Jean Ann Jacobson McShane, 83, passed away on Sunday, December 6, 2009 in Sandpoint, Idaho. Private family services will be held on Thursday, December 10, 2009. Interment will take place this summer at St. Olaf's Cemetery in Bode, Iowa.
Jean Ann was born to Gertrude Hazel Clave and Harold Julius Jacobson at Ottosen, Iowa, August 19, 1926. A middle child, Jean grew up on the family farm with older brother Richard and younger sister Rosemary. Her mother taught school and her father farmed.
Jean was the County Champion at the 1939 Des Moines Register and Tribune Spelling Bee. She won awards in English and World History at Ottosen High School and was first place in the 1940 District Declamatory Contest in the humorous division with "Exit the Big Bad Wolf."
After graduating, Jean attended the University of Iowa in Iowa City. She was a member of the Alpha Delta Pi sorority and graduated with a degree in English in 1948.
Teaching at Fort Dodge Junior High, Jean became involved in local community theater. In her first production, a light comedy, she met John B. McShane, a young radio announcer and salesman at Yonkers Department Store. They married at St. Olaf's Lutheran Church at Bode, Iowa, on June 19, 1949. They moved to Tucson, Arizona where John attended the University of Arizona and then to Southern California where John worked for KMPC radio in Los Angeles. They had four children, Rosemary, Deborah, Shannon, and Johnny.
Jean worked as a teacher for the Centralia School District and as a social worker for the County of Orange. John passed away in 1970. With good family friend Maria Alonzo, Jean traveled widely and lived in Bilbao and Tarragona, Spain for several years before returning to Southern California. She moved to Sandpoint in 2001.
Jean became a fierce and competitive Scrabble player and remained an avid reader and crossword puzzle fan. She was devoted to her family and treasured the memories of when her children were young and "we were all together having a good time."
Jean is survived by her daughters, Rosemary (Jim Dator) McShane, Honolulu, Hawaii; Deborah McShane, Sandpoint, Idaho; and Shannon Krueger, University Place, Washington; and three nephews, McShane Dator, Honolulu, and Christopher and John Zachary Krueger, Los Angeles and University Place.
The family extends its heartfelt thanks to Jean's caregivers and friends at Valley Vista Care Center.