Jean Ellyn Smith 91, of Delavan, died of natural causes at Holton Manor on Saturday, August 31, 2019. Jean was born on April 4, 1928, in Polk County Iowa, Loving Daughter of Lyle and Elizabeth (Bender) Whitehead. Her family moved to Chicago when she was in eighth grade. Jean became an avid White Sox fan in high school, and was known to skip school to ride the CTA from the northwest side to the south side of the city to watch the Sox play. She attended North Park College in Chicago, and Northwestern University in Evanston where she earned her Bachelors Degree in Education. She later received a Masters Degree in Counseling and Behavioral Studies from University of Wisconsin-Madison. Jean loved teaching, and believed that her job was to train students to use their minds, not to fill them with the accumulations of others. She taught middle school Social Studies for thirty years in Delavan, first at Park School, and later at Phoenix Middle School. She enjoyed watching her students grow and move on in the world. Jean took great pleasure in doing business with former students who became merchants, tradesmen, teachers, and businessmen in the Delavan area. She was proud to be a member of the Delavan American Legion Auxiliary for 50 plus years.
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Jean is survived by her Dear Sister Joan (Richard) Rice,Minneapolis, MN, her Dear Brother James (Michelle) Whitehead, Wauconda, IL, five nieces: Donna Goldie of Pegosa Springs, CO, Barbara(Ewout) van der Wende of Boseman, MT, Debra(Tim) Boutelle of Sheboygan, Terri Brown of Delavan, and Sherri Harris of Clarksville, TN. She is also survived by her Goddaughter, Kristin Boutelle, a special nephew Eric (Greici) Kaehler, foster sons Michael Whaley , and Jim Koval, and long time friend and caregiver Susan Erickson. She is predeceased by two wonderful husbands, Bob Koval (1961-1982), and Donald Smith (1983-2015).
A Memorial Gathering will be held at Betzer Funeral Home in Delavan. Visitation will be at 10:30am, followed by the Memorial Service at 11:30am. Friends are invited to the American Legion Post for a reception after the service. Burial in Spring Grove Cemetery will follow the services and reception. Betzer Funeral Home is serving the family. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to the Delavan-Darien High School Foundation in Jean’s name