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Jean Harriet "The Goddess" (Huffman) Klawans


1922 - 2014 Obituary Condolences Gallery
Jean Harriet "The Goddess" (Huffman) Klawans Obituary
MONTEREY, CA – Jean Harriet Huffman Klawans (known as "the Goddess" to her loving family), who said her Montana genes were the reason she never retired from work, traveling, or hosting Thanksgiving, suffered a heart attack July 19, 2014 and died at her home with family by her side. She was 92.
Jean lived her life with grace and warmth, opening her home to everyone who came into her life, both the two- and four-legged kind, many of whom were stragglers brought to her by her children and grandchildren. She was "Gramma Jean" to all, whether related by blood or simple generosity, and would offer you a drink, a meal, or a place to stay before you even got settled on the couch. One of her greatest pleasures was her weekly trip to the Farmers' Market to buy ingredients that would go into an ever-changing menu of the season's best offerings. Another Jean favorite was her scotch and soda, which she mixed every evening until her ninth decade when she switched to Chesebro's Vermentino wine. She was an expert at solitaire and gin rummy, and drank her coffee strong, black, and in fragile china tea cups with matching saucers. She would never serve a meal on a cold plate because, "Mother would roll over in her grave if she knew I did that."
Her hospitality had its roots in her Montana farm upbringing, where she learned as a girl how to care for the crops and the livestock. She overcame polio as a teenager, and was once scolded by her parents when she ignored their instructions to stay in the storm shelter because she insisted on rounding up the cattle first so the animals would be safe from an approaching tornado.
Jean attended a one-room school down the dirt road from her home in Raymond, Montana. In her early 20s, she and her best friend decided to visit Monterey, where Jean's brother was stationed at Fort Ord. Jean never left. She met her future husband, Zander, who was also stationed at Fort Ord, at Hermann's on Alvarado Street in 1946. They soon married, and stayed that way for 50 years. Jean and Zander opened the Wishing Well restaurant in Monterey, where he worked the 12-hour day shift and she worked the remaining 12 night hours. Later they opened Mac & Mac, a women's clothing store with locations on Alvarado and Del Monte Center. After closing Mac & Mac, Jean helped shoppers choose custom hearths and fireplace tools at The Hearth Shop, where she worked until retiring at 91.
Despite her busy schedule, Jean still managed to squeeze in family lunches in Big Sur, dinners in Cachagua, and vacations to Hawaii, Florida, and Montana. She never missed her weekly hair appointment with her stylist Gerry, and always made sure she had money in her pocket to give to the homeless.
Jean was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Zander; son, Arthur Louis Klawans; sister, Gertrude Helena Huffman Domonoske; and brothers, Neil Douglas Huffman and Richard Lee Huffman.
She is survived by daughter Kathy Klawans Smith and her husband Brian Rasmussen of Carmel Valley; grandchildren Letitia Maile Smith and her husband Eddy Joaquim of Oakland; James Abner Smith of Monterey; best friend and roommate Sunny Smith of Monterey; and Trenton Klawans of Center Valley, PA; daughter-in-law Linda Klawans of Ft. Lauderdale, FL; great-granddaughters Jessie James Smith and Chloe Savannah Smith; sister-in-law Lois Huffman; nieces Betty Christman (Corky), Bonnie McHenry (Warren), Ardelle Angvick (Terry), Beth Corbin (Terry) and Carol Pulvermacher (Lloyd); nephews Dean Domonoske and Glenn Huffman (Karen); former son-in-law James Smith (Jane) of Pacific Grove; and her "granddoggers" Ruby and Derby.
Ashes will be interned in the Huffman-Wankel Cemetery in Raymond, Montana at a later date. Memorial donations may be sent to Habitat for Humanity: www.habitatmonterey.org, P.O. Box 742, Seaside, CA 93955; or the SPCA: www.spcamc.org, P.O. Box 3058, Monterey, CA 93942.
Published in The Monterey Herald on Aug. 10, 2014
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