Jean Hansen Priester, 95, of Davenport, Iowa, passed away peacefully at Genesis Medical Center on November 27, 2018. Friends are invited to pay their respects on Saturday, December 15, 2018 at Halligan-McCabe-DeVries Funeral Home between 1:00 and 3:00 p.m.
Jean was born on April 16, 1923, to Harry O. and Henrietta (Lamp) Hansen in Davenport. She attended Grant Elementary and Sudlow Junior High, and graduated from Davenport High School in 1941. She began her undergraduate education at Bradford Junior College, Bradford, Massachusetts, and earned a degree in English Literature from Northwestern University. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma sorority.
Jean married Dudley B. Priester on March 15, 1947 at the Outing Club in Davenport. Together they raised five children. She was a wonderful mother and grandmother, called Omi by her grandchildren. She always remembered her family and friends with beautifully written cards and well-chosen gifts on birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions. Jean especially loved Christmas, making it into a grand event, welcoming her large family from near and far.
She was always curious and instilled a love of learning in her children. Throughout her life, she participated in numerous book clubs, and even at the age of 95 was an active member of the Art Lovers’ Book Club at the Figge Art Museum. Every February since it first began 36 years ago, Jean took classes at CommUniversity at St. Ambrose, and received an honorary “PhD” for her participation.
Her community contributions included serving on the Junior Board of the Tri-City Symphony Orchestra Association and the board of Friends of Vander Veer, but she was especially enthusiastic about volunteering at the Davenport Museum of Art/Figge Art Museum. Jean was one of the original three docents and served actively for over thirty years. Her love of art was contagious for all the groups she led. She was awarded Docent Emerita status in 2008 and continued to support and inspire her fellow volunteers. Thursday Night at the Figge was not complete without her.
Another of Jean’s great loves was gardening. She was a longtime member of the Tri-City Garden Club, and her perennial border garden in East Davenport was renowned for its beauty. She would fill in with annuals where needed, but it was the rebirth of perennials every spring that made her heart sing. To the amazement of everyone who knew her, she was still gardening at the age of 95. Jean was famous for her flower arrangements and acclaimed as a hostess for parties in their beautiful home overlooking the Mississippi River.
She was athletic throughout her life; she skied, bowled, played golf and tennis skillfully (into her mid-80s), and passed on her love of sports to all her children. She was an avid bridge player, and more recently enjoyed Saturday night dominoes with her friends in the condominium complex where she lived.
Those left to honor Jean’s memory are her children: Bill (Marissa) Priester, New York City, Nancy (John) Hayes, Davenport, Ted Priester (Emilie), Davenport, Charlie Priester (Poppy), Seattle, WA and Mary Priester, Portland, OR; grandchildren: Helen, Jane, and Susannah Priester, Sarah Hayes (Mike) McMahon, Marion Karl (Ian), John Hayes (Lauren), Krista (Chris) Stovall, Claire Papas (Tye) and Joseph Papas; great-grandchildren: Lily and Joaquin Stovall; and many other family members and friends who have been part of Jean’s life.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Dudley, and her two sisters, Marian Gray and Margaret MacNider.
Memorials may be made to the Figge Art Museum, Friends of Vander Veer, or the Quad City Symphony Orchestra. We commend Dr. Edwin Motto and the Genesis nursing staff for their care of our mother. The family is especially grateful for the kind support given to Jean by her friends and neighbors.