Jean Adair Nelson, 73, of Oswego, formerly of Sugar Grove, passed away Wednesday evening, Dec. 7, 2011, at Rush Copley Medical Center in Aurora.
Jean was born Aug. 18, 1938, in Aurora, the daughter of Ernest and Eleanor (Adair) Beutien.
She grew up in Aurora and attended local schools. She graduated from West Aurora High School in 1956, where she excelled in gymnastics as well as music, playing the violin and piano. Following graduation, Jean attended Wesley Nursing School, now a part of Northwestern University, where she was a “straight-A” student. After getting her RN, she crossed paths with Richard H. Nelson.
She and Rich couldn’t wait to get married and escaped the trappings of a traditional wedding when they were united in marriage on June 9, 1957, in Crown Point, Ind. Shortly afterward, Richard was drafted into the United States Army. Rich and Jean welcomed a son, Martin, the following year before making the family complete with the arrival of their second son, Mark, in 1962.
The family moved several times over the years, making their homes and their living on several farms in Sugar Grove and Kaneville. Jean would continue to make her home in Sugar Grove following Rich’s passing in 1994 before moving to Oswego six years later in 2000.
Jean worked briefly for a surgeon in Boston, where Rich was stationed for a time. Later, she worked for Fred Quick Auctions as a bookkeeper, but retired from what is now Mooney and Thomas, after 35 years.
Jean and Rich were both members of the Aurora Loyal Order of the Moose. Later she became an active member of several “senior groups” including those in Yorkville and Oswego.
Jean was “always on the go.” She was always looking for fun and adventure with family and friends, but her zest for life never left her much time to spend at home. Jean preferred to travel, often visiting friends and family no matter where they called home. In her younger years, she and Richard took family trips, including the family dog, instilling in the children a love for travel.
Later, after she retired, she often took scooter trips with her life-long friends. She also travelled with the many senior groups to which she belonged. Whether it was by bus, plane, train or boat, she was made memories with every mile. Jean and her “bingo friends” also travelled to games throughout the United States, sometimes playing 12 hours straight.
She wasn’t a stranger to the local casinos or Las Vegas, either, preferring penny slots over the other games, but she always made time for the theater. Whether it was local community theater or professional, the stage called to her like nothing else could. Next to family, there was nothing more important to Jean than the beloved dogs that made a home in her heart.
She is survived by two sons, Marty Nelson of Oswego, Ill. and Mark Nelson of Cortland; one brother, C.J. Beutien of South Bend, Ind.; several nieces, nephews and a community of friends that will miss her dearly.
She is preceded in death by her husband, her parents, maternal grandparents, and one sister, Paula Pearson.
Visitation will be from 10 to 11:30 a.m., with a funeral service to celebrate her life at noon, on Saturday, Dec. 17, at Conley Funeral Home, 116 W. Pierce St. in Elburn. Rev. Steve Good, pastor of the Sugar Grove United Methodist Church, will officiate and interment will follow at Sugar Grove Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, a memorial has been established in her name to benefit her favorite charities. Checks may be made to the “Jean Nelson Memorial” and mailed in care of P.O. Box 66, Elburn, 60119. Tributes may also be forwarded to the same address or on the web at www.conleycare.com where you can also find her full life story.