OBITUARY

Jean Alyce Denman Muirhead

May 12, 1929July 15, 2011

MUIRHEAD, JEAN DENMAN, was born May 12, 1929 in Tallahatchie County, MS and died in Knoxville, TN on July 15, 2011. Her cremains will be interred alongside those of her parents, in Charleston, MS. Private memorial services will be held there and in Memphis and Knoxville and in Falls Church, VA at later dates. As one of Mississippi’s first female senators (1968-1972) Jean Muirhead authored legislation that first allowed women in her state to serve on state court juries. Once in her campaign for the Senate, she was condescendingly told by her male opponent that women had no place in the smoky motel rooms where much legislation was conducted. She responded that if she were elected, she’d do her legislating at the State Capitol instead of in smoke-filled motel rooms. In 1968, to the consternation of the secretary of the Senate, Muirhead appointed the first girl pages to serve at times other than the one special week set aside for that purpose. Girls today are likely unaware that they were once barred from such service. Muirhead was active in women’s rights issues throughout most of her professional career. Muirhead practiced law in Jackson, MS from 1968-1980 when she became an administrative judge with the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission in Birmingham, AL and later in Charlotte, NC. She was appointed administrative law judge (ALJ) by the Social Security Administration in September of 1991 and served as Hearing Office Chief ALJ in Memphis, TN. In 1997, she became ALJ in charge of the Division of Medicare in Falls Church, VA. At her request in July, 2001,she was assigned to the Nashville Office of Hearings and Appeals, where she retired in 2003. In 2006, she relocated to Knoxville to be nearer family and friends in the area. Judge Muirhead requested that memorial gifts be sent to the charity of the donor’s choice. She had actively supported the Family Justice Center in Knoxville and was a long distance volunteer for the Nashville Room at the Nashville Public Library, 615 Church St., Nashville, TN 37219, where the “Muirhead Collection”, a large number of books concerning women’s issues, is housed. Jean Muirhead is survived by her three children and four step-children by her marriage to Charles A. Haycraft, who died in 1991. She is remembered by them and by her many friends as a tireless advocate for what is right and just and as a person bound by love, loyalty and devotion. Judge Muirhead personified the ideals of good citizenship and proved herself over and again to be a valuable asset to her community and her country. She will be missed by many. Arrangements by Lynnhurst-Greenwood Chapel, 2300 W. Adair Dr. Friends may leave their condolences at www.lynnhurstchapel.com

REMEMBERING

Jean Alyce Denman Muirhead

have a memory or condolence to add?

ADD A MEMORY

receive updates when new memories are posted

RECEIVE UPDATES
Donna West

August 5, 2011

Mike, Scott & Missy--
We are so sorry to hear of your mother's death. My mother and I have such fond memories of being neighbors, Gulf Shores and just being friends with her and all of you. Reading about Jean's accomplishments throughout her life reminded us both that it was such an honor to have known her and that one person really can make a difference in so many lives. Jean certainly did.

Donna C. West
Ethel C. West
Ridgeland, Mississippi

Zenda Sellers Heafner

August 4, 2011

Scott, Mike and Missy. I just heard about your mother. I am so sorry for your loss. I know she will be missed terribly. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your families.

Margaret Brakebusch

July 27, 2011

I am so blessed to have had the opportunity to know Jean. She was an inspiration to everyone who knew her and she was one of the dearest friends that anyone could ever hope to have. She touched so many lives and she will live on in our hearts forever.

Richard Martin

July 27, 2011

Mike,Scott,&Missy,

So sorry to here of the loss of your Mom,Mayshe rest in peace.
Richard Martin

Larry Mason

July 26, 2011

We were greatly saddened to hear this news. Jean was a wonderful person, a fine lawyer, a leader and mentor, especially for women, but an example for all. Our condolences and best wishes to all her family and friends. Larry Mason and Sarah Humphreys.

Joe Royalty

July 26, 2011

Scott and Shelda,
I am truly sorry for your loss. Your mother was really a great lady. Although I haven't seen you in a long time I think of you often.

Tony Phillips

July 26, 2011

SCOTT:
So sorry to hear about your mother. She was a very special person. Shared office space in the Barnett Bldg. and she helped me get started in the practice of law.

Tony Phillips

Carol C. West

July 25, 2011

I am so sorry to hear of the death of Jean Muirhead. She was a strong voice for women's rights in Mississippi. Her work benefited all of us. I tell my students the story of her successful coup that resulted in Mississippi women gaining the right to serve on juries. Her death is a loss for all of us.

Carol C. West
Professor of Law
Mississippi College School of Law

jan and Steve Sowka

July 25, 2011

Shelda- Though we have not had the chance to meet your husband, I am in tears over this wonderful Mom he had and how much she accomplished in her lifetime. We Know her memories will be good ones for all of your family, and will say a prayer for all of you. Jan and Steve Sowka

Rebecca Leahey

July 25, 2011

I had the pleasure of working for Judge Muirhead at SSA ODAR Falls Church VA. She was the most gracious woman I have ever met. I wish her great peace on her current journey and solace to everyone who was touched by her.