Obituary of Jean McKee Jervis
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Jean McKee Jervis died peacefully at Woodlawn, her home in Monteagle Sunday School Assembly (MSSA) in Monteagle, Tennessee on Wednesday, December 29, 2021. She was born on September 18, 1937 in Des Moines, Iowa, the fifth child of Wallace F. and Ruth Pohlman McKee. She was predeceased by her parents and a brother, Robert, who was born eleven years to the day prior to her. They were the bookends of the McKee children who also include: Margaret McKee Hickman of Madison, Wisconsin, Beverly McKee Newell of Prineville, Oregon, and Miriam McKee Cerveny of Madison, all of whom survive her. Jean grew up on a dairy farm in Scotch Ridge, Iowa where her father developed a herd of registered milking shorthorn cattle that were shown throughout the country. Jean became accomplished in the art of preparing the cattle for the show ring and in exhibiting them. She attended Iowa State University. In 1960 she was awarded a Bachelor of Science in Experimental Foods, precursor to Food Science. She was vice president of her social sorority, Gamma Phi Beta, and tapped into Mortar Board. Upon graduation she took a position with Victor Chemical Company in Chicago Heights, Illinois where she directed its bake laboratory. She co-authored the patent for chemical leavening BL-60 that is used in cake mixes. After marriage to Oliver Wheeler Jervis and three children, Oliver Wheeler, Jr., Bruce Scott, and Jennifer Jean, she returned to her food science professional career as Director of New Products at Sokol and Company, a food manufacturer of its own brands and co-packer with others, located in Countryside, Illinois. She held membership in Institute of Food Technologists and American Association of University Women. She retired in 1998 and moved to Monteagle, Tennessee and Monteagle Sunday School Assembly, where she and her husband maintained an ancestral summer cottage. After a year she took a position as Head Resident at The University of the South in Sewanee, Tennessee, serving first at Benedict Hall and later at Cleveland, Quintard and McCrady Halls. While living in Naperville Jean was secretary and a director of Naperville Associates of the Art Institute of Chicago, an organization that fosters membership and support of the Art Institute of Chicago. She also served as secretary and as a director of Naperville Heritage Society during its formative period. It is an organization devoted to preservation of the historic prairie village period (1830-1870) of the town through a museum complex known as Naper Settlement that includes relocated and recreated period buildings as well as other historic preservation activities. She was active in an annual antique show promoted as a fundraising activity for the organization. Jean was active in the educational and extracurricular activities of her children during their primary and secondary education periods. She was president of the Elmwood Home and School Association in Naperville. She and her husband served on the principal’s advisory council for Naperville Central High School. She was a Den Mother for a Cub Scout troop. She promoted and assisted in an active sports program for her children. Among other things, she was her children’s traveling companion to figure skating competitions, ice hockey tournaments, and tennis tournaments throughout the United States and Canada. Jean loved being “Nana” to her granddaughters, Kelsey and Alexa Jervis, who relished their visits to Woodlawn. She delighted in their adoration, devotion and development into poised young women. Jean was an active Presbyterian, the tradition of her family that extends to Scotland and John Knox, an ancestor of hers. She and her husband were members of Knox Presbyterian Church of Naperville where she served as an Elder and Co- Chairperson of its Social Concerns Committee. She was active in Knox Youth Club, an after school weekly program of arts, crafts, recreation, fellowship and bible study. Jean taught the arts and crafts program. Jean was member of PEO Sisterhood where she served in its Naperville chapter as Chaplain, Corresponding Secretary, Treasurer, and President. She later was active in its Winchester-Tullahoma Tennessee chapter. She was member of Sewanee Women’s Club and Sewanee Garden Club where she was president 2002-2003. She was a member of the State of Tennessee South Cumberland Recreation Area Friends Board of Directors for several years. She was a member of MSSA where she served on its Reforestation and Beautification, Landscaping, Program, Long Range Planning, and Dining Hall committees. She was President of Monteagle Assembly Woman’s Association 2001 and 2002. During her presidency she directed renovation of the Association’s Winfield House and created “miss ella de’s coffee house” in its basement. Since moving to Monteagle, Jean was a member of Morton Memorial United Methodist Church. Jean is survived by her husband, Oliver Wheeler, J.D.; children Oliver Wheeler, Jr. M.D. (Lisa, M.D.) of Charlotte, North Carolina, Bruce Scott (Jim Kowalski) of San Francisco, California, and Jennifer Jean of Nashville, Tennessee; grandchildren Kelsey of Boston, Massachusetts and Alexa of Atlanta, Georgia. Services and interment will be at Monteagle Sunday School Assembly Cemetery at 10:00 A.M. on Friday, January 14, 2022 or alternatively, in the event of inclement weather, at Morton Memorial United Methodist Church in Monteagle. Reception will follow interment at Morton Memorial United Methodist Church. Visitation at Cumberland Funeral Home in Monteagle will be from 4:00 P.M. to 8: P.M. on Thursday, January 13, 2022. Donations in lieu of flowers should be made to Wayne and Virginia Jervis Bible Week Fund of Monteagle Sunday School Assembly Endowment or to Morton Memorial United Methodist Church. Online memories and condolences can be shared with the family at www.cumberlandfuneralhome.net