(7/28/20 – 10/3/2011)
A celebration of Jean’s life will be held at 10:30 a.m., Saturday, Aug. 18, 2012 at the New Bridge Church of the Nazarene, 43124 Main Street in New Bridge, with Rev. Ron Hunter officiating. A reception will follow next door at the New Bridge Grange Hall.
Jean Densley Connall was born on July 28, 1920 in Richland, Ore., the daughter of John Densley and Belva (Simonis) Densley. She died on Oct.3, 2011 in North Bend, Ore. at the Pine Street Adult Foster Home.
Jean was raised in Eagle Valley on a sheep and cattle ranch where she created rich and lovely adventures she was able to share with her family throughout her life, and indelible memories of which brought her comfort, familiarity and laughter, even as her health and memory deteriorated. Her warm love, quiet strength, subtle wit, and willful sideways glances will be sorely missed. She was exceptional.
Jean excelled in the Eagle Valley Schools, graduating from high school as Valedictorian at the age of 16. She attended Oregon State College and remained a huge Oregon State sports fan until her death, attending her last home football game at the age of 87.
On Feb. 3, 1940, Jean married her high school sweetheart, Wilbur Connall and together they embarked upon a 55-year journey of home, family, joy, loss and above all else, love. They began in Cornucopia where Wilbur worked in the gold mine, and their first home that winter was a quaint, snow-bound, two-story, two-room cabin in the woods. After the mine closed, they moved to Portland for a job in the shipyards. In 1944, Jean and Wilbur moved back home to Richland, where they raised their three cherished children, Noel, Kathy and Doyle, and where they lived happily until Wilbur passed away May 31,1995. Jean continued living in their home until her health forced a move to Coos Bay to live with her daughter.
Jean was heavily invested in her children’s lives and her community. She was active in PTA and the Booster Club. She volunteered as a 4-H leader, Cub Scout Den Mother, and served as Worthy Matron, Order of the Eastern Star, and Rainbow Mother Advisor. Jean was elected as Recorder-Treasurer for the City of Richland from 1958-1965. Jean then worked for US Bank until her retirement.
Although small in stature, Jean had a giant zest for life. She zealously loved pink, angels, teddy bears and roses. She was unapologetic in her devotion to the Atlanta Braves and her OSU Beavers. She loved Chinese food and loathed bananas unrepentantly. And to the end, Jean cherished children, friends, and adored “her Wilbur.”
Jean enjoyed many activities including baking, knitting, gardening, crossword puzzles, Bridge Club, Minnesota trips, cruises, solitaire, beach trips, and playing slot machines. Watching sports was another of Jean’s favorite past times especially when her children, friends’ children, or grandchildren were involved.
Jean’s unconditional generosity and love for her friends and family were unrivaled. Jean considered her friends as gifts and she cherished them all. Two wonderful young sisters, Sandra and Tykie Solosabal, came to her home as “boarders” and left her home years later as her family, always holding a special place in her heart. A major highlight in Jean’s life was her trip to Spain with Sandra. Through the years, Jean and Wilbur also rented rooms in their home to many young teachers who became life-long friends. Jean loved them all.
Into each great life comes great joy as well as great sorrow, and Jean was able to weather both life’s peaks and valleys with grace and dignity. Blessed with three children, Jean and Wilbur were devastated by the untimely death of their son, Noel, in 1982. Although Jean never stopped missing her beloved son, her strength in this tragedy defined her grace just as much as her ability to share and spread the joys she experienced.
Then, of course, there were her grandchildren who were the center of her universe. The quintessential grandmother, she loved, praised, doted and bragged mercilessly to strangers about them, so much so that those grandchildren constantly felt her love and devotion, even when she was not physically present. Jean and Wilbur were the grandparents written about in storybooks, great distributors of love, affection, bear hugs and homemade cookies. Their beautiful legacy of family and their example of great love is an eternal gift to their grandchildren. We are all made richer having had our lives so blissfully entangled in theirs.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Kathleen Hosack and her husband William of West Linn; son, Doyle Connall and his wife Candi of Enterprise; daughter-in-law, Susan Hall Connall of Coos Bay; adopted daughters Sandra Way of Boise, Idaho; Tykie and her husband Bob Malone of Bremerton, Wash.; brother David Densley and his wife Donna of Baker City; much loved grandchildren, Sean Connall and his wife Stacey of Tigard,Ore.; Zachary Hosack and his wife Malin of Christiansburg, Va.; JD Connall and his wife Ruby Ann of La Grande; Brittany Hosack MacDonald and her husband Tom of Downers Grove, Ill.; Stacey Connall Stockhoff and her husband Chet of La Grande; Shannon Hosack Wallace and her husband Colin of Tualatin, Ore.; Luke Hosack and his wife Virginia of Phoenix, Ariz.; dear Great-grandchildren Allie, Marley, and Gabi Connall; Jade and Trista Connall; Tommy, Reese, Luke, and Tate MacDonald; Austin and Carter Stockhoff; Ashby and Brenna Wallace; Gunnar Hosack; and numerous nieces and nephews; special friends and caregivers Tari Fitzpatrick; and Pine Street’s Russ and Karma Schellong.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband Wilbur; son Noel; parents John and Belva Densley of Richland, OR; her siblings John Densley, Alice Glenn, Belva Moody, and Churby Stanciu.
Arrangements are under the direction of Coos Bay Chapel, 541-267-3131. Friends and family are encouraged to sign the guestbook at www.coosbayfh.com.