Ova Mae (Jean) Brizendine passed away on September 23, 2022 at age 94 at Garden Terrace Memory Care of Overland Park, Kansas. Graveside services will be held on Friday, September 30, 2022 at 2:00pm at Memorial Park Cemetery in Lawrence, Kansas. Address: 1517 E. 15th Street, Lawrence, Kansas 66044. Donations may be made out to the Alzheimer’s Association.
Jean was born on May 19, 1928 to Ida and Ren Davis in Peel, Arkansas. Her parents were share croppers and worked a farm where they always had plenty to eat although Jean’s young life spanned the Great Depression era. She and her family picked cotton in the Missouri Bootheel when she was at the young age of eight years old. When Jean reached the age of fourteen, she ventured to Redondo Beach, California for better work opportunities and lived with family friends. In 1943, she joined her mother and older sister Hester to begin working at the Sunflower Army Ammunition plant in Lawrence, Kansas fibbing about her age in order to work there. She lived in the barracks with her mother and sister which was great because she had really missed them both. When the war ended, she started working at Gilkerson’s restaurant in Lawrence which was where she met the love of her life Clifton Brizendine. Together they raised six children. In 1964, they moved from Lawrence to Bonner Springs, Kansas. Soon after, Jean began working as a supervisor in housekeeping at a nursing home in Bonner Springs, she took much pride in her work during this time. When her late husband Cliff developed Alzheimer’s, she devoted most of her time to take great care of him for close to three years. She eventually placed him in a memory care facility and visited him every day. Cliff passed away in 2002. She stayed a devout member of the Bonner Springs Church of Christ for the remaining years she spent in Bonner Springs. She was diagnosed with dementia after breaking her hip in 2017. Jean loved her children, grandchildren, great grandchildren and great, great grandchild. She loved reading, gardening, crocheting, playing cards and dominoes, the Kansas City Royals and most of all spending time with family. One of her most fun and favorite memories was kayaking on the North Fork of the White River when she was at the age of 75 years old. She had a competitive nature which showed when it came to playing Bingo at Garden Terrace, sometimes playing three cards at once. She also discovered the joy of painting at age 91, creating many masterpieces. She lived a full and adventurous life, loved her family and was loved by all. She will be missed greatly.
Jean was preceded in death by Ida and Ren Davis, husband of 55 years, Clifton Brizendine, son Gary Brizendine, daughter-in-law Linda Brizendine, brothers Ralph, Roy, Hobart and Joe Davis, sisters Irene Posey and Hester Hallmark.
Jean is survived by Daughter-in-law Val Brizendine, children Carol Jordan and her husband Harold Jordan, Roger Brizendine, Terri Andersson and husband Lars Andersson, Jeff Brizendine and wife Fon Brizendine, Aaron Brizendine and wife Amy Brizendine. Grandchildren, Michele, Krystal, April, Tony, Adam, and Courtney, Heather, Jason, Jeanette, Gillian, Andrew, Eric, Luke, Cliff, Brenna, Cassie, Travis, Chloe, Nathan, Mia, Tori, Drake, Audri, Nikolai, Behrenger, and Luciana. Great Grandchildren, Nicholas, Sydney, Carter, Sofia, Nora, Jeremy, Austin, Baleigh, Hunter, Archer, Matt, Aiden, Charlotte, Ani, Lola, Calvin and Gracie. Great, Great Grandchild, Harrison as well as numerous nieces and nephews.