Jean L. Weiss (Monast), of Manchester, died peacefully at Hartford Hospital on Monday, June 15, 2020 at the age of 90.
A lifelong resident of the town of Manchester, she was born on February 21, 1930 to the late Leo and Helen Monast. Jean attended Manchester schools and later received her college degree from the University of Connecticut at Storrs where she double majored in Social Work and Home Economics. While at UConn, she was a proud member of the Pi Phi Sorority and stayed active in the sisterhood throughout her life. Following graduation, she worked as a social worker in Bridgeport, CT. Her career following social work, one that she fully loved, was as a teacher special education teacher for children with learning differences in the Manchester Public Schools. She earned her master’s degree in teaching from the University of St. Joseph, West Hartford, CT and taught in Manchester for over 25 years. Following her retirement from the Manchester Public School system, she was invited to volunteer part-time at the Jumoke Academy Charter School in Hartford as their resource teacher. Her incredible talent as an educator and loving mentor to the students was quickly recognized and she was offered a full-time position at Jumoke. The mission statement for Jumoke reads: “To prepare children to successfully compete in a global marketplace despite the social and economic challenges they may presently face. The academy is dedicated to rigorous academic and social standards achieved by holding high expectations for all students during challenging instruction.” Jean loved the students and community at Jumoke and worked there until 2010, retiring from teaching at the age of 80. The Resource Room for Learning at Jumoke was named in her honor upon her retirement. Jean was a member of Concordia Lutheran Church her entire life and volunteered as a Sunday school teacher there for many years. She was also a member of the Manchester High School, Class of 1948 Reunion Committee and, until her declining health in recent years, looked forward to the class’s annual reunion luncheon.
Jean married her husband, Edward Weiss, another lifelong Manchester resident, April 21, 1955. They built their home on Spring Street and lived there with him together with their children, Robert, Linda, and Joanne, until Ed’s death in 1990. Jean was an incredible cook, a talented painter and seamstress, and loved to entertain friends and family at her home. She was an avid reader and belonged to a book club with friends for many years. She was a devoted fan of the UConn Women’s Basketball team and enjoyed cheering on their many victories over the years. But above all else, she was a loving wife to Ed and mother to her three children. Her love for fun, conversation, adventure, and creativity has left an indelible legacy with them and the many others whose lives she touched.
In addition to her late husband, Jean is predeceased by a younger sister, Carol Ann Monast. Jean is survived by her three children, Dr. Robert Weiss and his wife, Dr. Gabriela Ferreira, of Belle Mead, NJ; Joanne Weiss-Vance and her husband, Joseph, of Durham, NC; and, Linda King and her husband, Michael, of Brooklyn, NY. She also leaves six grandchildren, whom she cherished – Caroline Vance, Julianne Vance, John Vance, Lily Vance, Annabel Vance, and Susanna Weiss.
A private burial will be held in East Cemetery, Manchester, with a celebration of Jean’s life to be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, we ask that anyone who would like to pay tribute to Jean’s memory to please make a contribution to Jumoke Academy, 999 Asylum Ave. Suite 200, Hartford, CT 06105 or to Concordia Lutheran Church, 40 Pitkin St., Manchester, CT 06040.
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