Jean Puschmann Wrightsman passed away peacefully in her sleep on May 6, 2021--just three weeks before her 98th birthday.
Jean Elizabeth Dore was born on a farm near Fairview, Montana, on Sunday, May 27, 1923, to Jobe and Gertie Dore. She had an older half-sister, Phyllis, an older brother, Kenneth, and a younger brother, Robert, who have all passed on.
She attended grade school at the Dane Hill School, a one-room school teaching grades one through eight. She rode horseback two miles to and from school. Jean attended high school in Sidney, Montana, graduating in 1939 one day before her 16th birthday. In 1941, she graduated from Northern Montana College in Havre and went on to school in Minneapolis to become a Hospital Laboratory Technician.
In May 1942, she accepted a job in Emmett, Idaho, at the Mary Secor Hospital where she conducted laboratory work for the hospital and worked in Dr. Ellis Carver's office. On December 12, 1942, she married William Puschmann. She continued hospital work until her first child was born in 1946, when she became a stay-at-home mom. They had three boys, John, Eric, and Dennis. They lived on a farm, and Bill worked nights at the local sawmill. Jean and the boys milked a small herd of cows every morning and night for many years.
While the boys were young, Jean actively helped with school activities and was a den mother for Cub Scouts. She joined the First Christian Church in the late 1940s and later served as their clerk for 20 years.
Bill Puschmann passed away on July 12, 1976. Jean continued to live on the farm while working various positions, including Activity Director at River’s Edge Assisted Living. She traveled to visit family which included two trips to West Germany in 1987 and 1990. On September 17, 1991, she married Newton Wrightsman. They travelled together to 48 of the 50 states and also visited China. While on a cruise to Alaska in 2002, Newton's heart began to give him problems, so a lot of their traveling stopped. In 2002, they moved from the farm where she had lived for 60 years to a home in town. Newton passed away on September 18, 2012.
Although she had been sewing since childhood, she decided to expand her skills to quilting. In the early 1980s, she, and a group of like-minded ladies, founded the Valley of Plenty Quilt Club. They also started the annual Gem County Quilt Show during Cherry Festival. At the 2011 Quilt Show, Jean was the featured quilter, displaying over a dozen of her heirloom quilts. In 2016, as the last remaining charter member, Jean was featured in the Cherry Festival Parade, and in 2018 the Emmett Mayor presented her the “Gem County Gem” award.
Education was always a priority for Jean. She often spoke about how proud she was that all of her children and grandchildren had graduated from college. In 2014, on the 75th anniversary of her high school graduation, Jean returned to Sidney, Montana as the high school graduation commencement speaker. She received a standing ovation.
Jean is survived by her son, Eric (Sharon) Puschmann of Dayton, Ohio, son, Dennis (Sue) Puschmann of Darwin, Minnesota; five grandchildren (Patty Jasso, Bill Puschmann, Stacy Wescott, Carrie O’Quinn, and Anne LeClaire); fifteen great grandchildren and six nieces.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Heritage Christian Church, P.O. Box 2, Emmett, ID 83617 or to Wish Granters, Inc., 1111 S. Orchard St., Suite 291, Boise, ID 83705 (wishgranters.org).
Services will be held at 10:30 AM on Saturday, May 22, 2021 at the Potter Funeral Chapel followed by burial at the Emmett Cemetery. Viewing will be held Friday the 21st from 5:00 – 7:00 PM at the Potter Funeral Chapel.
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