On December 27, 2013, Dorothy Jean Gray Van Dyck Thompson was called home to her heavenly father. Jean was a wonderful lady who greatly enjoyed her family and friends. She took great joy in a dinner table with those she loved at every available chair. Jean was born in Ogden, Utah to loving parents, Dorothy "Dolly" Rinebarger and George Ernest Gray on January 5th, 1930. Her father (being a railroad man) was required to move the family more than most but the majority of her upbringing was in California. Jean had an older brother, the late Dr. Gary Gray. These two had a relationship not common among siblings. Gary, the ever...
On December 27, 2013, Dorothy Jean Gray Van Dyck Thompson was called home to her heavenly father.
Jean was a wonderful lady who greatly enjoyed her family and friends. She took great joy in a dinner table with those she loved at every available chair.
Jean was born in Ogden, Utah to loving parents, Dorothy "Dolly" Rinebarger and George Ernest Gray on January 5th, 1930. Her father (being a railroad man) was required to move the family more than most but the majority of her upbringing was in California.
Jean had an older brother, the late Dr. Gary Gray. These two had a relationship not common among siblings. Gary, the ever protective and diligent older brother, took his role as her big brother with utmost seriousness and yet with a gentle and sincere care for his baby sister. One of this writer's fondest memories is of watching these two cut a rug so well that the rest of those on the dance floor often stopped to watch. While Jean's childhood may have been somewhat unsettled to some, the relationship with her "Bubba" was always sure.
Jean joined the work force at a young age opting to put her education aside for the time being and gaining experience in a number of different fields. One that may be unique to you and now somewhat of a relic was in the dessert manufacturing industry. Believe it or not, Jean at one time was one of the few who had the privilege of knowing the details of making one of America's favorite snack cakes…Twinkies. She was the one to stuff the Twinkies.
Another experience was the time she worked at a malt shop in a Colorado drug store. While common place in her era, what was not so common was her dedication, which became evident one day when an otherwise would be robber found out that some little red headed girls are packing heat. After his misguided attempt to make off with the cash from the register, Jean presented a handgun and proceeded to blaze away at the terrified man as he high tailed it out the door. While this sounds like something out of a Clint Eastwood movie, Jean once stated with great relief and soberness, "Thank God I didn't hit that man!" Jean was a kind and compassionate person.
In 1950 Jean married Solon "Tommy" Thompson. She moved to Colorado following their divorce two years later.
Jean married Leon Van Dyck in 1965. Their daughter Sandy arrived shortly after. Leon passed away in 1981. Seven years later Jean re-married Tommy Thompson in 1988. He passed away in March, 2013.
Jean loved her family very much, nurturing and cultivating relationships with her daughter, grandchildren, nieces and nephew and great nieces and great nephew. She was diligent about staying in touch with all of them, being sure that Christmas or birthdays did not go by without a gift from Grandma or Aunt Jean. Regular phone calls to family and loved ones was a highlight in Jean's life right to the end.
Jean's kindness was evidenced to many to include her beloved brother's daughters. While her brother Gary took to the road driving a truck, his daughters came to live with Jean and Leon. Jean had a great impact on these two little girls, who grew to be loving, kind and dedicated to their families. Jean would do nearly anything for her family, a thread that is not so common in our world today, but is a common thread in her immediate family because of her example.
Jean was a beautiful person inside and out. Her son in law thought that one portrait of her as a young woman should have graced the nose of one of our best war planes. She endeavored to see the good in people and was very sensitive to humanity, being moved at the plight of those less fortunate than her; often doing whatever was in her power to make the world a better place.
It has been written that we are to love our neighbor as ourselves. Jean exemplified that by always making it a point to invite her neighbors into her life and home. Many Memorial, Fourth of July and Labor Day weekends saw her home filled with friends from the neighborhood.
Although cantankerous at times (she was a red head after all) she was a joy to be with. Not letting 'old age' slow her down, Jean embarked on a whitewater rafting excursion in her later years and even a trip to the Alaskan Bush with her daughter and son in law. Every year until she was physically unable, she made an annual trip to Alaska to see her daughter, son in law and grandchildren.
Being a dedicated Christian lady, every morning Jean could be found reading her Bible. She greatly desired her family and friends to know the love of God. His character was easily seen in the life she led, the way she loved and her dedication to her family. I don't believe that she would want you to be sad at this time although we will all miss her terribly. Jean was very sensitive to those around her and were she to see your tears, some of her own would come to her eyes. We should not grieve what to some may seem like an end but rather rejoice at the beginning of eternity spent with Jean's Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. This is actually something she looked forward to…the rest of forever with no more tears, no pain and no grief.
Preceded in death by her parents, brother, husband Leon Van Dyck and husband Tommy Thompson, Jean is survived by her daughter, Sandy Doran and family, husband, Robert and children, Luke, Levi, Jesse, Allie and Josiah, AK, stepdaughter, Toni Rhodes, CA, nieces, Lora (Jim) Jaquette, AZ, Belinda Gray (Nick), CA, nephew, Sean (Faye) Gray, CA, three grandnieces and one grandnephew.
Services were held at Little Chapel of the Hills in Divide.