Longtime islander Jean Hall passed peacefully on Feb. 28, her daughters by her side; she was 94. Jean was born in Avalon to Oscar and Ruth Griffin in 1925. She graduated Avalon High School in 1944 and first began her working life as a telephone operator. In 1946, following the war, Jean married Cyril "Turp" Hall. Two daughters, Janice and Karen, followed, along with several boxers named Gretchen.
Jean, who was self-educated, taught her daughters innumerable life skills: an appreciation of fine art and classical music, how to pre-treat laundry, how to use Yiddish in daily life, and how to dance the hula while singing "Tiny Bubbles." She would hike her tribe down Silver Canyon with her dogs, all the while retaining her appreciation of style and trend-setting fashion, ever appreciatively accessorized with her droll, ironic sense of humor.
Margaret Warner recalls stories of their local sewing club, the female counterpart of the famed Swim Club. Audrey Bombard, Tilly Vojkovich, Dean McCullogh, Marsha Schatan, Jean and Margaret swapped recipes, sewed and knitted, while talking story and spinning yarns.
Barbecues at Ben Weston, luaus and costume parties were frequent and fabled. Margaret recollects one lively fete when the free-spirited Jean arrived dressed as "Goat Annie," a poet- writer who camped for weeks alone on the backside of the island, pots and pans and trails of vines and flowers hanging from her outfit.
Jean was also a successful businesswoman, owning several shops throughout her life, including the Driftwood Gift Shop in the '50s, followed by Glad Rags in partnership with Margaret, where the "Arab" airbrushed art on sweatshirts and T-shirts at the El Encanto.
In the mid-sixties to the eighties, she and Turp owned the Ice Cream and Donut Shop. In the off season they enjoyed European, Tahitian and Asian travels and many a Hawaiian winter.
During summers the Halls hosted working "guest teenagers," the children of friends and relatives who camped in the back patio of Monkeytown. After work they could come home to paella valenciana and cheap champagne, just as long as they remained conversant. Jean enjoyed the company of the likes of Ron Hall, Randall Lake, Richard Warner, Lori and Stacey Schatan and Bob Ellis. Days off were spent at Ben Weston, eating Jean's legendary potato salad, bodysurfing and spoiling her already very spoiled dog.
Jean is survived by daughters Janice and Karen Hall, (Manuel Hernandez, nephew Michael Burgess, (Dolly), Josee Hall nieces Connie Burgess and Vickie Burgess Hickman, (John) grandchildren Manny and Melissa Hernandez, great-grandson Jason Hernandez, and by all she touched and all who remember her with a smile.
As per Jean's request, service will be for family members.
Published in Catalina Islander from Mar. 20 to Mar. 21, 2020.