Jeanette Rector Schoen died peacefully of natural causes on July 13, 2020. The daughter of Frank and Evelyn John of Ft. Worth, TX, was born March 6, 1926. Because Jeanette was a transplanted Texan, she always reminded us that she was born on the anniversary of the day the Alamo fell, but was not responsible. Though she had lived in Lawrence and Leavenworth since 1964, she never lost her love of her home state or for yellow roses.
Jeanette married Bill Rector in 1946, and together they had six children – Jennie Crews, Kathy Hetu, Robin Muir, Penny Sage, Dick Rector and John Rector. The family later increased with grandchildren circling the earth from Japan to Virginia.
Those grandchildren include Doug Black, Amy Black, Shanda Bearden, Erin Fitzgerald, Jaime Sage, Alan Rector, Toni Miller, Jenelle Bean, Billy Miller, Jessica Hemmy, David Muir III, Joey Rector, Jim Rector, Julie Thompson, and Jay Rector. There are also fifteen great grandchildren. She was preceded in death by her parents, Bill, Robin, Penny, Toni and Joey who are all fondly remembered.
Jeanette attended Texas Christian University, graduating in three years at age nineteen and being listed in Who’s Who in American Colleges and Universities. After Bill’s death she received her Master’s degree from the University of Kansas. She taught learning disabilities in Leavenworth and other area schools until her retirement.
She was known for her humor and was always a teacher. When the girls were little, she slayed a water moccasin and opened it to show everyone why the snake was so fat. One time, a grandchild complained that it was hard going to visit “Grandma JJ” because she always made you think.
Jeanette enjoyed bridge and book club with her many friends in Lawrence and Leavenworth. She loved travel and held membership in many organizations. Jeanette was never without a book. The family learned that, if she said, “I have a few pages left”, she was finishing a chapter. However, if the message was, “I have some more to read,” it meant the kids should cook dinner because she wanted to finish the book. She was an avid reader until the day she died.
Though there were ‘only’ six children, others were held close as what she called ‘outlaw’ relatives. While many, the closest include Cindy Mullican, Rob Rector, David Muir, Jr., and the Miller Boys – Rob, Keith, and Gary.
A celebration of life will be held at a later date. In the meantime, you may remember Jeanette by donating to the American Association of University Women, Friends of Leavenworth Library, the Leavenworth Hospice, or the charity of your choice, sent in care of Rumsey-Yost Funeral Home, P.O. Box 1260, Lawrence, Kansas 66044.
Jeanette’s last home was at Neuvant House, and the family thanks everyone there who took such good care of her.
Remember Jeanette with love and fondness.