Jean (Farnum) Thelen, 91, of Marblehead, passed away peacefully at the Jewish Rehabilitation Center in Swampscott on February 14, 2012. Jean was the beloved wife of the late R.C.W. (Bill) Thelen. Born in Swampscott on May 13, 1920, she was the daughter of the late Leroy and Almira (Pride) Farnum.
Jean was raised in Swampscott and graduated from Swampscott High School. After graduation, Jean worked at the General Electric Co. in Lynn and later enlisted in the U.S. Army. After serving in the Army during WWII as a staff sergeant, Jean returned to work at G.E. River Works for several years where she met her husband, Bill. After her marriage to Bill in 1949 they lived in Marblehead.
Following the birth of her three children, Jean attended Salem State College, obtaining a baccalaureate and master's degree in education. Jean taught for 26 years in the Story and Gerry schools in Marblehead before her retirement. Jean loved teaching and was devoted to her second- and third-grade classes.
After retirement, Jean stayed very active, traveling to places like Florida, St. Martin, England, Bermuda and especially spending time with her family in New Hampshire. She enjoyed snowmobiling in the winter, boating in the summer and driving her truck year-round. Jean loved her dogs and could often be seen walking them in the early morning hours. Jean was truly devoted to her family and close friends. She will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Jean is survived by her daughter, Karen J. Thelen of Marblehead; two sons, Erik W. Thelen and his wife Natalie of Salem, and Kurt R. Thelen and his wife Antoinette (Toni) of Melrose; five grandsons, Brian, Daniel, Christopher, Max and Nicholas Thelen; and two great-grandchildren, Samantha Elinor and Drew Kurt.
ARRANGEMENTS: A funeral service will be held in the Eustis and Cornell Funeral Home, 142 Elm St., Marblehead on Tuesday, February 21 at 11AM. Relatives and friends respectfully invited. Visiting hours will be on Monday from 4-8PM. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Founders Affiliate, American Heart Association, P.O. Box 417005, Boston, MA 02241. Please visit the online guest book at www.eustisandcornellfuneralhome.com.