BURLINGTON — Jeanette Rita LaBounty Ranson, 91, passed away peacefully after a short illness, while convalescing at Birchwood Terrace-Kindred Care, Burlington, Vt.
Jeanette was born on May 26, 1923 in St. Albans, the third of six children of John LaBounty and Evelyn Guilbault LaBounty. Jeanette graduated from St. Mary’s High School in St. Albans with clerical preparation. Early in life, she developed her natural talent in the visual arts, particularly drawing, watercolors and oil painting. She continued to be a productive artist in various media until shortly before her death. Jeanette eventually achieved an Associate’s degree in Liberal Studies from Brookdale Community College in Holmdel, N.J., and produced a large body of artwork over her lifetime.
Jeanette moved to Washington, DC, during WWII, immediately after high school. Adventurously, upon graduation, one-by-one, four of the LaBounty sisters (Arlene, Jeanette, Alice, and Doris) found work in our nation’s capital. They all lived at Scotts Hotel for Women on ‘O’ Street, having a grand time. Jeanette worked as a secretary in the Office of Wage and Price Administration, which later became the US Department of Labor. There, she met her future husband, Ed Ranson, a larger-than-life Texan. Smiling, she would recount their story to her children. Ed sought only Jeanette from the secretarial pool; finding her shorthand from dictation, proofreading, and typing skills, all beyond compare. Jeanette and Ed were married Feb. 12, 1948.
Jeanette and Ed moved to New Jersey, where Ed worked as a businessman in New York City, and Jeanette managed the home. They finally settled in Red Bank, N.J., raising a family of four children. Jeanette’s long-time interests included gardening, cooking, knitting and crochet, reading broadly, and taking many adult school classes in fine art and language. Along with her art skills, she loved improving both her native conversational French and acquired Spanish.
All her life, Jeanette wrote notes and shopping lists in Gregg Shorthand, with her recipe books full of shorthand lab notes in the margins. She took great pride in preparing wonderful meals for her family, and was an early advocate of organic gardening and whole foods. Her quiet love of adventure, other cultures, and artistic experimentation were always expressed in food. She loved trying different foods, new recipes, and introducing her children to flavors and aromas from around the world. Her fresh marinara sauce, simply unique method of dressing tossed green salads, and from-scratch fresh fruit pies, were legend and second to none.
In retirement, Jeanette returned to St. Albans. For the last ten years, she resided at Cathedral Square Assisted Living in Burlington, Vt., attending the Episcopal Cathedral Church of St. Paul. Jeanette was preceded in death by her husband, Ed (1987), and by her brother, Harold and sister, Marion. She leaves four children: Ed Ranson Jr. of Sebeka, Minn.; Joan (and Brett) Sylvester of Grand Isle; Carol (and Myke) Farricker of Wayland, Mass.; and Todd Ranson of Matawan, N.J. She also leaves seven grandchildren and spouses: Matthew (and Marianne) Ranson, Ben Ranson, John (and Bertha) Ranson, Evelyn (and Dominic) Miller, Hannah Sylvester, Lucas Palombo, Ian Palombo, and one great-grandson, Leo Ranson (Matt and Marianne’s baby); three sisters: Arlene Hunt, Alice Harrison and Doris Jarvis; many nieces and nephews.
A memorial service will be held in warm weather, on a date yet to be announced. Arrangements by Elmwood-Meunier.