April 14, 1921 to Dec. 30, 2013
OAKLAND, Calif. — Jean Z. Henry passed away in the early hours of Dec. 30, 2013. Her passions were music, young children, and especially her family. She will be missed by everyone whose life she touched.
Born in Ashland, Kan., in 1921, she was given the nickname “Tar Bucket” because, as a cousin said, “she stuck so close.” She graduated from Ashland’s one room schoolhouse in June of 1939, went on to attend the Oklahoma College for Women, and graduated from Northwestern University in Chicago. After receiving her Masters in Music Education, she joined MUZAK in New York City.
Following the death of her first husband, Melvin O’Neill, Jean took her two sons Stephen and Kevin to Northern California to be near her mother and sister. In January 1962, she met the love of her life, Graham Henry. They married in Berkeley, Calif., on Aug. 12, 1962. Other than a brief time in Southern California, they resided in Berkeley. She was a lifelong member of the Mu Phi Epsilon music sorority and founder/director of Scenic Pre-School in Berkeley for almost two decades. Jean had a stroke in February of 2001 causing her to suffer vascular dementia which profoundly impacted her memory and thinking. Her final years were spent at Lakeside Park which is a Specialized Elder Care Community in Oakland, Calif. Graham moved into Lakeside in 2011 to be with Jean.
In addition to her parents, Arthur and Ada Zimmerman, Jean was predeceased by her sister Symeta Kuper and her husband, Nathan. She is survived by Graham, her sons Stephen Henry of Mountain View, Calif., and Kevin Holmes-Henry of Fletcher, their wives Dianne Mar and Ellen Holmes-Henry, grandchildren Erin, Ian, Frances and Alexander, and nieces Maquette Kubey and Benette Williams.
Memorial donations in Jean’s memory may be directed to the Alzheimer’s Support in the East Bay (ASEB) or a charity of the donor’s choice.