Jean Green Lea

Published 1:38 pm Tuesday, November 6, 2018

In loving memory of Jean Green Lea, 89, of Orange, Texas, a beloved wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend who died peacefully on November 1, 2018 in Austin, surrounded by her daughter and granddaughter.

Jean was born Imogene Green in Burkburnett, Texas on February 25, 1929, the daughter of Roy S. and Jennie Belle Green, and the younger sister of Betty Jo. She grew up in East Texas and attended schools in Hughes Springs and Henderson. Shortly after she graduated high school in 1946, her family moved to Orange, the place she called home.

Her kind character and strong determination were developed during her youth, watching her father’s work ethic and experiencing her mother’s unconditional love. She built strong relationships with friends that would last a life time. She excelled at academics, taking classes at Lamar State College of Technology and delved into careers as a dental assistant and reporter at the Orange Leader. Jean found love early in life. She was married 10 years before becoming a widow.

On May 24, 1958, Jean married Richard (Dick) Lea, her husband of 53 years. They were blessed with a daughter, Brette, before moving to Clear Lake City, Texas — near Houston. She dedicated her life to her family and served her community as a volunteer in many organizations. As a lifelong learner, she made the decision to go back to college, earning a Bachelor’s of Arts from the University of Houston, Clear Lake.

Jean loved Elvis, Gone with the Wind, and gospel music. She enjoyed water skiing and travel, especially trips to the Hill Country with long-time friends. After 35 years in Clear Lake City, she and Dick returned to their hometown of Orange, where they became regulars at Sunset Grove Country Club and St. Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Jean found tremendous joy in playing bridge, visiting art museums, antique shopping, and spending time with her friends and family. In 2000, she gained the title of “Mimi” given to her by her precious granddaughter, Lexi — her pride and joy.

Jean was a loving, devoted wife, mother, grandmother, aunt, and friend. Her kindness, beauty, and wisdom will remain with us always.

She is preceded in death by her husband Dick, father and mother Roy and Jennie Green, sister Betty Jo Traylor, brother-in-law Billy Traylor, and her first husband Gerald Bridges.

Jean is survived by her daughter, Brette Lea, and granddaughter, Alexis Lea, of Austin; Richard Williams of Austin; sister-in-law Dee Lea of Austin; nephews Norman Traylor of Beaumont, John Lea of Mexico, George Lea of Orange, Charles Lea of Houston, Bruce Lea of Florida, and Lev Flournoy of Ohio; nieces Nan Saucier of Winnsboro, Karen Dunnigan of Austin, Lisa Minnick of Dallas, Laura Miller of Austin, Suzanne Crow of Dallas, Sherry Ferguson of Mississippi, Penny Dukes of Mississippi, Robbie Lea of Driftwood, Lisa Alvarado of El Paso; many beloved grand and great grand—nephews and nieces, and cousins.

A celebration of Jean’s life will be at 11 a.m. Saturday, November 10, at St. Paul’s Episcopal Church, 1401 W. Park Avenue in Orange, Texas with visitation beginning at 10 a.m. Graveside services will follow at Evergreen Cemetery.

Donations may be made to the Alzheimer’s Foundation of America. Flowers may be sent to Claybar Funeral Home, 504 N. 5th Street, Orange, Texas 77630, 409-886-4445.