Jean Louise Blessington, educator and philanthropist, 85, the beloved sister of Marie Blessington, passed away peacefully March 16, 2013, at Newfield House in Plymouth, after a lengthy illness. Jean was born in Cambridge to the late Robert F. and Mary E. (Leahy) Blessington and raised in Arlington. She attended Arlington schools and graduated from Simmons College in 1948 receiving her bachelor's degree in math and nutrition. She received a master's degree from Tufts University Graduate School of Arts and Sciences. Jean and her family summered in Plymouth and became year-round residents on Manter's Point in Plymouth in 1956. In 2005 Jean and Marie moved to Duxbury. Jean was a math teacher at Belmont High School and then the manager of the Beaverbrook Country Day School, a private preschool in Belmont Hill. After moving to Plymouth, she became an elementary school teacher in Kingston, from which she retired after 33 years in 1988. She was active in the Massachusetts Teachers Association. In addition to extensive travels, Jean devoted her retirement life to fund-raising and volunteer work for many non-profit organizations. She had been on the advisory boards of the Jordan Health Systems and the Jordan Hospital Club, and also on the boards of the Plymouth Guild of Catholic Charities and CURA Visiting Nurses. Jean was an active supporter of the Pilgrim Society, Plimoth Plantation, Jones River Village Historical Society, Plymouth Philharmonic Orchestra, Delta Kappa Gamma International, Simmons South Shore Club, the Black and White Club, and the Eel River Beach Club. She and Marie initiated Christmas on North Street in 1990 for the Plymouth Antiquarian Society, of which she is a lifetime member. In 2000, Jean was named a Paul Harris Fellow by the Rotary International for her community work. Jean was predeceased by her sister, Irene Blessington Bienvenu (wife of the late Dr. Lester J. Bienvenu) of Manchester, N.H. In addition to her devoted sister Marie, she leaves a sister, Alice Blessington Herlihy (wife of the late James J. Herlihy) of Falmouth, Maine; cousins, including Louise Woodruff of Plymouth; and many loving nieces and nephews, including Susan Herlihy Flaherty of Cumberland, Maine, Elise Herlihy of Los Angeles, Calif., Elizabeth Bienvenu of Manchester, N.H., Anne Bienvenu Peckett of Easton, N.H., Ellen Herlihy of Melbourne, Australia, David Bienvenu of Concord, N.H., Mark Herlihy of Southbury, Conn., and Stephen Herlihy of Madison, Conn., and their families. A Mass of Christian burial will be held at 10 a.m. March 23, at St. Peter's Catholic Church in Plymouth, followed by burial at Chiltonville Cemetery. Visiting hour in the Cartmell Funeral Home 150 Court St., Plymouth, from 9 a.m. prior to the Mass. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in her memory to the Blessington Family Fund at Jordan Hospital in Plymouth to support the Blessington Cardiovascular Lab. More info and online guest book, visit www.cartmellfuneralhome.com.
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Published in Old Colony Memorial from Mar. 19 to Mar. 26, 2013