David Lawrence Jean

May 30, 1940May 12, 2018

David Lawrence Jean, 77, of Bowling Green, KY passed away surrounded by his family on May 12, 2018 in Nashville, TN.

David was born May 30, 1940, in Chattanooga, TN. A 1958 graduate of Young High School, he stayed in Knoxville to complete his undergraduate studies at the University of Tennessee where he was in the band and Army ROTC. He served in the US Army between 1963 and 1968. He later completed his MBA from Murray State University.

David was truly a leader in all aspects of his life. He stressed honesty and integrity and thrived in communicating and working with people. David built his career in human resources in several states until returning to Kentucky in 1993. David joined Sumitomo Electric Wiring Systems in 1993 as the General Manager of General Affairs. He was named Chief Executive Officer in the mid 90s serving in that capacity for over ten years. He led the company during a period of considerable growth and change, mentoring scores of operations and human resources professionals. He embraced his role at SEWS, creating lifelong friends and developing a love for the Japanese culture. He enjoyed traveling throughout Japan and continued his work for Sumitomo even after retirement with a sister company marketing new products. Since retirement, David loved to tell stories of all the relationships and experiences he experienced during his successful career.

David’s hobbies included his spending time with family, reading, gadgets, and, most recently, enjoying his Country Coach. David and Sandy enjoyed traveling and making new friends for the past few years with this new hobby.

David was preceded by his parents, Philip and Joy Mathews. He is survived and will be utterly missed by his family: Sandy, his beloved wife of 55 years; daughter Kelly of Mount Washington, KY (husband Darren); son Phillip of Granville, OH (wife Emily); sister Lin Stepp of Knoxville, TN (husband J.L., children Max and Kate); and 5 grandchildren (Eli, Oliver, Emeri, Avery, and Kayla).

Visitation will start at 2 PM Wednesday with Funeral Services following at 4 PM at J.C. Kirby and Son, Lovers Lane Chapel in Bowling Green, KY. Further services will be held Friday at 11 AM at Berry Funeral Home followed by burial at Woodlawn Cemetery, both off Chapman Highway in Knoxville, TN. Rev. Kirby Ownby officiating.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in his memory to the Bladder Cancer Advocacy Network.


  • Visitation Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Funeral Service Friday, May 18, 2018
  • Burial Friday, May 18, 2018

David Lawrence Jean

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Thomas & Libby Widgeon

May 17, 2018

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