Hart, Jean Elmquist Age 88, Jean died peacefully on August 3, 2021. Preceded in death by parents Carl Valora and Nannette Jayne Elmquist; sisters Martha Cleveland and Nannette Dow; and her husband of 63 years, B Clarence Hart. Survived by devoted children Nannette, Kyle (Holly), Charles (Jennifer Lynn Dahlstrom) and Charlotte (Timothy Massad); dear grandchildren Kiernan, Anne, Taylor, Henry, Sky, Valora, Emil, Aurora and Jayne. Born in St Paul, Minnesota July 7, 1933. Graduated from Summit School in 1952. Attended the University of Colorado Boulder from 1952-1954 and the University of Minnesota 1954-1955. Jean interrupted her college education to marry BC. It was love at first sight; BC wrote that he could not take his eyes off of Jean and although he had “no inkling” Jean saw him looking, Jean always contended that BC actually winked at her. BC concluded that if he “didn’t wink, he should have.” Always ambitious and undeterred, Jean returned to college in her mid-40s and obtained her degree from Metro State University in 1979. She then went to work with the Saint Paul Foundation, serving as a Program Officer, Vice President, Senior Vice President and Deputy Director and finally as a Special Assignments Director before retiring in 2003. In 2004, Metro State selected Jean as Alumni of the Year in recognition of her 22 years with the Saint Paul Foundation and further leadership positions with the Bigelow Foundation, Mardag Foundation, Metropolitan State Foundation, Minnesota Children’s Museum, Twin Cities Public Television, Science Museum of Minnesota, Friends of the Saint Paul Public Library and other community organizations. Favorite community projects included the Minnesota Adult Literacy Campaign, the Hubbs Center for Lifelong Learning, the Diversity Endowment Fund and the Supporting Diversity in Schools program. She valued her work with the Hmong and Native American communities. On the day of her semi-retirement, then Mayor Norm Coleman, proclaimed JEAN E HART DAY for the significant and lasting service she provided to the community, which included 20+ years of volunteering at the St. Paul Junior League (President 1970-1971) and serving on the Boards of Alumni and Directors at St. Paul Academy and Summit School. On retirement, Jean completed an extensive genealogy of her family. While Jean reveled in her professional life, her self-proclaimed “golden years” were those raising her four children in White Bear Lake, with summers spent at a special family vacation home she and BC created on an island in Lake Namakan. There Jean loved the wilderness setting and all the birds, animals and plants within it. She insisted on rustic accommodations and went so far as to refuse electric service when it became available throughout the park. She thought it an ideal place to corral her children during the turbulent ‘6os and ‘70s. Jean ran her family with a gentle, but firm touch. A single raised eyebrow was a big enough sign of her displeasure that children and grandchildren fell into line. Chores were renamed “funzie do-zies” to minimize grumbling. She called loved ones “lover buckets”, was more enthusiastic about trips to the Science Museum or reading historical markers than anyone else, had paddleboat picnics on a big off-shore rock, allowed forbidden sugar on cereal, and had laugh attacks that we remember to this day. Jean loved family traditions. We would all love one more Christmas on Lilac Lane. We will forever carry our loving memories of Jean as the vibrancy of her life fades. We take comfort that she will be with BC and she will forever be with us in spirit, continuing to be a loving protector and a model of determination and grace.
Plan for service to be announced. In lieu of flowers, memorials preferred to the Voyageurs Conservancy or the Friends of the St. Paul Public Library. Bradshaw Funeral Home 4600 Greenhaven Dr, White Bear Lake, 651-407-8300.