In her older years (1952-1959), Jean lived with her daughter Jean at 2505 Commonwealth Avenue in Salt Lake City, Utah. Jean would read and talk with JoAnn Shirts (granddaughter) by the hours about family history and family stories. They would read out of the book series Heart Throbs of the West. These books dealt with the pioneer history.
Jean loved her tea. She always fixed it in the morning and afternoon. Many times, she would take her tea and go sit in the sun. This was her quiet time. She loved being in the sunshine with her favorite breakfast of toast and tea. John Shirts (grandson) was quite the active lad. When he would start being active and it bothered her, she wouldn't say anything. However, she would give him that "look" that meant, "You're bothering me."
Jean had a bird that she loved. She would make sure it had fresh food and water everyday. After she started having strokes and could not do it anymore, it made her furious. The stroke affected her one side of the body. It made eating hard. Since it affected her throat, she had to have baby food or some type of liquid. It was easier to swallow. After the stroke, she could not play the piano. This made her depressed and very unhappy.
Jean was so quiet and never said much. She kept things to herself. One of her greatest strengths was that of handling loss and the problems that came her way with strength and dignity. This was due to her faith. She did her own thing basically in the sense that she was no bother to anyone. She liked being part of a family situation and did not feel as if she had to be the center of attention. She was very accepting of who you were. She did not make too many comments.
Jean had heart problems for which she took digitalis. She would say that she was having "palpitations." Due to her health problems, she had a hard time doing the everyday things such as bathing, walking etc. She would not call for help. There were many times that her son-in-law Joe picked her off the floor and put her to bed. Joe and Jean got her a little bell to ring if she needed anything. However, she refused to use it. She wanted to do it all on her own. She did not want to be a problem in anyway to anyone at anytime.
She had been sick for a while with thrombosis (blood clots) in her leg. She had even lost the feel of her leg due to that. She was on a blood thinner. It was necessary for her to go over to the hospital and have her blood tested. The doctor told her that she had to have a little wine to help strengthen her blood. She refused it even for medical purposes.
She was worried about her health but thought that generally she was all right. To some it seemed to happen so fast. The night that she died, she tried to manage on her own and Joe ended up carrying her to bed. Later on that night, Jean (daughter) thought she heard her mother call her. She listened again and heard nothing. A few minutes later, Jean went in to check on her mother. She found her sitting on the edge of the bed with her head leaning against the headboard. She had a sudden heart attack and died.
Jean was a very good mother. She was the glue that held the family together. She (along with Henry) are described as hard working while trying to raise their family. Especially with 14 kids! They worked constantly in some way to have a relationship with their children.
A dream and goal that Jean had was that her children would be the best that they could be in all areas of their lives. She always wanted them to be happy. She was so very proud of her family.
Photo of Heart Throbs from www.amazon.com/HEART-THROBS-WEST-Treating-Definite/dp/B000M80KZA.