Simons, Jean Irene
April 12, 1924, began the life of Jean Irene Boyke. She was born in Ann Arbor and grew up in a household headed up by her mother Grace Boyke/ Miller and her three older sisters Florence, Pearl, and Gertrude. While her early years were economically challenging, they grew up a close, loving and gritty family.
She attended Jones School (now Community High) and graduated from Ann Arbor High School.
Jean was very athletic and loved swimming, volleyball, and softball. During her life she was noted as strong minded, firm, and often unrelenting. Coupled with those characteristics, she was a caring and loving person who always wanted to help people. With her family she placed an emphasis on academics, athletic support, and she provided constant parent/teachers communication. She was a lifetime member of the Ann Arbor Bethel AME Church.
Jean married Donald Frederick Simons in 1942, which produced two sons, Donald Lester and Harold Eugene.
She worked a number of years at the University of Michigan Hospital as a lab tech for internationally renowned dental researcher, Sig Ramjford. She also worked in later years at the Ann Arbor Veterans Hospital. She was an avid walker, enjoyed spending time at the cottage at Wild Goose Lake, and traveling, especially with her oldest granddaughters.
The passing of Jean leaves a void and heartache in her family as well as those close to her. She was clearly the matriarch of the family. She departed this life September 24, 2023 at the age of 99. She was preceded in death by her husband, Donald F. Simons, who died September 24,1985. She was also preceded in death by her mother and father, Grace Miller and Paul Boyke; sisters, Florence, Pearl, and Gertrude; brother - in - law, Lester Duane Simons; daughter - in - law, Carolyn Simons; and her attentive protective grandson Donald Eugene Simons.
She leaves to cherish her memory two devoted sons, Donald and Harold (Ethel); five loving grandchildren: Bermecia Simons, Donna (Eric) Rice, Devon (Rachel) Simons, Duane C. Simons, and Alena (Delbert) Cowsette. There are also twelve great-grandchildren, two great-great-grandchildren, a host of cherished nieces and nephews as well as other family members and friends.
At the request of Jean, cremation took place and no flowers are requested and no funeral or memorial services are planned. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations to: Ann Arbor Bethel AME Church, 900 John A. Woods Dr. Ann Arbor, MI. 48105.