Wilma “Jean” Stephenson was born to William and Dessie F. (Jones) Lindau in Twin Falls, Idaho. She grew up on a mini-farm in Murtaugh, Idaho, along with her older sister Margaret. Her father was a mail carrier and deputy sheriff, and her mother was an educator.
Jean graduated from high school in 1942 at the age of 16 and from nursing school with her registered nursing degree in 1946.
She married Norman “Pete” K. Skau in 1944. Their only child, Norman W. Skau, was born in May of 1951. Pete was a career U.S. Air Force pilot, and his service took them across the United States and to Europe and Africa.
Jean’s nursing career started in hospitals throughout the U.S. and included working as a school nurse in Italy and an Embassy nurse in Kinshasa, Congo. She retired after 46 years in the profession.
In October of 1971, Jean married John K. Stephenson, also a career Air Force pilot. They were stationed in Washington, D.C., before John’s retirement. John and Jean had 44 years of devoted and loving marriage until John’s passing in February of 2016.
John and Jean settled in Yelm, Washington, where she was a member of the Yelm Methodist Church for 50 years.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents, her son Norm Skau in 2006, sister Margaret Eddy, husband John Stephenson, nephew Richard Eddy, niece Celia Scheihing, and stepdaughter Randi Stephenson.
Jean is survived by stepchildren Debi Stephenson, Mike Stephenson and Gwen (Jim) Hodges; daughter-in-law Corie Skau; grandchildren Erik Skau, Jon (Bethany) Skau, Eileen Kelly, Betsy (Isaac) Lazo, Becky (Andrew) McNichols, Maggie (JJ) Johnson and Daniel (Kiara) Hodges; seven great-grandchildren; nieces Wilma Tokarczyk and Jeannie Bond; and nephews Richard Whitman, Ron Whitman and Tim Eddy, as well as many great-nieces and nephews, and numerous dear friends.
All who had the privilege of being in Jean’s world loved her dearly, admired her greatly and will miss her deeply. We are reassured that Jean was sure of where she was going and is now in heaven having joyous reunions, walking on the beach and tending roses.
A celebration of life will happen in the spring when there is warm weather and will be announced at a later date. She will be interned with John at Tahoma National Cemetery in Kent, Washington.