Jeanne Simmons Galyean
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Asheville - Jeanne Marie Simmons Galyean, aged 91, died peacefully Saturday, November 16, 2013, at the John F. Keever Solace Center. She was the widow of US Air Force Lieutenant Colonel (Ret.) Marcus Galyean, who died November 29, 2008.
Born in Asheville to Geraldine and Paul Simmons on May 5, 1922, Jeanne grew up in Kenilworth, attended St. Genevieve of the Pines school, and graduated from Lee H. Edwards High School in 1938. Before her marriage in June 1941, she studied at Biltmore College and at a Richmond-based division of William and Mary College. During World War II, Jeanne accompanied her husband to Army Air Corps bases and gave birth to two sons. During 1945-50 the family lived in Georgia, where her husband studied at Georgia Tech and she gave birth to a daughter. When her husband returned to active duty in the USAF, she responded gracefully to the demanding life of an officer's wife. She enjoyed living in Germany, France, and England and traveling widely in Europe - circumstances she had never imagined possible as a young girl in Asheville.
Jeanne spent her life helping other people. In addition to encouraging young air force wives, she led children's scouting and religious groups and volunteered to teach fifth-grade Sunday school classes because of the children's challenging questions. She encouraged her sons Paul and Laurence and daughter Nancy in their college years and careers. For nearly two decades, Jeanne devoted her time and great patience to caring not only for her mother, but also for her husband's parents and her unmarried aunt and uncle. During her husband's last years, she ceaselessly cared for him, helping him to attend university classes and to stay in his home.
Throughout her life, Jeanne responded with steadfast faith, hope, and love. She was a member of Grace Episcopal Church. She contributed to and closely followed the activities of a wide-range of charities, especially those for Native Americans, veterans, hungry children, homeless animals, and people suffering from often overlooked diseases, such as leprosy and tropical infections.
Jeanne is survived by her sister, Roberta Eblen, and sister-in-law Rebecca Nesbitt; sons Paul and Laurence Galyean and their wives Susan and Joyce; daughter Nancy Galyean; a granddaughter Geraldine Panebianco; four grandsons: Mark, Wayne, Eric, and Clarke Galyean; two step-granddaughters: Darlene Michael and Donna Wilbur; a great-granddaughter, five great-grandsons, and seven step great-grandchildren.
The family would like to thank the staff of Mission Hospital and CarePartners Heath Services for their skillful care and kindness over the past four years. Jeanne especially enjoyed conversations with her CarePartners companions whose visits enabled her to remain at home. We are also grateful to the Solace Center for their compassion during her final hours.
A visitation will be held at Groce Funeral Home at Lake Julian on Long Shoals Road on Friday, November 22, 2013, from 5:00 to 7:00 PM. The funeral service will be at 1:00 PM on Saturday, November 23, 2013, at Grace Episcopal Church with the Rev. Gary Coffey officiating. The family invites friends for light refreshments at the church following the service. Jeanne will be buried next to her husband at Calvary Episcopal churchyard later that afternoon; family and friends are also welcome at graveside rites. Groce Funeral Home may be contacted for further information.
In lieu of flowers, memorial gifts may be made in her name to Eblen Charities, 50 Westgate Parkway, Asheville, NC 28806, or to Asheville Humane Society or other charities.
The online register is available at www.grocefuneralhome.com.
Published in the Asheville Citizen-Times on Nov. 20, 2013