Jean Wynd DeWolfe
Family matriarch Jean DeWolfe, 104, joined the Lord’s angels on Saturday, May 13, 2023 at Centre Care skilled nursing facility, in Bellefonte, PA. She was born in Tunkhannock, PA on April 4, 1919, to James and Eva Kneller Wynd, and grew up on Redfield Street. She was one of eleven children born to the Wynds. She was preceded in death by her parents, her brothers Bob, Jim, Dick and Bill, and sisters Margaret Brown, Eva Fargo, Daisy Driver, Helen Harvey, Vivian (Kippy) Funkhouser, and Doris Prusko.
Jean graduated from Tunkhannock High School (Wyoming County) in 1936. She was a center, captain, and most valuable player on the girls’ basketball team. She also was a member of the cheerleading squad for other school sports.
In 1946 she married C. Russell DeWolfe, who passed away in 1985. They established a home in Sugar Hollow, and she recalled hauling buckets of water from the creek for laundry and other uses. Together they raised four children – Don Wynd (California), Almina Truesdale (Les, deceased, Kentucky), Joanne Bach (Ray, Florida) and Jim DeWolfe (Suzie Linn, State College). She was blessed with and provided loving care to 10 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren, and 5 great great grandchildren. She was adored, loved and cherished by all her nephews and nieces, demonstrated by their endless gifts of photos, phone calls, cards, cookies and flowers.
After high school, Jean worked as a telephone operator with Commonwealth Telephone before working in the Wyoming County Sheriff’s office. She was made a deputy sheriff – one of the first women in Pennsylvania to be deputized. Her duties included the transfer of female inmates, along with a wide variety of office management responsibilities.
When the domestic relations office separated from the probation and sheriff’s office, she changed positions and became the first Domestic Relations Officer of Wyoming County. In this role, she would interview those seeking child support and conduct hearings. She recalled that “it was what mothers needed to take care of themselves and their children – it was hard to see mothers struggle”. She used her great sense of humor to put those that were uncomfortable into a better place when meeting with her. She was a trailblazer in this role, and a mentor to many who went on to brilliant careers.
Throughout her life, Jean was involved in many activities and made many revered friends. She was an avid quilt maker, providing them to friends and family as special gifts. One quilt was awarded the first-place prize at the Wyoming County Fair. She belonged to the Tunkhannock Presbyterian Church for over 90 years, served as Deacon, treasurer, and was their oldest member. Jean was an avid and arguably the oldest Penn State football fan. For her 104th birthday, and thanks to the efforts of Centre Care staff, she was surprised by Penn State football players and given a football signed by the team.
Jean was incredibly smart, quick-witted and had a unique, spirited sense of humor. She could solve a Wheel of Fortune puzzle with two letters revealed. Everywhere she went, she would light up a room as she was so well respected and loved. She was one the organizers of the first Wynd reunion, now in its 50th year. Many have used the word resilient to describe Jean, developed from her amazing ability to learn from both the joys and challenges of life. She was in inspiration to generations.
The family would like to extend their immense appreciation to the Tunkhannock Methodist Manor staff for their loving care while Jean was a resident – many of the staff became her family. Memorial donations are requested to be made in her name to the Tunkhannock Presbyterian Church, 51 Putnam St, Tunkhannock, PA 18657. A celebration of her life will be held there this summer on August 5 at 11:00 AM at the Tunkhannock Presbyterian Church. www.aplitwinfuneralhomes.com