Jean Elene Haley
February 7, 1943 – July 6, 2020
Jean Elene (Wuellner) Haley, 77, of Kansas City, MO passed away peacefully on Monday, July 6, 2020. Inurnment service will be Thursday, July 30, 2020 at 10:00 AM at Mount Olivet Cemetery, 7601 Blue Ridge Blvd, Kansas City, MO 64138.
Jean was born February 7, 1943, in Kansas City, Missouri, to parents Helena (Cahalan) and Eugene Wuellner, both of whom preceded her in death. Also preceding her in death was her long-time companion, Chris Duarte.
She is survived by her brother, Paul Wuellner, and her beloved 13 year-old Doberman, Rhapsody’s Silent Night, UD (aka Lovey.)
Jean attended Shiloh Elementary School and graduated from Carthage Senior High, Carthage, MO. She was a member of the 1964 graduating class of Mount St. Scholastica College. After graduation, Jean taught English at Bishop LeBlond High School, and also worked at KCMO Public Library. She received an Honorary Doctorate of Humanity Letters from Benedictine College in 1987.
Jean started her career as a reporter in 1966 with the Kansas City Star, eventually becoming its first female editorial columnist. During her time at the Star, she initiated a bi-weekly column for older persons. In 1982 the columns were collected and published as a book, The Later Years. After a long and rewarding 32 year career, Jean retired from the Kansas City Star in 1998.
An annual Dog Writers Award given by the Dog Writers Association was amongst the many accolades Jean was given for her writing skills. It was presented to her at a Westminister Dog Show Banquet. Trying to convert her two young unruly Dobermans, Romeo and Juliet, into well-behaved companions, she enrolled in a dog obedience class in 1987. Enrollment in that class started her on a journey from pet owner to trainer, teacher, and competitor for obedience titles.
Competiting almost always with Dobermans, the love of her life, Jean earned numerous American Kennel Club Obedience Titles. She also earned a number of High in Trials and had the honor of competing in the Doberman Club of America Annual Top Twenty Performance Event several times. Serving as Training Director for the Greater Kansas City Dog Training Club, Jean was bestowed with a lifetime membership to the Club.
She is a member of St. Patrick’s Church.
Awaiting Jean at the Rainbow Bridge will be her cherished canine companions Jack, Juliet, Romeo, Scotty, Happy, Chevy, and Mary.
Jean will be deeply missed by her many friends and dog students - both canine and human. Donations in Jean’s memory may be made to Greater Kansas City Dog Training Club, P.O. Box 16616, Raytown, MO 64133.
- Paul Wuellner, Brother
- Her beloved 13 year-old Doberman, Rhapsody’s Silent Night, UD (aka Lovey)
Greater Kansas City Dog Training Club
P.O. Box 16616, Raytown, Missouri 64133
Thursday, July 30, 2020
Jean Elene Haley
July 12, 2020
Jean and I sat next to each other for several years on the editorial page of The Kansas City Star. She was one sweet, smart woman with a heart for people in need.
July 11, 2020
I met Jean through her cousin, Vonnie.
Jean was such a sweet, kind lady! It was so encouraging to see how she enjoyed her pet and her home. I'm so glad she got to do what she wanted.
She was very admirable in her modeling a life of appreciation and contentment.
May she rest in peace.
July 9, 2020
Jean you will be missed!
It was always fun reminiscing with cousin Jean about our mothers who were sisters. We would talk about how our mothers would always wear and share their beautiful fancy hats-even during the Great Depression in the 1930’s. We could never figure out where they got those hats in all the pictures we saw. We also talked about their good ole farm days of when they would can tomatoes and pluck the chicken feathers for their chicken dinners.
The shared farm stories we remembered were always fun to hear and digest.
The last time I saw Jean we ate at the Corner Cafe. After a good meal we headed back to her home where she showcased her porcelain dog collection. She loved these beautiful figurines as each little dog in her collection had a beautiful story behind it of
which she shared several of these memorable stories with me.
I’ll always remember Jean’s soft spoken kindnesses, her care, concern and love for the elderly as showcased in her KC Star articles and her prayers for which I will always be grateful!
Jean is in a better place-with Chris and Family! Peace!
July 9, 2020
Jean introduced me to the Greater Kansas City Dog Training Club as well as showing me how to teach Dog Obedience. She had a quiet manner of guidance that always rang true. I'll carry her in my heart!
July 9, 2020
Russ and I were so sorry to hear about Jean. I still miss training with Jean and Chris Duarte. I traveled to several shows with Jean when she was showing her Doberman, Scotty, and I was showing my Miniature Bull Terrier, Noelle in obedience.
I remember when Happy the Border Collie showed up at Jean's property and became part of the pack. I knew there was no way she was leaving.
Some of my fondest memories involve Jean's male Doberman "Romeo." Romeo had more personality than the law should allow and was one of those dogs that came to life the minute he walked into the obedience ring. I remember a show years ago at the American Royal complex in the old Exhibition Hall. It was St Patrick's Day and the show was crowded with exhibitors around the obedience rings. Romeo loved an audience.
Jean was showing Romeo in Open A. Romeo knew how to work a crowd and after each exercise, the crowd applauded. Romeo slid into every front and delighted the crowd with his fast , flying, crooked finishes.
By the time they got to the jumping exercises, Romeo was on fire. That was back in the days when the dogs jumped one and a half times their height at the withers. Romeo cleared what was probably a 34 inch high jump easily on the retrieve over the high jump. The crowd applauded wildly. He picked up the dumbbell and looked around as if to say, "Well, if you thought that was cool, WATCH THIS!" I believe that dog cleared the high jump on the return by a good foot. There was more wild applause. The broad jump was equally impressive.
Jean knew I collected Santa Clauses and bought me a book about vintage and antique Santas. She also gave us some beautiful pottery mugs that featured American Pit Bull Terriers and Bull Terriers.
Jean is with Chris and all her beloved dogs now.
July 9, 2020
Fond memories of this lady - always kind and helpful. A great dog trainer both with her own dogs and teaching the general public. Loved reading her columns in the KC Star. Always thinking of others, she knew I was collecting chickens a few years back and bought me some from an auction she went to. She will be missed by many!
July 8, 2020
I met Jean when I brought my Doberman puppy to GKCDTC training. From there I moved to private class with Jean and Chris. Jean was so proud of Kiera making DPCA Top Twenty Finalist which I credit to both their training. She helped to write the personal information about Kiera for the Top Twenty. Jean and her dob, Lovey, became a very dear and close friend. We saw each other every week and Lovey looked forward to our Friday’s and chicken treats. Jean set an example of a true lady and friend. Now with my heart hurting for her passing, I know she is with Chris and her parents, and her dobermans and other breeds, plus her beloved horses in heaven waiting for when Lovey, Kiera, and myself to join her someday.
July 8, 2020
Jean and Chris helped me train my dogs. Jean was always so kind. I loved watching her show her Dobes. She was so passionate about the sport oF Obedience and inspired many others. I met Jean through her column in Front and Finish, contacting her looking for a trainer. We had many adventures at dog shows. I will really miss her.