|Birth: ||Nov. 13, 1918|
|Death: ||Dec. 17, 2008|
My grandma, Jean Dorothy Davies, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on November 13, 1918, the only child of Jack Davies and Dorothy Froelich. When she first saw a copy of her birth certificate many years later, she was shocked to see that her given name was 'Thelma', but that her parents started calling her 'Jean' as an infant, after a little girl named Jean in their Betta Street neighborhood in Newburgh Heights.
Grandma Jean and her family moved around a lot when she was a little girl, staying in and around the Cleveland area. She has a memory of dancing as a little girl in Fickel's Tavern in Wickliffe, which was owned by her Aunt Lillian and Uncle Frank. Her father Jack was a gifted pianist and would play at Fickel's Tavern and several other clubs around Cleveland. Jack began teaching Jean how to play the piano at a young age, and she went on to become a ragtime piano player, able to play just about anything, her hands bouncing and flying across the keys.
After high school, Grandma Jean worked as a secretary until she met my grandpa, Roland James Harnett. He was in the Navy and on leave when he and Jean met, and they were married in 1943. They had two daughters, Jackie and Marilyn.
After Jackie graduated high school, they moved out of Cleveland in 1967 to Amherst, Ohio, where their younger daughter Marilyn attended school and graduated from Marion L. Steele High. Jean and Rollie continued to live in Amherst after Marilyn married in 1971, Jackie in 1974. In 1978, Rollie was playing tennis and died of a heart attack, leaving Jean a widow at age 59.
Grandma Jean never remarried, staying busy with our family and being involved at church. She moved into an apartment in Oberlin, and she was a member of the choir at Church of the Open Door in Elyria for many years. She was very close with her two granddaughters, my sister Carrie and me. When my dad was away for work, she stayed with us and I have so many great memories of her. She taught me how to play the piano, and my sister and I would sing while she played 'On the Sunny Side of the Street', 'Who's Sorry Now', 'Heart and Soul' and several others. She loved the Cleveland Indians and would watch or listen to every game. We would stay up late talking, singing and laughing. She was a best friend to all of us. She seemed to never meet a stranger, calling just about everyone by a pet name like 'doll', 'peach pie' or 'tootsie'.
She encouraged my sister and me to join the church choir, too. On Sundays after church she would usually take us out to lunch. We spent so much time together, and she was the first person I called after my first date with my future husband, telling her I had met 'the one'! When I married in 1993 and moved to Virginia, she wrote me a letter every day for the two years I lived there, and I still have all of them.
After my mom passed away in 2000, Grandma Jean's mind was slowly taken over by dementia. She lived with us for a short while, then with my sister for a few years, and ultimately she was moved into Good Samaritan in Avon, Ohio. She passed away on December 17, 2008 when she was 90 years old. We had a small graveside gathering at Sunset Memorial Park with our family and some of her close friends.
John Benjamin Davies (1893 - 1951)
Dorothy Mae Froelich Davies (1899 - 1984)
Roland James Harnett (1909 - 1978)*
Jacqueline Mae Harnett Moore (1944 - 2003)*
Marilyn Louise Harnett McCombs (1951 - 2000)*
Jean Dorothy Harnett, Nov. 13, 1918 - Dec. 17, 2008, Beloved Grandmother
Sunset Memorial Park
Plot: Section 41, Lot 154, Grave 2
Created by: Amy Elizabeth
Record added: Nov 08, 2009
Find A Grave Memorial# 44076991