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Jean Andrews

1939 - 2016
Jean Andrews Obituary
Rev. Dr. Jean Andrews

Rev. Dr. Jean Andrews died peacefully on March 4, 2016, at the Vermont Respite House, following a life spent nurturing and serving others.

Born August 1, 1939, in Minneapolis, Minn., to Wilfred and Delores Baril, Jean moved with her family to southern California in the summer of 1948. She graduated from Covina High School in 1957, where she excelled in academics, student government, and was queen of the Valentine's Ball. She became the first member of her family to graduate from college in 1961 with a bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota, where she was founder and president of the first sorority in the U.S. with a non-discrimination clause and inter-racial membership. She also won the university's highest award for student leadership (Order of the North Star) and the Women's Service Award for outstanding service to the University of Minnesota.

While at the University of Minnesota Jean met her future husband Carl H. Reidel with whom she would raise three children: Ingrid, Kristin and Jonathan. They moved around the country for academic and professional pursuits, which took the family to Nevada, Utah, California, Minnesota, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Vermont. Jean earned a master's degree in education in 1971 from North Adams State College and would eventually realize her own vocational goals by earning a master of divinity from the Yale Divinity School in 1979 at a time when women were just starting to enter the ministry.

Ordained in 1981 while serving on the staff of the First Congregational Church of Essex Junction after serving briefly at Ascension Lutheran Church, Jean became the associate minister at the First Congregational Church of Burlington in 1983. She would serve there for more than a decade and also earn a Doctor of Ministry degree from Hartford Theological Seminary. She married David Andrews, who was minister at Middlebury Congregational Church, in 1987.

Jean later served as Area Minister of the Vermont Conference of the United Church of Christ and became known for her dedicated support of area churches and as a mentor to ministers across the state. She served on and chaired search committees for ministers and had a knack for matching ministers with congregations. Jean spent time traveling to all of the churches in her district offering support, resources, crisis response, and encouraged churches to engage in mission work in their communities. She also chaired the Ministerial Standing and Standards Committee of the Vermont Conference.

Jean practiced what she preached serving on multiple organizations dedicated to helping others. She was director and counselor for the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Vermont; was a founding member of the Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP), an interfaith organization supported by 26 area congregations, in 1988; and visited countless numbers of people in need in their homes, at the hospital, nursing homes or wherever people needed support. As moderator of the Champlain Association (UCC) Jean made a point to visit every church and call on every pastor.

Jean loved the pursuit of antique 'treasures,' political buttons and fine pastries. She was an exceptional cook and put great value in creating an atmosphere of hospitality at home, in the church, embodying what it means to be a gracious host. She was an attentive and compassionate listener, had a wonderful sense of humor, and extended unconditional love to those around her.

Jean will be deeply missed by her children, Ingrid (Reidel) and Michael Cyros of Newburyport, Mass.; Kristin (Reidel) and Tommy Dixon of Scott Depot, W.V.; Jonathan Reidel and Lisa Emerson of Burlington; grandchildren Gretchen Cyros, Bayley Cyros, Dylan Hatfield, and Anthony Reidel; and sisters June Baril and Joan Bogart of Sacramento, Calif.

Jean's funeral service and celebration of life will be held at the College Street Congregational Church in Burlington on Saturday, March 19. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jean's name to the Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP) Jean and her family also want to thank the staff at Allenwood, Vermont Respite House and Home Instead Senior Care for their compassionate and loving care.

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Published in The Burlington Free Press on Mar. 6, 2016
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