Jean Isabel Thomson Heaphy, born February 17, 1936 in Peebles, Scotland. Her birthplace defined one of her lifelong loves, being near the water. She loved nothing better than to see and hear the waves.
Jean grew up an only child with her cousin Garry right next door. She grew up surrounded by music and the scouting world, living for a time in Carbisdale Castle. Going to college to become an actress, she worked at Stratford on Avon and her beloved Byre Theatre. Her favorite roles were the character parts rather than lead roles. Her favorite role was as one of the witches in Macbeth.
Life changed in 1958 when she met Dick Heaphy when he was travelling the world. A romance blossomed and a year later they married on July 4, 1959. After traveling through Europe on their honeymoon, they returned to the United States for a short stop in Pelham, NY before moving to Livingston Manor where she would spend most of her life. During the 1960s she gave birth to her five children—Jonathan, David, Leslie, Brian and Charlene. Her children were her greatest love and accomplishment in her eyes. She loved to brag about all they did. Later, she welcomed new additions to the family with David’s wife Angelica and their two boys, David and Alex, Brian’s wife Lisa and their dog Maggie and Charlene’s fiancé Moustafa. She loved her whole family.
Marrying a minister brought her into the life of the church where she played the piano and organ as well as directed the youth choir. She also helped Dick with his weekly visits to the Roscoe Nursing home and annual Christmas caroling. After brief stints living in Upper Montclair, NJ and Afton, NY the family went to Scotland for nearly a year before returning to Livingston Manor, NY where Dick served the Presbyterian Church for 25 years. Jean had her own store on main street before going to work at Edgewood Inn, a job she thoroughly loved b/c of Evelyn and Fred and all the people she got to work with and for each summer. Those years were a great joy.
Jean also loved reading everything from Shakespeare to Stephen King, but her true love was Charles Dickens. This led to her working and volunteering in the library and as a teacher for migrant workers’ children. She kept alive her love of theater by reading for audio books and the occasional monologue in church. She filled 100s of hours knitting blankets, afghans, hats, scarves and mittens for friends and family, more importantly for the NICU, battered women’s shelters, Indian reservations and many other places. And each night she loved watching Jeopardy and working on her crosswords.
Jean returned to her place by the water, living for a number of winters in Point Pleasant, NJ while enjoying her home on Hofer Road, Roscoe. She then moved to her final home on Lake Street in Liberty, where she continued to live life well.
After receiving excellent care in the final weeks of her life, she passed away surrounded by her many friends and family on April 5, 2018. She not only lived her life well but also died well, loving all the friends and family she saw or talked to in her final days.
In lieu of flowers, Jean asked that any donations be made to the Catskill Regional Medical Center, specifically the 5th floor unit.
Those who wish to pay their respects can do so on Wednesday, April 11th from 1-4 p.m. at the Harris Funeral Home, West Street at Buckley, Liberty, NY. A later memorial service will be held May 5th, near Point Pleasant, NJ.