Lenora "Jean" Gailhouse, a beloved homemaker and dedicated member of her community, passed away peacefully on November 7, 2023, with her family by her side. She was born on June 13, 1937, in Dowagiac, Michigan to George and Ruth (Antisdel) Cooper.
Jean is survived by her children: Dolly Clark, Debbie Regner, Robert Gailhouse Jr.; seven grandchildren: Shelly (Pete) Martin, Fred Clark, Rachel Clark, Austin Rutherford, Jeremy Rutherford, Justin Gailhouse and Robbie (Brittney) Gailhouse; thirteen great grandchildren and six great great grandchildren with two on the way. Jean is also survived by her siblings: Pat Nothdurft and George (Peggy) Cooper as well as several nieces, nephews and cousins.
Those preceding Jean in death are her parents, her husband of 52 years, Robert Gailhouse Sr., as well as her brothers Donald Cooper, Chuck Cook, Richard Hazen.
Jean's life was defined by her unwavering commitment to her family and the values she held dear. Her career encompassed various roles that reflected her nurturing and caring nature. She initially devoted herself to raising her children and being actively involved in their school lives. As they grew older, Jean pursued her passion for literature and education by becoming a school librarian, fostering a love of reading in countless young minds.
As if that were not enough to keep her busy, Jean took on the responsibility of being a crossing guard until just last year when she finally retired in 2022. Retirement didn't slow down this remarkable woman; she continued to work two days a week at the local pizzeria, prepping all of the food and keeping the kitchen spotless.
Outside of work and family life, Jean had a wide range of interests and hobbies. She was an avid collector of newspaper clippings whenever any of her grandchildren were featured, preserving those precious memories as a testament to their achievements. Many pets found a loving home with Jean throughout the years; she particularly adored cats, dogs, and birds.
A lifelong learner herself, Jean's education journey started attending a small country schoolhouse near Dowagiac. Later in life, she went on to earn her GED—a testament to her determination and thirst for knowledge.
Jean's vibrant personality was evident in every aspect of her life. Full of energy and passion for what she believed in, she approached every task with unwavering dedication. Active within her church community, Jean joyfully volunteered her time and talents whenever there was a need. Her commitment to helping others created lasting impressions on the lives of those she touched.
However, Jean's proudest accomplishments were undoubtedly her grandchildren. She cherished their presence in her life and was actively involved in every aspect, especially their school activities. Whether attending performances, cheering from the sidelines, or helping with assignments, Jean's love and support knew no bounds.
Throughout her years of service and dedication, Jean received numerous awards and accolades for her selfless contributions to her community. Her commitment to volunteering left an indelible mark on the lives of many and served as an inspiration to those who knew her.
Lenora "Jean" Gailhouse will be sorely missed by all who knew and loved her. Her unwavering spirit, kindness, and infectious laughter will forever echo in the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to have crossed paths with this extraordinary woman.
A gathering with lunch will be held on Saturday, November 18 at 1:00 p.m. at the Glenwood Seventh-day Adventist Church; 51089 Glenwood Rd, Dowagiac, MI 49047. A memorial service will follow at the same location at 2:00.
In honor of Jean's memory, her family kindly requests that any donations be made to Glenwood Seventh-day Adventist Church, a place close to her heart. Let us celebrate the life of Lenora "Jean" Gailhouse—a beacon of love, strength, and compassion who made a lasting impact on all those she encountered. May she rest in eternal peace.
While visiting Jean’s memory page at www.amsfuneralhomes.com, please sign the guestbook or leave a memory for the family. The family is being cared for by Avink, McCowen, Secord Funeral Home in Schoolcraft (269) 679-5622.