Mean Jean Gifford (1928-2022)
Strong, determined, tough and amazing, Mom, grandma, granny, aunt, friend, and mom to many has passed on to the crystal shores of Glory. Born in January 1928 to Edgar and Helen Bickham McGhee, she was a proud North High School graduate and a licensed practical nurse. Jean and her husband Mac together raised four children: Mark, Rita, Mike, and Pat, resulting in four grandchildren: Jenny, Amie, Jess, and Elizabeth; and five great grandchildren: Avery, Zack, Alohra, Riley and Alexander.
Recollections of her youth included the joy of roller skating at the rink on Lane Avenue. A most special time was when her older sister, Evil Eve, signed up for knitting classes at Lazarus and shared her teachings each evening.
A few years ago, Mean Jean made the decision to move from her home of 66 years to the secure comfortable environment of senior independent living. Jean thrived on her first-time experience with independence and quickly became known as ‘Mean Jean.’ She often remarked on the experience of having so many friends including available entertainment and activities. Mean Jean immensely enjoyed her breakfast, dinner, and Bible study companions as well as her card-playing friends for exciting games of Hearts and Oh Heck. Musical entertainment was always at the top of Jean’s favorite list; she would not sing out loud but knew every word to almost every song. Jean laughed about attending a Rock Concert last summer only to find out the ‘concert’ was a display and lecture on hundreds of various rocks.
Jean maintained a lifelong devotion to God, Bible studies, her family, and Ohio State football. Jean’s handcrafting skills were immense. In most recent years, her crocheted elephants became quite popular. Other than a request to crochet a life-sized giraffe, she fulfilled requests at no charge. She once commented her hands were God’s gift to serve others.
When asked to what she contributes her longevity, she always responded, “It’s from being so mean.” Strong, determined, tough and amazing, that’s our Mom, grandma, granny, aunt, and friend. It’s certain, Heaven’s choir was well prepared with all her favorite songs including a few from Bing Crosby and McGuffey Lane.