John Joseph Jean

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August 30, 1956 ~ July 6, 2022

John J. Jean, 65, Brookings, SD, passed away July 6, 2022, peacefully in his home in Brookings, SD, after a battle with cancer. 

John’s life will be celebrated with family on July 6, 2023, at Taft Pioneer Cemetery in Lincoln City, Oregon.

John Joseph Jean was born in Ukiah, California on August 30, 1956, to Raymond Adrien Jean and Mary Patricia Jean.  He was the eighth of eleven children.  He loved his four older brothers and tried to be one of the big brothers but would end up the test subject, like being put in a large tractor tire and rolled down the hill.  He had many fond memories of growing up on a small farm in Ukiah.  His family moved to Oregon when he was 10. He graduated from West Albany High School in 1975.  

John pursued his career in sales and risk management.  He worked with the state of Oregon insurance fund (SAIF) as a safety consultant for many years ending his career with AGC Oregon Chapter servicing all of Southern Oregon. He was a team player and loved by all members of his team.  He worked hard to go the extra mile and volunteer to set up and clean up whenever his company sponsored special events.  Because of declining health, he retired in June of 2021, earlier than he had planned.

John married the love of his life, Leslie Marie Mason in 1991.  They enjoyed the years of raising their combined family of three boys and three girls and had so many happy memories with their children.  John always loved children and while working hard to support a large family he always found time to play with the kids. The family was always his number one priority.  He was engaging and playful, coming up with games, stories, or songs to help all the children in the blended family feel included.  His children fondly remember the long bike rides, walks, hikes, exploring new places, including moving to new places, nighttime commando games, trips to the ocean, and playing games including their favorite, Dungeon and Dragons. Car rides on long trips were happily spent inventing new characters for their D & D game.

Leslie and John enjoyed their time as empty nesters playing with and babysitting many of their seventeen grandchildren.  John loved to hold new grandbabies and all the toddlers always preferred to sit on “Pepe’s” lap.  Whenever gathered at family reunions you would always find John playing with the little ones.

John was always the favorite uncle to his nieces and nephews and always kept everyone laughing with his keen sense of humor.  The family was always his priority, and he will always be remembered by his children and grandchildren for all the times he played with them.

John is survived by his beloved wife, Leslie; his children, Nicole (Victor) Navarrete, and Zachary (Rayanna) Jean; his stepchildren, David (Flory) Evans, Emily (Jae) Sheele, Alisa (Sunrise) Ocean, and Nathan (Aja) Evans; also, his siblings, Ray (Joy) Jean, Jim (Stacey) Jean, Ted (Amy) Jean, Patty (Scott) Adams, Mike (Anita) Jean, Julie (David) Davenport, and Ed (Lisa) Jean; and seventeen grandchildren.

John was preceded in death by his parents, Ray and Pat Jean; a brother, Paul Jean; and two sisters, Mary Super, and Annette Hobbs.

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