Wilma Jean Austin or “Jean” to her friends and family, passed away on August 22, 2019. While her passing fills us with sorrow, we also rejoice at her release from the prison of dementia. She was on this earth since November 8, 1936.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband of 59 years, Paul Richard Austin. She is survived by three children, several grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and way too many friends to count.
In 2014, after she was diagnosed with dementia, Jean lived with her children until being placed in a memory care facility. As her child, watching her succumb to dementia was particularly painful, because unless you knew my mom before the illness you wouldn’t see the confidence, strength, humor and kindness that interwove to create the rich fabric of her life.
I can say without hesitation that mom was the strongest woman I’ve ever known. She could be fiercely independent and overly maternal at the same time, wasn’t afraid to speak her mind, and unhesitant to give of herself to those she cared for. She will be sorely missed.
Visitation: 10 am – 12 pm, Friday, August 30, 2019 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield.
Funeral Service: 12 pm, Friday, August 30, 2019 at Staab Funeral Home – Springfield. Burial will follow at Calvary Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Sojourn Shelter and Services.
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