Jean Elizabeth Willet


Delavan - Jean Elizabeth Willett (nee Hibbard) died on Wednesday, Feb. 2, 2011.

She was born Sept. 25, 1927, in Delavan, Wis., the daughter of George and Florence Williams Hibbard. She graduated from Delavan High School in 1945, and from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 1949, with a B.S. passing her state exam and becoming a licensed Occupational Therapist in 1950.

She was united in marriage to Dann Thomas Willett on July 9, 1950. Jean worked briefly as an O.T.R. at the Home for Rheumatic Fever Children and maintained book-keeping for the family business while simultaneously becoming a naturalist consultant for the Madison School System, where she taught outdoor education in the Madison School Forest for 25 years. She worked in Scouts for 16 years acquiring the title of "den grandmother," was active in women's groups and the choir of Trinity United Methodist Church, and assumed many leadership roles in 4-H and in the Dane County UW-Extension Homemakers (DAHCE).

She loved to play the organ, enjoyed the outdoors in any capacity, participated joyously in Scottish country dancing the world over, and wrote about everything that touched her fancy. This included publishing two books - Dear Mom: Why Raising Four Boys was Neither Boring nor Monotonous in 2004, and Dear Cousins in 2009.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents, George and Florence Hibbard; husband, Dann Willett; brothers, Charles and Frank Hibbard; a son, Timothy Willett; and grandson, Anthony "Tony" Willett.

She is survived by her sons, Andrew (Kayleen), Jason (Sara Watson) and Michael (Susan); daughter-in-law Bobbie (Davenport) Willett; grandchildren, Alessandra, Aaron, Martha, Allison, Trevor, Elara, Lucas and Michelle (Zachary) Perz; step-grandchildren, Clay (Jill) Davenport, Erin Davenport, Erin Anderson, Hailey Anderson and Britta Anderson; step-great-grandchildren, Collin, Helena and Jada Davenport; brothers-in-law, Don Willett, Bill (Louise) Willett and Bruce (Phyllis) Willett; sister-in-law, Adelaide Willett; and many, many nieces, nephews, grandnieces and grandnephews.

Church service will be held at 11 a.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2011, at the TRINITY UNITED METHODIST CHURCH, 1123 Vilas Ave. in Madison, followed by a memorial/remembrance service in the lower level.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to Trinity Methodist Church to pay down the mortgage or to the Dann/ Jean Willet Fund at the Madison community Foundation and designated for water quality projects.

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Now...let the dancing begin!

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the life of: Jean Elizabeth Willet
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