Jean was born in Murphy, Oregon in 1939. She moved with her family as a small child to Florence, Montana, where her father took a job on a registered Hereford cattle ranch. Jean greatly enjoyed her childhood on the ranch, and was very proud that the ranch owner “hired” her to ride around on her horse and “check on the cattle”.
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She commenced her high school education at Missoula County High School, which, at the time, was the only high school in Missoula County, but then transferred to Sentinel High School when its construction was completed, and was part of the first graduating class from Sentinel High School in 1957.
After graduating from high school, Jean began working at Title Guaranty, Co. as an escrow officer and title examiner. The title insurance practice is very specialized, and requires a great deal of native ability and skill in the areas of engineering, law, and finance, and Jean excelled in her work.
In 1966 Jean married her husband, Milo. Together they owned and operated a title insurance company, a hobby cattle herd, raised and trained horses, camped, raised pheasants, Canadian geese and mallard ducks, shot sporting clays, snowmobiled, show shoed, and enjoyed and entertained their myriad of friends and professional colleagues. Jean was enthusiastic about life and enjoyed each and every one of their professional and hobby activities. She was actually one of the best trap shooters in the Northwest Region, among both men and women. She also loved animals of all kinds, and she and her family greatly enjoyed raising, training, and riding horses.
Jean’s interests were broad, and literally ranged from the earth to the heavens. While hiking, she was always on the lookout for interesting rocks, and would vigorously scout for fossils in Central Montana. Given her excitement for geology, it was a particularly interesting event when Mount Saint Helens erupted on her birthday. She applied the same enthusiasm to obtaining materials on constellations of stars, and photographing the solar eclipse. Not limited to the physical sciences, Jean was also quite a historian, and would embrace every learning opportunity when visiting interesting locales, from those in the State of Montana, to the historical sites of the Civil War, the Mayan installations in Mexico, those surrounding the foundation and formation of the United States in Washington D.C., or the Hawaiian Islands. Jean was also an avid reader and book collector, and maintained an extensive personal library with books and collections which ranged in topic from the journals of Lewis & Clark, to politics, to sport to specialized cook books.
Jean and Milo had one son. She was able to balance and manage the rigors of operating an independent, family owned title insurance practice with raising an energetic son exceptionally gracefully, and always with an inspiringly happy spirit. Day in and day out, she would effortlessly and gracefully navigate the transition by, for example, arriving home in time to greet her son from school, who was enthusiastic to have a pitching session; So, Jean would change from formal, professional dress attire into full catcher’s gear, complete with the facemask, chest protector, shin guards and all, waddle out into the front yard, and go through a pitching session with her son.
Jean is survived by her son, Edward, and remembered fondly by all who came in contact with her, as her happy spirit, and loyal, supportive personality were magnetic.
A funeral service will be held on Wednesday July 10, at 11:00 a.m. at the Missoula City Cemetery. A reception will follow at Edward Janecek’s home.