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Obituary for Jean M. Conover

Jean Moore Conover, 91, passed away peacefully with family at her side on Nov. 6, 2018 at Evergreen Retirement Community in Oshkosh, Wis. She was born in Wilkinsburg, Pa. on July 14, 1927 to Ruth E. and George A. Moore. She earned a bachelor of science degree in chemistry from Penn State University. Jean met her best friend and husband, David F. Conover, at Penn State, and they wed in 1950.

Jean took a break in her career as a chemist to raise a family with David and moved to northwoods locations in both Minnesota and Wisconsin. There she reveled in the challenge of living in a houseboat, harvesting wild rice from a canoe, making items like tents from scratch, and many other “pioneer woman” ad-ventures.

Jean, David and their children settled in Oshkosh, where she was active in the UW-Oshkosh academic community and League of Women Voters, and worked as a media center librarian at Oshkosh North High School. After retirement Jean focused her energy, drive, and commitment on many social causes, notably immigrant naturalization and citizenship. She was a beloved adviser and mentor to the Hmong community, and a leader in local Unitarian Universalist church fellowships. In 1997, Jean and David shared an award for promoting diversity in Oshkosh.

Jean is described by family as caring and selfless, always putting family and community first. She was a passionate advocate for those less fortunate. She opened her home and heart to everyone. She always had a plan, fought for causes she believed in, and refused to accept the status quo. She was quick-witted with a quirky and sharp sense of humor, which she passed on to her children. She loved living on the water, gardening, crafts, and board games. A tenacious woman, her passing is possibly the only time Jean gave up on a struggle, but she had decided it was time to join her husband.

Jean was preceded in death by her husband, David; and sister, Barbara Alberts.

Survivors include her daughter, Elizabeth Conover (Steve Raybine); son, Robert Conover (Julie Conover); daughter, Emily Conover (Patrick Craig); and grand-children, Alex Conover, Brian Conover, David Raybine, Kathryn Conover, and Samuel Raybine. She is also survived by her nephews, David Alberts and Daniel Alberts; and nieces, Deborah Alberts Latherow and Diane Alberts. She is also survived by many other beloved relatives in her extended family.

The family wishes to thank the skilled and compassionate staff at Evergreen who went above and beyond in Jean’s care, as well as Dee Walter and Karen Wilkinson.

A celebration of Jean’s life will be held at a later date. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory can be directed to Ferry Beach Park Association at https://www.ferrybeach.org/endowment-fund.html or the Evergreen Foundation at www.evergreenoshkosh.com.

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