BARBARA "JEAN" GIRE ~ Class of 1952
April 1, 1934 - September 22, 2012
On April 1, 1934, in Fairfield, Iowa, a little towheaded girl was
born to Willard Jacy and Florence Emily Gire (their little "April
Fool" baby-although I doubt Florence was laughing) the sixth of
nine girls and the eighth of eleven children. They named her
Barbara Jean, the Barbara would later be dropped and she would be
known only as Jean.
Jean grew into a beautiful young girl/woman with a gregarious
personality, kindness in her heart, much charisma and popularity.
Jean never failed to compliment a person whenever she saw them,
making their day brighter.
Jean was a cheerleader in her freshman year at Col Hi in Richland
and belonged to the Girl's Athletic Association (GAA) and the Pep
Club where they marched in sync and were proud to belong. Jean
also played women's softball and excelled in this sport.
Jean worked at Garmo's Bakery in Richland and then in the
laboratory at General Electric. Although Jean declared "she would
never marry" she finally wed Don Medley on April 11, 1953 in a
church in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho, Don decided on the military as a
career and they moved to Van Nuys, CA. Don was being "best he
could be" and Jean worked at Big Bob's Restaurant, spotting
several movie stars (Jean always possessed the "movie star
quality" herself) and went to school, eventually landing a job
with Marquardt Aircraft where she aspired to be "Rosy the
Riveter" like her big sister Wilma, but that era had passed and
Jean became a Financial Auditor. In California, a baby girl was
born on October 7, 1959, named Kelly Jean. Then the military sent
Don to Germany with Jean and Kelly to follow at a later date and
another baby girl was born in Augsburg, Germany, on December 19,
1963, named Kimberly Diane.
Don did two stints in Vietnam and Jean suffered the military wife
syndrome -- wondering, waiting through much fear and anxiety,
listening to the Buck Owens' song Together Again and looking
forward to his return. Don did return and was stationed with his
family in Kansas City, KS, then moving to Piper, KS. While in
Kansas, Don and Jean taught themselves to play guitar and Jean
hand-created several binder books of songs including words and
music technology. When the extended families got together the
books came out and there was much pickin' and singin' much to the
chagrin of the younger generation.
The Gire family had many picnics and more than a few sisters'
luncheons and always a good time was had by all.
Jean began her journey on March 5, 2012, being released from the
hospital under hospice care after the doctors said they could do
no more for her because her lungs were in bad shape from
emphysema. Jean wrapped her mind around her position and made
everyone comfortable with the situation saying many times "it is
a beautiful thing" and is the right journey.
Jean made "to do" lists for all immediate family members and how
she wanted things to be handled, i.e. eating her meals on her
fine china. As we had the pleasure of her company it seemed
amazing how lucid and well informed on what was going on around
us Jean appeared.
There were many family and friends and much laughter and love.
Jean felt she was in a comfortable place and had the best of
caregivers, her daughter Kim and her granddaughters Danielle
Nicole, Lindsay Michelle, and Sydni Madison.
Jean's journey ended on September 22, 2012 and she leaves behind
her daughters Kelly, Kim, and grandchildren Danielle, Lindsay,
and Sydni and two sisters June and Sandy ('60).
Predeceasing Jean were her parents, brothers, Ros and Lewie,
sisters, Wilma, Norma, Jeanette, Betty, Rose and Karen ('57) and
many nieces and nephews, great nieces and nephews and great,
great nieces and nephews.
It is so hard to summarize a great person's life accomplishments
in a few lines, almost as hard as to grasp reality and rely on
beautiful memories, of which there are many.
Goodbye Jeannie with the light brown hair.
In respect of Jean's wishes there will be no services.