Jean Beland 1929 – 2023
Jean Annette Werner Beland of Stacyville, Iowa passed away on February 20, 2023, at her home at the Stacyville Community Nursing Home.
Jean Annette (nee Werner) Beland was born on April 6, 1929 to Benjamin Arnold Werner and Pauline (Leinonen) Werner in Ironwood, Michigan. When Jean was one year old her family moved to Ashland, Wisconsin where she attended Beaser Grade School and Ashland High School. The family moved to Seattle WA in 1944, where Jean graduated from Lincoln High School.
Jean had a distinguished and long career as a nurse and nurse educator, obtaining a Bachelor of Science in Nursing (Cum Laude) from Seattle University, and a Master of Nursing, from the University of Washington. She served on the School of Nursing faculty Seattle University, as Assistant Professor/Director of Mental Health Integration Programs. In 1960 Jean moved to Chicago, where she held dual roles as Nurse Educator, University of Chicago service, and Associate Director of Nursing Education in the newly established Illinois State Psychiatric Institute. In 1966 she moved to Detroit, Michigan, Wayne State University, College of Nursing, as Associate Professor.
Jean authored, and, coauthored many books and articles relating to mental health issues that affected nursing practice. Many of her contributions resulted from personal experience following a multiple vehicular accident in 1968, in which she received a cervical spinal cord crushing injury leaving her a permanent partial quadriplegic. In 1979, Jean was honored to be named a Disabled Citizen of the Year by Region 5 of the US Department of Health, Education and Welfare. In 1980 Jean was installed as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing, and that same year was recognized by the American Journal of Nursing Award for her book, Grief Responses to Long-Term Illness and Disability. When Seattle University celebrated 100 years of existence in 1991, Jean received a Centennial Award for Community Service, one of the ten awards allocated to alumni of the School of Nursing.
In 1974 Jean, in her own words, “exchanged pursuing a PhD for a Mrs.”, when she and Ralph Beland exchanged vows according to the Sacrament of Holy Matrimony, Guardian Angels Catholic Church, Detroit, Michigan. The couple semi-retired and moved to North Port, Florida, in 1984, but became parishioners of St. Charles Borromeo Catholic Church in Port Charlotte, Florida. Jean and Ralph co-directed the Apostolate for Persons with Disabilities, Diocese of Venice in Florida from 1985-1994, working as volunteers to improve access and inclusion for persons in all ranges of disability. This resulted in an invitation to attend a Vatican Conference on the Role of The Church with Persons with Disabilities, November 1992. The highlight for Jean and Ralph was the hands-on blessing each received from Pope John Paul II!
Jean and Ralph often traveled for part of the summer months, and from 1994-2003 spent May through October at their cabin on Deer Lake, Nevis, Minnesota. Ralph died in October 2004, and Jean moved to Nevis, Minnesota in April 2006. She was an active member of Our Lady of the Pines Catholic Community, but finding winters in northern Minnesota difficult, she became a Port Charlotte, Florida “snow bird” in 2011, and a full time Floridian in 2015. She relocated to the Stacyville Community Nursing Home in Stacyville, Iowa in 2021.
Jean will be remembered for her generosity, compassion, sense of humor, and for overcoming significant obstacles with grace and dignity, constantly accomplishing things which seemed impossible in light of her disability.
Jean is survived by many Beland and Werner nieces and nephews, other relatives and many friends. She is predeceased by her parents, her husband and soul-mate Ralph, brothers Roland (Mayme): Vernon (Fern), Donald (Mary); Arnold (Joyce) and sister Lillian Wahl (Alfred).
A Mass of Christian Burial is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, March 4, at Visitation Catholic Church, Stacyville. Visitation will take place from 10 a.m. to 11 a.m. prior to the Mass. Cremanes will be inurned next to Ralph at Visitation Cemetery, Stacyville, Iowa on March 18.
Champion Funeral Home in Osage, Iowa is in charge of funeral arrangements.
Memorials can be made to St. Mary’s Mission School in Red Lake, Minnesota, Visitation Parish in Stacyville, Iowa, or a charity of your choosing.