, thanks to Jesus, the band will one day reunite - this time forever.
A graveside service and interment will be held at 1:00 pm on Saturday, February 23, 2019 at Mount Vernon Cemetery (McKeesport, PA). A memorial celebration will be held at 6:00 pm on Saturday, March 2, 2019 at New Creation Assembly of God Church (Virginia Beach). Family visitation is at 5:30 pm. Reception following. Come prepared to sing. Arrangements by Striffler Funeral Home in McKeesport, (Hunter-Edmundson-Striffler), 600 Market St., McKeesport, PA 15132 (412) 678-6191.
In lieu of flowers, Jean asked for contributions be made to Tidewater Winds (online at bit.ly/dewey55) or Young Musicians of Virginia (online at bit.ly/dewey44).
Share your memories of Jean online at bit.ly/dewey22 or strifflerfuneralhomes.com
Originally published February 20, 2019.