SILVER SPRING, Md. — Jean McClure Morrison died peacefully at home Friday, July 12, 2019, at age 97. At the time of her death, she was living with her daughter, Tess.
Jean was born in Ben Avon, a suburb of Pittsburgh, on Sept. 21, 1921, a daughter of Theresa Freeman McClure and Robert Fleming McClure. Her middle sister, Nancy, predeceased her. Her younger sister, Robin, now lives with her husband, Bill, in California.
Jean attended Oberlin to start college in the fall of 1938. Two years later, she transferred to Syracuse University where she graduated in 1942. During World War II, she joined the American Red Cross (Special Services) and was deployed to Germany. During her time in Heidelberg, she met a young officer, Robert W. Morrison from Mahomet. She always said that he was especially interested in her because she had a radio. They married in Heidelberg six weeks later in August 1946 and remained married for 64 years until Bob’s death in 2010.
During most of their marriage, Bob served in the U.S. Army as a judge advocate general and for his last 10 years of service as a general court-martial judge. As a result, Jean moved frequently during their marriage, living in Fort Leonard Wood, Mo.; Annandale, Va.; Mannheim, Germany; Charlottesville, Va.; Seoul, South Korea; Bangkok, Thailand; Fort Dix, N.J.; and Wurzburg, Germany.
When her husband retired in June 1979, Jean returned with him to Mahomet, where they lived at 201 W. Main St. in the house that had been in Bob’s family for over 100 years. They regularly attended services and took part in activities at the Mahomet Baptist and Mahomet Methodist churches. Jean and Bob avidly rooted for the Illini sports teams.
In 2013, Jean and her daughter, Tess, moved to Silver Spring, Md., to be closer to her sons and their families.
Jean was a generous, caring mother who did not fit the stereotypes of women at home in the ’50s and ’60s. She was athletic, enjoying archery especially, and she worked outside the home as an elementary school teacher starting in 1960. She was always positive, almost never showed any kind of anger, loved to collect cookbooks, was an accomplished seamstress and embraced all kinds of adventures, especially travel. She grew up hiking and camping with her father. Single-handedly in 1968, she took three teenagers across the USA, on a Japanese freighter over the Pacific, across Japan to Korea to live with her husband. She was intrepid and clambered up Machu Pichu in her 80s.
Jean Morrison is survived by her daughter, Tess of Silver Spring, Md.; her sons, Rees of Princeton, N.J., and Paul of Enfield, N.H.; as well as eight grandchildren, Betsy, Ariel, Miranda, Dixie, Drew, Michelle, Kit and Will.
Jean requested that her body be donated to Georgetown Medical School. There will be a private service, and her cremated remains will be buried alongside her husband in the family plot in Mahomet.
All of us who knew Jean Morrison will miss her balance, positivity and adventurousness.
If those who remember Jean wish to make a donation, please send it to the American Red Cross.