Jean M. Timmons, 85, passed away peacefully with her loving family by her side on August 22, 2014 at the Brethren Care Village in Ashland, Ohio. Jean first saw the light of day on October 21, 1928 in Chardon, Ohio. Born as the only child to parents Floyd and Marie (Hurlebaus) Miller, Jean's first day of school was second grade. After graduating from Chardon High School, she spent two years at Hiram College before transferring to Ohio State where she graduated in 1949. Shortly thereafter, on July 16, 1949, she married Sterling Timmons and began a long life of a wife, mother and partner in the family farm. Her contributions included accountant, calf feeder, maple syrup producer and sales person, county fair show day support, egg delivery and occasional tractor driver while managing a household that included three meals a day for the farm crew, some of whom lived in the house, all while raising a family along the way.
Jean was a tireless supporter of agriculture, dairy products and the Holstein cow. She was an accomplished writer and she put her skills to use writing a weekly column that appeared in the Meadow Mart for many years, as well as her regular column, The Mistress Muses that appeared in the Ohio Holstein News. Her articles included stories of the farm and family and the triumphs and tragedies that went along with everyday life on the farm, always with a dose of humor and a poignant message in an Erma Bombeck style. If the opportunity presented itself, she could write a scathing letter to the editor or a letter of praise, if appropriate. She had very little tolerance when agriculture was not properly presented in the media and was often contacted by Cleveland reporters for her input.
Jean served for many years as a 4-H advisor with clubs that included the Dairy Dolls, the Stitch Witches and the Sew-Sew Sewers. She taught adult education home economics classes to low income mothers as well as teaching Sunday school at the Auburn Community Church, not to mention editor of the church newsletter. She and Sterling could be found every Sunday singing praises to the Lord in the church choir. They were active in Farm Bureau and enjoyed time spent with their council friends. She is a past president of the Ohio Holstein Women's Association where she served on numerous committees. Jean has fond memories of the time she spent in the Ohio Holstein Association and the friends they made all over Ohio and the country. In 2000, Jean and Sterling were inducted together into the Geauga County Maple Syrup Hall of Fame.
Through the years, Jean was able to use her musical and writing talents to provide entertainment at various events and banquets, usually the Geauga-Northern Portage Holstein Club. Many enjoyed the pageant she wrote and directed celebrating the sesquicentennial of Auburn Township in 1967.
In 1988, she was selected by the United State Department of Agriculture to join a delegation of farm women to tour Eastern Bloc countries and meet with women in agriculture in Yugoslavia and Hungary.
In 1989, after years of dealing with encroaching urbanization and facing the prospect of a new highway being constructed through the farm and at an age when most are thinking of slowing down life and preparing for retirement, Jean and Sterling, along with the then farm partners, son Terry and son-in-law Bob Fenton, pulled up stakes and left their beloved Geauga County and relocated the family and farm to Loudonville in the rolling hills of Ashland County, Ohio.
After moving to Loudonville, Jean and Sterling became involved with a new Farm Bureau council and Jean served as Information Coordinator for Ashland County. Jean became active in the Mohican Historical Society and Loudonville Progress Club. They also joined the Loudonville Presbyterian Church where Jean became (no surprise here) editor of the church newsletter. In 1997 she was recognized as an "Outstanding Woman in Ohio Agriculture."
Jean was always an avid reader and read books by the dozens. Until just recently, she was still completing the Wall Street Journal's crossword puzzles and was a formidable adversary to anyone brave enough to play her in a game of Scrabble. She loved her Buckeyes and seldom missed a Cleveland Indians game.
In 2013, Jean finally decided that it was time and withdrew as a partner in the farm her son Terry carries on the farm today where he still operates under the name of Sterlinglen Farms, runs 700 acres and milks 90 head of (what else?) registered Holstein cows.
Jean will be sadly missed by her children Dann (Cathy) Timmons of Garrettsville, Terry (Susan) Timmons of Loudonville and Polly (Bob) Fenton of Loudonville as well as grandchildren Casey Timmons, Jason (Jess) Timmons, Adam (Maggie) Timmons, Bailey Jean (Clinton Watters) Timmons, Ryley (Jennifer) Fenton, Tyler (Serena) Fenton, Megan (Josh Hendershot) Timmons and Ian Timmons and 12 great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband Sterling who died in 2007 and her son Tommy who died in a farm accident in 1952.
Jean will be laid to rest alongside Sterling and Tommy in the Evergreen Hill Cemetery in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Calling hours will be from 2:00 PM to 4:00 PM and 6:00 PM to 8:00 PM on Monday, August 25, 2014 and service at 10:30 am on August 26, 2014 at Byerly-Lindsey Funeral Home in Loudonville. The family will have a private burial.
In lieu of flowers, the family requests that donations be made in Jean's memory to the Heifer Foundation, 1 World Avenue, PO Box 727, Little Rock, AK 72203.
"When I stand before God at the end of my life, I would hope that I would not have a single bit of talent left, and I could say, 'I used everything you gave me'." Erma Bombeck
(Byerly-Lindsey Funeral Home 419-994-3030, RC 8-23-14)