Jean Yereance Zapple
July 30, 1920 – March 19, 2021
Jean Grivelle (Yereance) Zapple of Falls Church, VA and Harwichport, MA, died of natural causes on Friday, March 19, 2021, at Pleasant Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center in Brewster, MA. She was 100 years old.
The daughter of Edna Seitz Yereance and Alexander Woodward Yereance, Jean was born in South Orange, New Jersey, on July 30, 1920. She is survived by her daughter, Barbara Z. Walker and husband David Vaughan of Naples, FL; daughter, Elizabeth J. Lowell of Chatham, MA; son, Robert A. Zapple and wife Michele of Wilmington, NC; son, Peter J. Zapple and wife Robbie of Falls Church, VA; and son, David N. Zapple and wife Sandy Zak of Manassas, VA. She is also survived by eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her husband of 63 years, Nicholas Robert Zapple, and her daughter Margaret Ann Zapple.
Jean graduated from Smith College in Northampton, MA and received a Master’s Degree from Massachusetts State College (later to become the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.) In 1943, she enlisted in SPARS, the U.S. Coast Guard Women's Reserve, becoming a member of its first class of women officers. She served with distinction and rose to the rank of Lieutenant. In 1945, Jean married a fellow Coast Guard officer, attorney Nicholas Robert Zapple, later counsel to the Senate Commerce Committee.
After the war, Jean and Nick moved to Falls Church VA, where they raised their six children. A devoted and loving mother, Jean fostered a love of the arts and culture in her children, while encouraging each child to develop their unique skills and follow their passions. During the decades of family meals and events, Jean taught civility and graciousness by example. Her generous spirit welcomed every boyfriend, girlfriend, business associate, or stray neighbor who banged on the door at dinnertime. She had the remarkable gift of making everyone feel welcome in her home. Jean was also an avid supporter of education, a dedicated volunteer in local school functions, and a member of the American Association of University Women (AAUW), which honored her for more than 50 years of support.
A skilled Scrabble player, a Sunday New York Times crossword player, and an avid reader, Jean devoured four or five books a week. She enjoyed the family’s summer home on Cape Cod for 65 years. She was a docent at the Harwich Historical Society and box office volunteer at the Harwich Junior Theatre. Her greatest pride was her garden at the Cape house, that to the delight of all and the surprise of no one, produced a riot of color and beauty each spring.
Jean Zapple was the kind of mother and friend everyone wishes they had – beautiful, smart and loving, and a thoughtful and patient listener with wonderful advice for those smart enough to ask. We were so lucky to have her with us for so long, though 100 years doesn’t seem long enough.
The Zapple family would like to express our appreciation to the staff at Pleasant Bay Nursing and Rehabilitation Center for their kindness and attentive care.
Jean’s ashes will be interred with her husband’s at the Columbarium at Arlington National Cemetery, VA, with military honors. A private family ceremony will be held at that time.
Condolences may be shared with the family at Doane, Beal & Ames Funeral Home (www.doanebealamesharwich.com ).
In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to the Harwich Historical Society, 80 Parallel Street, Harwich, Massachusetts 02645 (http://harwichhistoricalsociety.org/) or the AAUW Falls Church Area (VA) Branch at FallsChurch-VA
- Edna Seitz Yereance and Alexander Woodward Yereance, Parents (deceased)
- Barbara Z. Walker (husband David Vaughan), Daughter
- Elizabeth J. Lowell, Daughter
- Robert A. Zapple (wife Michele), Son
- Peter J. Zapple (wife Robbie), Son
- David N. Zapple (wife Sandy Zak), Son
- Margaret Ann Zapple, Daughter (deceased)
- She is also survived by eight grandchildren and six great-grandchildren.
- Harwich Historical Society
- AAUW Falls Church Area (VA) Branch
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
Jean Yereance Zapple
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April 14, 2021
Sincere condolences to Commissioner Rob Zapple and family during your grief journey.
March 28, 2021
Sorry to read your mother's obituary in the Post, but glad that she was with you for so long. She accomplished a lot in her life! Many fond memories of our neighborhood on Valley Court. Riding bikes, playing in your backyard, going sledding with all the neighbors. Hope you are all healthy and safe.
March 27, 2021
I did not know Jean, but she sounds like she was an amazing woman! I just want to recognize her service in the SPARS. She helped pave the way for women in the Coast Guard. I benefitted from her service by enjoying my own Coast Guard career. My condolences to all her family and friends.
A. Douglas Peabody
March 26, 2021
My mother, Anne Harp Peabody (Lt. USN, ret.) (1920 - 2020) was a friend of Jean Zapple's from Falls Church, Virginia where they were both members of the AAUW Chapter. Rob Zapple was a classmate of mine at the then named, JEB Stuart High School in Falls Church where my mother was Chair of the English and Latin Departments.
They shared a love of education and the unique experience of being among the first women officers in the armed services during World War II. And I see they will both lay in rest with their husbands at Arlington with the military honors they earned. Anne was buried there on March 10, 2021.
My family has a home on Cape Cod and on several occasions when my mother would visit she would make the short trip over to Harwich to visit with Jean.
I would like to express my family's heartfelt condolences to the Zapple family and particularly to Rob. I know my mother would have wanted me to do so. What wonderful long lives these two incredible women lived and what unusual experiences they had in common. It is sad to part with these incredible people of the Greatest Generation that connected us to the epic events of the 20th century. May they Rest In Peace and reside forever in our memories.
West Yarmouth, MA
March 26, 2021
On behalf of the Harwich Historical Society I would like to extend condolences to Jean's family. She lived a full and productive life which thankfully for us included volunteering at the museum. I remember how pleased she was the summer we had the exhibit of women service members in World War II. Again, our sincerest condolences.
March 24, 2021
Jean was a dedicated member of Falls Church AAUW and our book sale. Her depth of knowledge and extensive research about book values was instrumental in increasing the sale profits, all of which went to scholarships. But even more important to me and all of the AAUW members were her warmth and her wonderful stories.
We certainly miss Jean.