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We lost a loving great grandma on August 27, 2017. Jean was the first child of Vincent & Margaret March, born in Massachusetts on July 12, 1938. She met the love of her life, Kendall F. Cleaves, while just a sophomore at Winchester High, at Girl Scout Camp.
Married on June 23, 1957, a year after her graduation; they moved to Montana for Ken to attend Forestry School at the U of M with the promise to return to Massachusetts after college, they ended up making Missoula their home for over 60 years.
While putting down their roots, prior to having their three children; Catherine, Craig and Kendall, Jean worked as a switchboard operator for Mountain Bell. While caring for their children she enjoyed reading, needlework, gardening and volunteering for school activities. She was one of those moms who always had a good meal waiting when the kids came home for lunch.
As the children grew, Jean and Ken had a good time square dancing and playing cards with friends, recreating outdoors and spending summers with her family at the Lake Mary Ronan “cabin”.
In later years, this loving pair enjoyed many winters in Arizona where they met many dear friends. She especially loved watching her grandchildren grow and start families of their own.
Her greatest enjoyments this last year of her life were celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary with many close family and friends as well as having her great grandsons near her each day, always bringing a smile to her face.
She is preceded in death by her father, mother, son, Craig, and two brothers in law. Jean will be forever missed by her husband, Ken, daughter Catherine and son, K.C. of Helena, grandchildren; Jason Malach-Fuller (Ricky), Portland, OR, Kimberly Swanby (Tanner), great grandsons; Tristen and Teague Swanby, Missoula; siblings; Dorothy Harris and David March (Charlynn) and their families, sister in law, Carol Gielow and her family along with several cousins and lifelong friends.
Per Jean’s request no services will be held. Memorials and donations may be given to Partners in Home Care Hospice or the Humane Society.
G.G. we promise to keep up the Christmas tree tradition.
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