Jean Wildfoerster made the most of her 94 years before riding into the sunset on August 2, 2019, with the reins in one hand and a margarita in the other.
Jean was born on November 19, 1924, in Malta, Montana, where she loved life on the family farm—she told us recently that she would never have wanted to grow up anywhere else—until moving to Seattle to find adventure and attend the University of Washington. Her earliest education was in a one-room schoolhouse on the high plains of Montana, where her mother was the school teacher. And anyone who knows Jean will see how perfect it is that one of her first pets was a coyote she named Snookie.
In March of 1946 Jean married Douglas Wildfoerster and together they began a lifelong adventure that lasted 70 years. Married life began in New York and later took them to Montana, Utah and Idaho as well as Orange County in southern California, Shasta County in northern California and the beautiful San Francisco Bay Area.
Road trips were a staple of Doug and Jean’s adventures and over the years they crisscrossed the U.S. seeing great expanses of the country, especially after Doug’s retirement when they headed out, time after time, in their big American car with the license plate that read “OFFWEGO.”
Jean’s entire life was marked by love and kindness, great fun and humor, devotion to her family, an indomitable spirit and more friends than you could begin to count. Every Sunday dinner and holiday was a special occasion; Halloween was a great excuse to invite friends to don costumes and come over for drinks and treats; birthdays and football games always found the infamous Wildfoerster family room filled to capacity and the bar always open.
Jean is survived by her three children: Doug (Vonnie) Wildfoerster, Karen Wildfoerster and Lynn (Kegan) Morrison; four grandchildren: Britt Wright, Carly Wildfoerster and Taylor and Sophie Morrison; and two great-grandchildren: Connor and Carson Wright.
All of us want to thank the wonderful staffs at The Wentworth at East Millcreek and Hospice and Palliative Care for Utah for the loving and skilled care they gave to Jean.
A celebration for Jean will be on Friday, August 16, 2019 from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. at Starks Funeral Parlor, 3651 South 900 East, Salt Lake City. Guests are encouraged to use the complimentary valet parking on the north side of the building.