Jean H. Wallman, 101, formerly of Trumbull, died peacefully at her home in Greenbrae CA. She was born in Whitefish Montana January 31, 1919 the year Prohibition was ratified and women received the vote. Her father became an Engineer on the Great Northern Railroad and her mother, who died 3 years later, had been a teacher. Her father remarried and the family struggled but remained independent throughout the Depression by farming, chopping wood, selling huckleberries door to door and taking work whenever available.
Following graduation from Whitefish High, she studied a year at Santa Barbara State College (now UCSB) in California then transferred to Knapp College of Nursing where she earned her RN. She was an Army nurse, 2nd Lieutenant, during WWII where she met both her future husbands. She married Milton Wallman, an Army Air Force pilot, in 1943 and lived with her Stamford CT in-laws until their daughter Barbara was born and he was sent to France. Jean stayed with her family in Montana for the duration of the war and returned to Stamford to be with her husband and have their second daughter, Betty. She spent many happy years as a mom, working part time as a visiting nurse, being active in PTA and the League of Women Voters. Several summer weeks were spent camping at Hammonassett while Milt commuted daily to Stamford. They extended their family to include nephew and niece Bill and Rhonda Hutchison after the untimely death of her brother Bill.
The family moved to Trumbull in 1955 and Jean returned to college, graduating from Danbury State Teachers College (now WCSU) in 1959 and teaching 8th grade Math in Trumbull for almost 20 years. During that time she and Milt enjoyed Friday nights square dancing with the Newtown Rocking Roosters, becoming Lifetime Members. They traveled to New Haven's Shubert Theater Saturday evenings to see pre Broadway shows, always returning home with lox, bagels and cream cheese for Sunday morning family breakfasts before church services at Salem Lutheran in Bridgeport, and years later at Good Shepherd Lutheran Church in Monroe. Summer vacations were family camping with friends in South Hero Maine. Jean and Milt retired to Sarasota FL in 1979 where the couple enjoyed a "honeymoon" existence before his passing that June.
In the years following, she reconnected with her Army friend Henry Coffee, moved to Anaheim CA and entered a second happy marriage in 1983 becoming a loving stepmother to his four grown children Nancy, Tom, Judy, and John. She surprised everyone by getting an annual Disneyland pass and making daily visits to the theme park until the couple moved north to a retirement community in Sonoma CA where she served as President of the community governing board. She and Henry traveled often, visiting Europe and North America. Following Henry's death, Jean moved in 1995 to the Tamalpias, a continual care retirement home north of the Golden Gate Bridge. Once again she made many good friends, became President of the governing board and was able to see her California family most weekends. Jean stayed active taking day trips and hikes with her friends, visiting San Francisco museums often and traveling all over the world, often by train with her family.
Jean died peacefully August 28, 2020 with her daughter Betty by her side. Her abiding love for family, friends and pets; her intrepid spirit and adventurous nature; her generosity to causes; her incredible work ethic; her refusal to let anyone help her with anything she thought she could do herself and her constant commitment to be the best person she could be are her most outstanding qualities. Four generations mourn her passing, benefitting from the example she set and the love she generously shared. We are better people for her presence in our lives.
She is survived by her daughters Barbara (Saverio) Bruno of Danbury CT and Betty (Larry) Henry of Berkeley CA; stepchildren Nancy (Jesse Ramirez) Coffee and John Coffee both of CA; grandchildren Karen Bruno (Mark Scheffler) , Kristen (Peter) Schretzenmayer, Leah (Julian) Alcala, Tamara (Matt Schilgen) Henry, Guy (Michele) Coffee and Jake Coffee; 11 great grandchildren; stepsister Ann Allen of Columbia Falls MT; and several nephews and nieces including William (Nellie) Hutchison of NV and Rhonda (H. Thomas) Goodman of GA. Besides her husbands Milton Wallman and Henry Coffee, she is predeceased by her brothers W. William Hutchison and Allen Hutchison; and her stepchildren Tom Coffee and Judy Coffee.
Jean was laid to rest September 4, 2020 beside her husband Milton in Long Hill Cemetery, Trumbull CT following a private graveside service.
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