Jean C. Seraphim of Johnson City, NY passed away on Thursday, June 18th, 2020. Jean is survived by her loving husband Donald P. Seraphim, and their three daughters and son-in-laws: Donna Jean and Jim Trevitt, Janice and John Greblick, and Elaine and Jay Schrader. She is also survived by eight grandchildren Jamie Trevitt (Cody Brownell), Kelly Jean Westfall, Leslie Trevitt (Eric Morales), Kristen Westfall, Justin Schrader (Megan Ward), Carly Bestor (Tom Bestor), Ryan Greblick and Jeffrey Greblick, along with seven great-grandchildren (Colin, Miles and Riley Brownell, Grant and Lawson Bestor, Eloise Jean and Josephine Schrader).
Jean was born in Chilliwack, British Columbia, Canada on July 13, 1931 and is predeceased by her parents Duncan and Amy McFee. She grew up on a farm with her brothers and sisters Gordon, Marion, Alan and Ron. She graduated from Abbotsford High School and was a telephone operator for a short time. At his ninetieth birthday, Don shared his first memory of seeing her across the dance floor. I saw her beautiful auburn hair and, “I was done!” he declared. “I couldn’t take my eyes off of her.” She married Don on October 10, 1952 and they moved east to Ontario, before immigrating to the USA for Don’s graduate work and career at IBM. They remained close to family in Canada and looked forward to the many summer trips to B.C., which eventually included their children and, upon occasion, grandchildren.
Through the years they lived in Poughkeepsie, Bedford Hills and Vestal NY raising their family. Jean’s cooking talents complimented the great garden vegetables and fruits that Don grew. She was a always a gracious hostess to neighborhood friends, and Don’s coworkers. Their home was always open for a dinner party, game of ping pong, or a competitive game of cards or bridge. As of late, she was a favored partner in several bridge groups and loved those visits with her friends.
Jean and Don loved dancing and they belonged to several square dance and ballroom dance groups. Once Don retired, they cruised with many groups of friends and family. She was a true coupon clipper, and took great pride in being “Scotch” and finding her lovely clothes and ballroom dresses on “double-discount.” She was a beautiful sight, as Don whirled and glided her across the ballroom dance floor.
As her daughters married, all three lived close by in Vestal. Grandma Jean was the prime babysitter for all eight of her grandchildren (often at the same time). She turned her basement into a playroom and donated her square dance dresses and ballroom gowns for dress-up and the “kids” productions of musicals such as Beauty & the Beast or Aladdin. She came to watch the grandkid’s gymnastic meets, tennis and soccer games, had high school formal pictures taken in her back yard, and attended every graduation. Her kitchen and dining room were the center for every holiday dinner. Everyone looked forward to her trifles and cobblers, and grandma’s eyebrow raising jokes that she saved as the after dinner treat. Every holiday dinner ended with cards. It was a musical chair race to the table to see who ended up at grandmas left. It was not a favored spot. No matter how much she loved you, she was certain to trump you.
Jean’s refrigerator is now plastered with the pictures of the great grandchildren generation. She has been so happy to have had visits and face-time calls from them. She would hold all those precious babies in her lap for the first time and call them her “bubba-louies”.
Jean and Don have been married for close to sixty-eight years. She took care of Don for the first sixty-five. As her health declined, he was her dedicated and constant care giver over the last three years. She hated giving up her independence, but she took comfort in knowing that he would do anything for her. There are “perfect” pairings that find each other in life, and they were blessed to be one. Don was the Fred Astaire to her Ginger Rogers. Jean was the Maureen O’hara to his John Wayne.
We all have been blessed to have had our “bonnie” Jean as beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend to so many, for 88 years. Heaven has gained a two-stepping, joke telling, card shark this week. Just a small hint, to all her new angel friends. Don’t sit on her left if she asks you to play cards. You are sure to regret it.
Jean’s family would be so pleased if you would share your best memories and kind thoughts below.
Due to the current limitations and to maintain the safety of their friends, no public services are planned. They are comforted in knowing that she was loved by so many.