Nora Jean Cantner

October 26, 1929March 7, 2018

Nora Jean Cantner, age 88, passed away from natural causes on Wednesday, March 7, 2018 at The Culpeper, previously known as the Baptist Retirement Community in Culpeper, Virginia. “Jean”, as her friends and family called her, was born in West Virginia on October, 26, 1929 to Louis Gorrell and Laura Frances. She was the youngest of four children. All of her siblings preceded her in death – Louis Paul Gorrell, William Gorrell and Ruth Wince. She was a graduate of Parkersburg High School in Parkersburg, WV where she was active in the choir and theater. Jean had an operatic voice and loved singing both publicly and with her family. As a young adult Jean chaired the Parkersburg Women’s Club, was a member of the National Wildlife Federation, Director of the United Methodist Church Children’s Choir, and worked for the Public Debt and Marbon Chemical. Jean met and married her second and current husband, Dan Cantner, in Parkersburg in the early 1970’s. For many years they resided in DuPont City, a small suburb of Charleston, WV before relocating to Culpeper. In Culpeper Jean was again an active member of the Women’s Club. She and Dan were members of the Culpeper United Methodist Church and volunteers in their community. Later she took clowning classes. Jean donned the full costume complete with make-up, red-nose and big shoes transforming herself into ‘JC The Clown’. ‘JC’ and her miniature dachshund ‘Sprite’ delivered heartfelt laughs and smiles to many patients at nearby hospitals. Her clowning was even mentioned in Allan Luks’ and Peggy Payne’s book “The Healing Power of Doing Good”. More recently Jean was a passionate Red Hatter. She had many happy memories creating and starring in the annual Red Hat Calendar. Jean had an uncanny sense of humor and a real zest for life. She enjoyed time with friends and family and trips to the mountains. She was a voracious reader, an avid gardener, and enjoyed playing the piano. During the holidays she baked dozens of varied homemade cookies. She will be remembered as a wife, mother, friend and yes – clown! Jean’s legacy of love, care and compassion is carried on by her five children - Stephen Grant of Boulder CO, Douglas (Martha Reaves) Grant of Bella Vista AR, Shelley (Bryan) Julian of Charleston SC, Michael (Melissa Armstrong) Grant of Ypsilanti MI, and Holly (Patrick) Diorio of Boulder CO; her four grandchildren – Victoria Julian, Elizabeth (Patrick) Jenkins, Amelia Armstrong-Grant, and Jordan Holderby; her great granddaughter Arabella Julian; her nephew Martin (Emmie) Gorrell; her nieces Becky Neuhart and Susie (Danny) Starr as well as their many children and grandchildren. And her dachshund Pita. Jean’s family would like to thank the many nieces and nephews in the Culpeper area who gave so tirelessly of their time and love and and to the staff at The Culpeper for their attention and care. A memorial service will be held in the spring at Clore-English Funeral Home at 11190 James Monroe Highway in Culpeper, VA on Friday, May 18, 2018 at 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made in Jean’s name to The Culpeper, 12425 Village Loop, Culpeper, VA 22701 where Jean’s husband, Dan, still resides.


  • Celebration of Life Service Friday, May 18, 2018

Nora Jean Cantner

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