Jean J. Dolph
January 20, 1931 - November 1, 2021
Jean J. Dolph, 90, of Keizer passed away on Nov. 1 in her home at The Village at Keizer Ridge. She was preceded in death by her husband Richard; her siblings Rollin, Ina, and Shirley; and by Babe, her feline companion for 21 years. She is survived by her son Clifford, his wife Jan, and their son Ethan; by her son Douglas, his wife Shawna, and their children, Emily and Eric; by several nieces and nephews; and by her kitty, Terra.
Born January 20, 1931, in Kearney, Nebraska to Roy and Dora Cox, Jean always thought of Nebraska, with its brutal winters, as a good place to be from. They had an outhouse, and the warnings she heard about the black widows in it probably led to her life-long arachnophobia. But she also had at least one season of glory there: She loved to race and became the fastest girl in sixth grade.
She and her family moved in her teens to California. She later relocated to Salem, where she met Richard while waiting on him in the Capital coffee shop (always saving the largest cinnamon roll for him). He moved to another office, and they didn’t see each other for nearly a year, but then Richard called to ask her out. Both then in their 30s, they embarked on a whirlwind courtship, were married within six months, and stayed that way for nearly 50 years.
A long-time member of the Salem Central Seventh-day Adventist Church, Jean gave her faith a central place in her life. In and out of church, she loved music, listening to it and making it, and she encouraged the musical pursuits of her children and grandchildren.
She also prized relationships with people. Certainly food was among her love languages, as she delighted in cooking for friends, potlucks, traveling groups of students, and family (upwards of 20 at some Thanksgiving dinners). In later years, she loved taking people out to eat. As her siblings and Richard’s passed away (they were each the last-surviving children in their families), she made a point of staying in touch with all the nephews and nieces and remembering their birthdays. Their calls and visits have long been a source of joy and comfort for her.
Jean cherished memories of the many trips the family took together (always by car, she would point out), including camping trips to places in the Northwest and far beyond. In retirement, she and Richard travelled to England, and to Alaska five times. But she always maintained that it was good to get home. She felt sure that, when her life ended, she would next awake to journey to her eternal home, where she could race with the cheetah.
A memorial service will be held at 11:00 AM on Sunday, November 7, 2021 at the Salem Central Seventh Day Adventist Church.
Those wishing to make donations in Jean’s memory are invited to contribute to Salem’s Seventh-Day Adventist Community Service Center.
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