Jeanne Valentine Remsen Pierce passed peacefully away surrounded by loving family at her winter home in Venice, Florida.
She was 93 years young.
Born to parents of Dutch descent, Sara Emma Garretson Remsen and George Milton Remsen, she lived her childhood years in Little Neck, Long Island, Scarsdale, New York. Jeanne graduated from Ohio University in 1943.
Her fondest memories were of summers on Meadow Island, now an inaccessible nature preserve on the southern shore of Long Island. Catching flounder off the deck of her family cottage, clambakes on the beach and enjoying the beauty of shoreline were some of her most cherished memories.
On the tennis court at Ohio University she met Jacob, the man she would marry and love for the next 74 years. Together, against a backdrop of the Great Depression and World War II, Jeanne and Jacob created a lifetime of memories together.
As a chemist for E. I. Dupont in Pensgrove, New Jersey, Jeanne participated in the production of ammunition to be used in the war effort; Jacob left to serve as a Naval officer in the South Pacific.
After the war they made their home and raised their children in upstate New York.
In later years, the mountains of North Carolina became their refuge. Hiking trails along the Blue Ridge Parkway, picking blueberries in the morning mist, and listening for songs of chickadees, finches and hummingbirds on the deck of their beloved house in Blowing Rock brought them both great joy.
From childhood cherry picking on the shores of Lake Michigan, to traveling ocean coastlines in search of lighthouses, to exploring glaciers in the Canadian Rockies, and flying high in Alaska to almost touching the surface of Denali - life for Jeanne was at its best when surrounded by the beauty of nature and the people she loved.
It simply will be impossible for family members to walk a peaceful shoreline, watch a beautiful sunset or hear the songbirds sing without thinking of Jeanne.
She is preceded in death by her parents and by her brother, John Remsen.
Jeanne is survived by her loving husband of 70 years, Jacob Norris Pierce; by her daughter, Katherine Jeanne Pierce, M.D., and husband, Michael S. Hawley of Charlotte; her son, Robert Remsen Pierce, Ph.D., and wife, Linda R. Pierce; granddaughter, Nicole Remsen White and husband, Michael R. White and grandson Michael Redmon Pierce and wife Denise Pierce; great-grandchildren Caitlyn N. Pierce and Gavin Pierce White of Atlanta; sister Barbara Keene of Wise, Virginia; sisters-in-law Jane Pierce Fowler and Juanita Pierce Mackaluso; and by many nieces, nephews and friends.
A memorial service to celebrate the life of Jeanne Valentine Remsen Pierce will be held at Rumple Memorial Presbyterian Church in Blowing Rock, North Carolina Monday, August 4, 2014 at 11 oFuneral Homes