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Jean Gordon Vicks

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Jean Gordon Vicks
Jean Gordon Vicks, 49, passed away on April 5, 2013, after her fourteen year battle with medullary thyroid cancer (MTC). Jean was born on June 18, 1963, the eldest child of Sara Jane and Jeremy Gordon, of Short Hills, NJ. After graduation from Miss Porters School, Jean attended the University of Virginia, where she played varsity field hockey, majored in French and International Relations, and earned a Bachelor of Arts with Distinction in 1985. She joined The Bank of New York in New York City and soon became a corporate lending officer. It was here that Jean met her husband, Dwight Vicks; the two were wed on June 13, 1987. Jean was an officer in the private lending division of Chemical Bank before the couple moved to Ithaca, NY, where she worked in Alumni Affairs and Development at Cornell University. With the birth of her twins, Sara Jane and Dwight Hatfield in 1991, Jean devoted her energies to raising her children. Her youngest, Emily Kathryn, was born in 1994. Volunteerism centered around the childrens activities; Jean was the founder of the Camp Sadaquada day camp. The desire to give back and her passion for field hockey led Jean to a second career as coach and mentor to dozens of young women. She coached at New Hartford High School, Whitesboro High School, and the USFA Futures program. The Section 3 coaches and referees honored Jean by dedicating the 2010 Section 3 Field Hockey tournament program to her. The peak of her coaching career was at Clinton Central Schools, where she had the privilege of coaching her daughters Sara and Emily. Exercise was one of Jeans passions, including the Masters Swim Program at Hamilton College, Swim Across America, numerous triathlons and the Boilermaker Road Race. She loved biking, cross-country skiing and walking her dogs either at the Bridgehampton Beach or the Root Glen. Jeans strong faith was in evidence as a member of St. James Episcopal Church in Clinton, NY, where she sang in the choir. The diagnosis of MTC in 1999 resulted in seven surgeries, three clinical trials and three additional chemotherapy regimens in her desire to be well. Her poise and strength inspired many and was the impetuous for the creation of the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG), a non-profit group consisting of 50 leading physicians and scientists from around the world whose mission is to find better treatments for patients with thyroid cancer. In December 2010, Jean testified to the FDA endorsing Caprelsa, the first clinical trial drug ever approved for the treatment of MTC. Beyond her immediate family, Jean is survived by her mother, Sara Jane Gordon; brother, John and his wife, Jennifer and their three children Stuart, Lanier and Reese; her brother, Jeremy and his new bride, Edith; Jeans mother-in-law, Mary Vicks; sister-in-law, Judy Sweet and her children, Bryant and Heather; her sister-in-law, Cathy Jerrard and husband, Dana and their children, Erik, Molly and Kevin. She is also survived by many loving aunts, uncles, cousins and friends. The family wishes to thank the many dedicated medical specialists that cared for Jean during her illness. Jeans grace, selflessness and enthusiasm in the face of overwhelming challenges are an inspiration to all who knew her. A service to celebrate Jeans extraordinary life will be held at 1 PM on Saturday, April 13 at the Chapel on the campus of Hamilton College. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the International Thyroid Oncology Group (ITOG), 5166 Commercial Drive, Yorkville NY 13495. Online messages if sympathy go to www.dfwefh.com
Jean Gordon Vicks
Published in The Observer-Dispatch on Apr. 7, 2013
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