Jean Florus Weinert
January 19, 1925 – July 18, 2019
Jean Weinert, who passed away on July 18, 2019, was born in Omaha Nebraska on January 19, 1925 beginning a life of love, caring, community and incredible collections. She and her husband Peter moved to Haslett fifteen years ago from Barrington Illinois.
Every visitor to Jean Weinert’s home discovered they entered the life of a very special person. Visitors over the years were greeted by a miniature covered wagon whose horses trot at an imagined pace with reins held tight by the waistcoat-clad driver leaning into his work with elan. The closed compartment behind holds a couple deep in conversation: the woman with her bustle and bonnet; the gentleman with an ascot about his neck. Maybe they are eloping?
Reality tumbles away as a guest spies a quarter-scale, 18th century desk complete with quill pen and inkwell. At the desk sits a corkscrew-curled student, rimless eyeglasses bending over a slate tablet in front of her. Next to her a porcelain toddler is eternally caught with arms skewed looking plaintively up with a bit of strawberry jam etched on a cheek as she tries to eat a meal set out on the wooden tray of her highchair.
A cast iron baby taking a bath, a whole village from Guatemala, a pair of fleas (yes, fleas!) dressed as a bride and groom, marionettes, dolls from everywhere in the world: this is a 90 year collection shared with everyone as Jean shared her life so generously for 94 years. This invaluable collection is now eternally shared in the Flushing Museum. Pioneer clothes, from decades of docent work in various Historical Centers along with authentic tools and crafts and unique antique telephones are now gifted to the public at the Telephone and Pioneer Museum in Montrose, Michigan. Miniature dollhouses intricately furnished reside permanently for all to enjoy in the Miniature Museum in Hickory, Michigan.
At 90 she became an author penning LEST WE FORGET about living in Nigeria in the 1980s. As her beloved husband, Pete, taught engineers how to process oil for the country, she aided in the education of the students. No matter where on the globe she found herself she would be a participator and contributor: Paris? She read to the blind. Indonesia? She taught the house workers lessons.
Resuscitating an original homestead cabin led the Weinert couple to become Tree Farmers of the Year for Wisconsin. That 25 year work was sandwiched in between family Thanksgivings on Marco Island, numerous ski trips to mountains of renown, sailing the globe chartering various boats, cruising the rivers of Europe, even sighting Antarctica. Name a destination and Jean and Pete had been there. They would plunge exuberant and courageous, independent of all, into the Everglade swamps, without a second thought.
The two of them were an unduplicated couple, open to all, ringing the big old school bell on the deck of the Wisconsin cabin at 5:00 PM for “Martini time” neighbors flocked to the role-models we can all still learn from. We may have distained the wild edibles proffered before us as ‘gourmet’ dishes, but we’ve all survived and thrived. Jean had a way of convincing you to try not only something simple like wild asparagus, but also dandelion wine, conch soup, fried grasshoppers. She was elegant and rustic by turns. One day she could be found scouting ‘treasures’ at the Lakewood dump the next at a cultural event in chic Paris. Jean was full of surprises and fun.
Jean is survived by daughters Jill Campbell-Mason and Pat Schulze, sons Ken Schulze and Mark Schulze and step-sons Jim and Walter Weinert; grandchildren, Terra Tomlinson, Soleil Campbell, Sara Schulze, Cody Schulze, Mia Schulze, Andy Weinert and Jennifer Duggan; great-grandchildren, Rio Tomlinson, Leah Dietrich, Alex Campbell Keck, Isaiah and Noah Schulze, Isabelle and Aviana Schulze, Emily and Erin Duggan, Jimmy and Ford Weinert. Husband, Peter, predeceased Jean in May of 2018. She is well loved and missed by all.
Memorial services will be held at Okemos Presbyterian Church on August 17 at 11:00 AM. All are welcome.
Donations may be made to the Forest Larger Parish Presbyterian Church, P.O. Box 129, Wabeno, Wi., a mission church which our family attended for 50 summers or to World Orphanage Fund, which a friend began where all funds go to the orphans with no administration fees.
- Memorial Service Saturday, August 17, 2019