Family Tribute:Jean was quite an accomplished woman. Certainly among her greatest achievements are her son and daughter, Drew and Jamie.
Jean was the first of five children and indeed a born leader in every way - - both in business and from a personal perspective.
Our sister was smart, successful, articulate, well read, and worldly. She knew a little bit about everything. You could always call Jean, ask her a question, and most probably she had the answer or knew where to find it.
In 1980, Jean completed college and started her career at an international accounting firm. Throughout her career with that firm, she worked diligently and on January 1,1993, she became a partner. Most recently, Jean had accepted an offer as Vice President of the C.A.P.S. Division at Marsh & McLennan Companies.
Described by her co-workers as dedicated and driven, she was often referred to as “the person who could get the job done.” If there was a difficult project to be completed within a short deadline - - Jean would tackle the job. Jean handled each assignment with skill and precision while balancing the demands of a career and motherhood.
On a personal level, Jean’s organizational skills couldn’t be beat. Whenever there was a special occasion, a milestone birthday, or a significant anniversary - - Jean was the first to organize a gathering or to think of an idea for the kind of present we should consider buying. She had a tender heart and was generous with her time as well as her resources. If one of us was unable to contribute as much as the others, Jean always put in the rest. She never forgot an important date in our lives and always sent a card for a special occasion.
But most of all she had a lively spirit, and it was always easy to bring a smile to her face even when life was less than perfect. This past summer, when she was somewhat upset because her car had been stolen, the stock market took a dive, and there was a great possibility she might have to leave on extended travel for work. Jean sent her sister Michele a lengthy e-mail to which the reply was a two-line response. Within minutes Michele’s phone rang and a huge roar of laughter came from the other end - - they laughed so hard that day - - they cried.
Michele was able to spend some time with Jean just two days before the tragic event. In fact, they did some of the things that they both loved - - running along the river, taking in a ballet, and lying in bed eating ice cream while watching a Madonna concert.
Recently, Jean’s long time friend and old co-worker, Toni, told a very touching and beautiful story. Toni said that early in their careers, they traveled together on a business trip. Jean had not been on a plane since she was much younger and this was her first flight as an adult. As the plane ascended into the air, there was a trail of puffy clouds climbing upwards. Jean turned to Toni and said, “Look, Toni - - a stairway to heaven.”
On the morning of September 11 at 8:45 a.m. as Jean sat working at her desk, the sky was blue and the sun was shining - - surely there was a trail of puffy clouds and a stairway to heaven awaiting her on that day.