Jean was born March 26, 1927 in Tamaqua, Pennsylvania, enjoyed a wonderful life, filled with love and joy, and passed peacefully on August 18, 2011, in Oro Valley, Arizona, with her husband and family by her side. Jean was the youngest of five children born to William and Minnie Kleppinger. Although she lost her mother when she was only 10 years old and her father a few years later, she reported that she grew up loved and adored and surrounded by a large, extended family. Jean's life took her miles from the coal region of her youth but she never lost her "coal cracker"/Pennsylvania Dutch roots (see Historic Documents) and always referred to herself as "a coal miner's daughter." Jean met Charles, the love of her life, in April 1948 at the Oaks Ballroom in Philadelphia. Charles considers this his lucky moment. They were married November 26, 1949 and danced together for nearly 62 years. Jean always said that all she ever wanted was a husband she loved and who loved her, and to have a family. In 1952 Jean and Charles began their migration west alighting in Beloit, Wisconsin where Charles began his career as an engineer, they built their first home, and Jean gave birth to Jane (1952) and Doug (1954). Jean loved being a wife and mother and reported the Beloit years as "happy days," the fulfillment of her dream. In 1958, Jean and Charles migrated to Phoenix, Arizona to be closer to Charles' parents as his father's life drew to a close. They decided to expand their family and were surprised with twins, Lynne and Carol (1959). Jean loved her husband, she loved her children, she loved being a homemaker extraordinaire, and she loved life. But beginning in 1985, she experienced a love and joy beyond anything she thought possible: being Grammy! She adored her grandchildren Danae, Ashley, Nate, Christian and David. She was a fun, joyful grandmother who was generous with her affection and gave the biggest, best hugs! Jean's life was enriched by the many wonderful friendships she formed throughout her life. She was a good friend and formed deep, life-long friendships. In 1991 Jean and Charles retired to Sun City Vistoso (Oro Valley, Arizona) where they enjoyed active retirement. Jean enjoyed cooking, gardening, bird watching, entertaining, travel and the exquisite beauty of nature. Jean had a deep, daily appreciation for the beauty of the Santa Catalina Mountains, the beautiful birds who visited her bird feeder (especially the cardinals), the roses in her garden, and sunsets. One of Jean's favorite activities was attending Easter sunrise service at Catalina State Park. She felt elated to be surrounded by "the beauty of god's creation," to hear the birds sing, watch the sun rise over the mountain, and feel and express her love for God. She loved holding hands and singing with gusto her favorite hymn, "He lives, He lives!...You ask me how I know He lives? He lives within my heart!" Jean often declared that she had lived a charmed life filled with love and wonderful experiences. She felt her life was greatly blessed and beyond anything she had ever imagined possible. As we looked through family photos (see Photo Gallery Expanded Album), we noticed that she was always smiling, laughing, and filled with love and joy. Her last expressions to her family were how much she loved them and how joyful and deeply satisfying her life had been. In a final gesture, she tossed her head back and with a radiant smile, full of love, she said, "Wasn't this fun?!" Jean's love will live on in the hearts of her husband, Charles; her children Jane, Douglas, Lynne and Carol; and her grandchildren Danae, Ashley, Nathan, Christian and David, none of whom can imagine life without her. Jean is preceded in death by her parents William and Minnie; and siblings William, Melvin, Anna, and Frances. In lieu of flowers, please honor Jean in a joyous way that has meaning for you and practice random acts of kindness! Special thanks to Dr. Jeffrey Monash and Jean's care team at Oro Valley Hospital. This website has been created with love by Granddaughter Ashley.