Jean Hood passed away peacefully at home on 3/6/14 at the age of 92.
She was born Emma Jean Sandifer in a farmhouse on September 25, 1921 near Hunnewell, Missouri to Roy and Margaret Sandifer. While growing up, her family ran a restaurant called Sandifer's Café in Bowling Green, MO. She would help her mother open up before going to school and wait tables at noon and after school. A complete dinner with coffee and pie was 50 cents.
At 17, Jean entered Missouri Baptist Hospital School of Nursing in St. Louis, Missouri for the three-year program to earn her Registered Nurse license. After graduating, her first job was at this hospital working 6½ days/week for $88/month. Committed to providing service, she joined the US Navy Reserve Nurse Corps in 1944. She served at Mare Island in the Bay Area, providing nursing care primarily to soldiers who were amputees from the war. After a year at Mare Island, she was stationed at New Caledonia in the South Pacific. She remained friends with fellow Navy nurses throughout her life. After her military service, she completed her Bachelor's degree at St. Louis University using benefits from the GI Bill.
While stationed at Mare Island, Jean met Navy Ensign, George Hood, at the Top of the Mark in San Francisco. After much written correspondence, many phone calls and visits, they were married in St. Louis on August 9, 1949. They moved to California where George had a job as a civil engineer with the California Department of Transportation. They had the first of 6 children in 1950. After moving several times for George's job, they settled in Sacramento in what was to become their permanent home in the Tahoe Park area. They became and remained active members of All Hallows Church for more than 60 years and were married for more than 64 years.
Her family became her top priority. Jean and George had 6 children. She stayed at home to raise them while they were young. She was a cook, seamstress, housekeeper, school volunteer and scout leader. She often repeated the joke that when things got too difficult with all those children, she would set up a play pen in the living room and she would get in it.
In 1969, she took a course to refresh her nursing skills. She eventually went back to work full-time at Sacramento County Hospital which became UC Davis Medical Center. She was promoted to head nurse for neurosurgery intensive care, and retired from that job in 1983.
Her surviving children and their spouses are Greg, Carol, Jeff and Elizabeth, Janet Haining, Laura and Joe Caravello, Margaret and Bob Morris and long-time family friend, Jeri Day. She had great joy being an awesome grandmother of 12 (Leslie and Dan Blomquist, Ryan and Sandra Hood, Amy and Tom Cruickshank, Jeanne Marie Hood, Julie Haining, Brad and Megan Morris, Sara Caravello and Lindy Haining. She welcomed a new generation of great grandchildren (Elanor Blomquist, Lydia Blomquist and Caleb Hood). She is also survived by her extended family including her in-laws Mary Louise Tapella, Marjorie Gibson, Nancy and Bob McGovern, Robin and Virginia Hood and her sister by choice-Gladys Still. She was preceeded in death by sisters, Ruby Sandifer, Mary Lucille (Lu) Hansford, Eva Frances (Pat) Hayes and brother, Samuel Woodford (Bus) Sandifer.
She fully enjoyed retirement. She and George travelled extensively. She bowled for 24 years, did beautiful stitchery, enjoyed card games and had many other interests with family and friends. There was always a party on the horizon.
Jean often said she had a very good life. Sometimes she called herself Lola, because she felt cared for so well "whatever Lola wants, Lola gets". As her health declined, George gave her the wonderful gift of providing the care she needed so that she could remain in her home. She was very appreciative of the skilled and compassionate care provided to her by Kaiser Permanente, Indecare and Vitas Hospice.
Jean will be missed by her family and many dear friends.
Family and friends are invited to the vigil and remembrance on Wednesday, March 19 at 7PM at All Hallows Catholic Church, 5501 14th Ave in Sacramento; with a funeral mass to follow on Thursday, March 20 at 10am. In lieu of flowers, donations be made in memory of her to Auburn Faith Hospital Foundation, Therapeutic Music Program, 11815 Education Street, Auburn, CA 95602 or All Hallows Church Development Fund, 5501 13th Avenue, Sacramento, CA 95820.
Arrangements under the direction of Nicoletti, Culjis & Herberger Funeral Home, Sacramento, CA.