Jean Langford Sisk HURD

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  • "Dear Kate, and all of Jean's children, I was one who got..."
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A true, and amazing, lady left us on December 15th when Jean Langford Sisk Hurd slipped away surrounded by her adoring family. Adjectives seem inadequate to describe Mom. She was a beautiful, gentle, elegant, brilliant, generous woman with a delightful, whimsical sense of humor, and backbone of steel. She loved her family unconditionally, having been nurtured by that same unconditional love from her own parents. She was with us for 96 years, but seemed to defy gravity, and to be ageless. When her physician suggested she draw up her bucket list, she informed him there was no need - she had done it all. She was born and raised in Ann Arbor, Michigan where her father, Theron Sparhawk Langford, practiced medicine. A kind and loving doctor, he sometimes took jars of jam as payment. A public servant, he was the founder of Ann Arbor Rotary. Jean's mother, Katreena Stewart McLean, immigrated from Stewarton, Scotland, at the age of 16. They met when she was signing in baseball players for a Presbyterian Church league. Jean's brothers, Malcolm, an attorney, and William, a physician, predeceased her. Jean received an undergraduate degree in sociology from the University of Michigan, where she met her first husband, Fred Sisk, a law student there. They later moved to Las Animas, Colorado, where they raised four children: Chuck Sisk (Terre Rushton) of Louisville, CO; Kate Hill (Charles Randolph) of Santa Rosa; Bill Sisk (Luz Elena) of Armenia, Colombia; and Libby Hutton of Santa Rosa. Mom's devotion to her children was absolute and reciprocal. In addition to her four children, Jean is survived by her eight grandchildren: Chuck's children, Michael, Brian, and Jennifer Sisk; Kate's daughter, Annabelle Langford Bumerts; Bill's children, Will and Alexandra Sisk; and Libby's sons, Stewart and David Hutton as well as their father, Oran Hutton. Jean was fiercely loyal to her home state of Michigan, as well as her adopted states of Colorado and California. She moved to Napa in 1963. She then commuted to the newly-opened Sonoma State College, where she obtained her teaching credential, following which she taught elementary school in the Napa Valley Unified School District until her retirement. Passionate about music, while in Napa she served as the President of the Napa Valley Symphony League. A true Renaissance person, she was an artist, creating beautiful works out of any medium. She was one of the most feminine women anyone could imagine, but she was an ardent sports fan, cheering on the Michigan Wolverines as well as her children's alma maters, Stanford and the Colorado Buffaloes. A most gracious lady, her only enemies were any teams playing against Michigan (especially Ohio State!), Stanford, the Buffs, or against her grandchildren. She loved language and word play, successfully attacking the New York Times Double Acrostic puzzle each week right up to the end of her rich life. She made proper grammar, spelling, and word use a family sporting event. She was a brilliant, yet understated person, who took and passed the Mensa exam on a dare, at the age of 86. A worshipper of dogs and a true believer in the world according to Snoopy and Charles Schulz, Jean also is survived by her beloved Lhasa Apso, Little Miss Lulu. She moved to Oakmont in 1977, where she was a founding member of the Oakmont Rotary Club. Her residence in Oakmont was happily interrupted when she and lifelong friend, Rex Hurd, fell deeply in love, and married at the ages of 85 and 86. She moved to Grand Junction, CO, where she and Rex enjoyed a sublime five years until his death in 2007. She was received into Rex's family joyously by his four wonderful children, Korki, Candy, Mimi, and Alan, who became, and remain, a part of Jean's family. On her return to Oakmont, she resided at Oakmont Gardens, where she enjoyed a community of wonderful, bright and thoughtful friends, including those she met through PEO. and bridge Her death was beautiful and peaceful, in the presence of family, having been gently and skillfully piloted by a host of dedicated and talented Memorial Hospice members, and by an angel named Litia. A memorial celebration will be held on Saturday, January 25th at 1:30 p.m.. at Daniels Chapel of the Roses with a private reception to follow. We invite Jean's friends to share memories and to join us in celebrating our wonderful Mom. In lieu of flowers, the family invites friends to make contributions in Jean's name to Memorial Hospice or to Canine Companions for Independence. Daniels Chapel of the Roses 707-525-3730
Funeral Home
Daniels Chapel of the Roses
1225 Sonoma Avenue
Santa Rosa, CA 95402
(707) 525-3730
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Published Online in the Press Democrat from Jan. 19 to Jan. 20, 2014
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