Jean McElheney


A Celebration of Life was held Thursday, Dec. 23, at the Rippey United Methodist Church for Jean McElheney, 89, of Rippey.

Words of comfort were by Pastor Paul Burrow and Pastor Enna Antunez of the church. Pianist was Carson Griffith, who accompanied soloist David Menz, who sang, "What a Wonderful World" and "Hymn of Promise" and violinist, Janice Johnston, who played, "Ashokan Farewell". Ushers were LaVere Derry and Kevin Wilbeck. Honorary bearers were JoAnn Morris, Jerry Hassemer, Allan and Carol Sieck and Dale and DeeAnn Thompson. Casket bearers were Larry Lepke, Mike Quinn, John Brodell, Cooper Quinn and Matthew Lepke. Interment was in the Rippey Cemetery. Hastings Funeral Home of Jefferson handled arrangements.

Memorials were accepted for the Rippey United Methodist Church or Friends of Rippey to be directed to the library or bike trail funds.

Jean was born March 25, 1921, to Charles and Elizabeth McKelvey. As a young woman she received the titles of Rippey High School Queen, Miss Rippey, and Miss Greene County. She graduated from Rippey High School in 1938. In 1941, she married Charles "Jack" McElheney, and lived her entire life in Rippey, where she was a grain and dairy farmer. She was well known locally for her artistry as a painter, quilter, seamstress and teddy bear maker. She was an avid reader, enjoyed participating in politics, grew beautiful flower gardens, loved animals, and had a keen appreciation of the natural world. At retirement she began her adventures as a world traveler, visiting destinations such as China, Kenya, Scotland, and the Australian Outback. She is survived by her daughters and sons-in-law Phyllis and Larry Lepke of Story City, Marilyn and Mike Quinn of Wilson, WY, and Karilyn and John Brodell of Jackson, WY; her grandsons Matthew Lepke of Columbia, MO, and Cooper Quinn of Vancouver, BC; her brother and sister-in-law Raymond and Venita McKelvey of Jefferson; her sister Rose Marie Hassemer of Perry; nieces, nephews, other relatives and many friends. She was preceded in death by her husband.