Longtime Boulder resident Jean Audrey Anstine passed away Tuesday, December 13. Jean moved to Boulder with her husband Bob Anstine and two children in 1953 after visiting her parents, N. Bernard and Blanche Foutch, who had retired here in 1950. Her younger brother, Jack W. Foutch, was attending the University of Colorado and she decided she would like to wake up every morning seeing the Flatirons. Her sister, Joan E. Hughes, and her husband and children later joined the rest of the family.
Jean was born January 18, 1922, in Omaha, Neb. While growing up in Kearney, Neb., her family spent many vacations in Colorado, often at Red Feather Lakes. After graduating from Kearney High School, she worked in a Chicago hospital pathology laboratory, leading her into the field of microbiology. A bachelor's degree from the University of Minnesota in 1943 provided the foundation for continuing to work as a lab tech, many years at Community Hospital in Boulder.
In the 1960s Jean started delivering Meals on Wheels. After leading a Cub Scout pack for a short time, she changed to leading Girl Scout troops. Forty years later the GSA recognized her continual contributions. She attributed her long-term involvement to enjoyment of the outdoor activities. Her remaining years were filled with hikes in the Rocky Mountains, Alps, Andes, Southern Alps (New Zealand) and trails of England and Scotland.
As a girl, Jean learned to knit and made many sweaters, hats and gloves worn by family. Her creative energies with fibers expanded as part of the Boulder Handweaver's Guild. She joined other weavers, knitters and spinners in developing a guild that is admired across the country.
Jean was widowed when her high school sweetheart, Bob Anstine, died in 1981. She received support from others in the Widowed Men and Women group from the First United Methodist Church. Additionally, yearly summer outings with the Colorado Mountain Club, travel with other handweavers and hiking friends, and trips to visit her children and grandchildren made for a full, rich life.
In the last years Alzheimer's disease blunted her keen mind and slowed her productivity but could not stop her desire to walk. In September, 2011 she participated in the annual Alzheimer's Walk, completing two of the 3.3 miles.
Jean lived the last few years with help at Manor Care and Sunrise Residence. It was a privilege for her children to accompany her during the final few weeks and see her life reach completion.
Jean is survived by her four children and their spouses – Bob and Dawn Anstine of Longmont, Colo.; Nancy Peer of Kensington, Calif.; Susan and Bill Krzymowski of Gallup, NM; and Cheri and Loren McConnell of Edgewater, Colo.-six grandchildren and one great-grandchild.