Magnuson, Jean O.
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Jean Magnuson, 84 years of age, passed peacefully early Monday morning, July 8th, 2013, at Heartwood Homes Senior Living in Appleton, WI.
Olive Jean Elizabeth, the youngest daughter of Albert and Nellie Brewer, was born October 28, 1928, in London, England. She and her brother and sister grew up in Islington, where her mother ran a boarding house. When World War II started, Jean's school days came to an end. At the age of 14, she began working at Boots Pure Drug Company, rising to the position of private secretary by war's end. Jean experienced the Battle of Britain first-hand, from the initial German air strikes in 1939 to the last buzz bomb in 1945. She enthralled people with her stories of watching dog fights over the London docks, of racing home through blacked-out streets illuminated by the fires of bombed-out buildings, of joining her neighbors in the London underground while they waited for the all-clear. She also recalled the fun times, dancing the evenings away with her friends and Allied servicemen.
In 1947, Jean, her mother and her brother Sid, followed her sister Marge (newly wed to an American serviceman) to their new home in Seattle, WA. It was here she met her husband-to-be Harold Magnuson, known to everyone as Maggie. They were married in 1949 and spent many happy days hiking and camping in the Olympic Mountains, and dancing away more evenings at Swedish-American dance halls. In April of 1953, Jean became a U.S. citizen and soon after started welcoming her children into the world. When Maggie graduated from the University of Washington with a Masters in English, the Magnuson clan headed off to Warrensburg, MO, where Maggie had his first teaching position. The following year, 1960, they moved to Oshkosh, WI, and its Teaching College. They lived there for the next 50 years.
In Oshkosh, Jean started working again, first as a docent at the Paine Art Center, then at the registrar's office at the newly named University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh, and finally as the secretary for the university's Geography department. After she and Maggie retired, they traveled the United States and the world - from Australia, New Zealand, Fiji and Tahiti, to Mexico, and on to Greece, Turkey and Malta, as well as Sweden and the British Isles, with many stops in London. In 2008, they moved to Appleton.
Jean is survived by her son Tarn Magnuson (Edison, NJ) and her daughter Lisa Magnuson (Appleton, WI). She is preceded in death by her beloved Maggie and her infant daughter Kersten. The family would like to thank everyone at Heartwood Homes Senior Living and Tammy, Kim and Jamie from Asera Care Hospice who gave Jean such loving care.
Jean will be remembered by all who knew her for her quick, radiant smile and her lovely singing voice.
Jean will be interred with Maggie at Central Wisconsin Veterans Memorial Cemetery in King, WI. In lieu of flowers, please make a donation to the
Published in Appleton Post-Crescent on July 14, 2013