Jean Cravens Reid died peacefully on September 4, 2021 surrounded by family and her beloved Boston Terrier Elvis. Jean was born on September 22nd, 1952 in Memphis, TN to William ""Big Bill"" Reid and Patsy Rollins Reid. The second of six daughters, Jean quickly learned her organizing skills at one of the most popular and busiest homes in Midtown Memphis. She graduated from Central High School in 1970 and studied art at Sorbonne University in Paris, France. She returned in 1972 to Memphis where she began charting a lifetime of adventure, advocacy, and achievement.
Jean's curiosity and passion for life lead her to a variety of locales across the country where she expanded her community of friends and colleagues, including Truckee, CA, Providence, ME, Nashville, TN, New Orleans, LA, and ultimately back to Memphis. Professionally speaking, job or job title was never the driving factor in her choice of residence. It was always the challenge and what impact that she could achieve for others. She took these challenges head-on whether it be campaign manager, assistant to the mayor, artist, community fundraiser, Blues Foundation, or the pinnacle of her career at the Greater Memphis Chamber, where she was Special Assistant to the President and Grant Project Manager, and a driving force in building a better Memphis. Jean is remembered as a doer – she got things done and never sought recognition. She was everyone's go-to person whether it was a boardroom, break-room, or birthday party.
Having five sisters, Jean was the bond that held them all together. She was the trusted confidant and the benefactor to a legion of nieces, nephews, and cousins. She made each feel special and never missed an event or opportunity to celebrate regardless of how large or small. When Jean walked in the door the real party began.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents and her sister Tannen Reid Smith. Jean is survived by her sisters Tish Demster (Mike), Carson Reid of Raleigh, NC, Amy Kauerz (Paul), and Kate Surmeier (Jim) of Chicago, IL, beloved godmother Jeannette Birge Thompson and a multitude of nieces, nephews, and cousins.
There will be a memorial service on Friday, September 17th, 2021 at 10 am with visitation starting at 9am at Canale Funeral Directors 2700 Union Ave Extended, Memphis, TN 38112. Please wear a mask.
In lieu of flowers, please send any donations to Cliff's Closet 134 New Leicester Hwy Asheville, NC 28806 or the Humane Society of Memphis & Shelby County 935 Farm Road, Memphis TN, 38134.
Published by The Daily Memphian on Sep. 10, 2021.