Jean Parker Katz, 98, passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, January 8, 2020 after a long, full, and happy life.
Jean was born to cartoonist, actor and writer Dana Parker and artist Anne Parker. Jean and her sister Helen grew up in and around New York City.
Jean graduated from Hunter College in New York with degrees in physics and math. She served in World War Two, first in the Red Cross as a nurse's aide, and later as a radar and communications specialist in the WAVES of the Navy, reaching the rank of Lieutenant Junior Grade. Following the war, Jean spent 7 years at the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University, where she met her future husband Samuel Katz.
While raising three children, Jean earned her Master's degree in elementary education from Russell Sage College. She taught in the Schenectady school system and at Sunnyview Hospital.
Jean enjoyed the outdoors, hiking, bird watching, travelling and exploring nature with her husband and family. After her retirement, Jean explored many creative activities, including performing in a recorder consort and dance groups, weaving, quilting, beading, polishing rocks to make jewelrey, stained glass, fine art, and pottery. Throughout her retirement, Jean wrote children's stories and poems, many of which were published in children's magazines. In addition, she wrote poems for adults, which she read on public occasions. Jean was a member of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Schenectady.
Surviving are Samuel Katz, Jean's husband of 66 years; sister Helen Parker; three children David Katz (Anne Csete), Daniel Katz (Marcy Tobin), and Miriam Katz; four grandchildren, Stephen Katz (Frances Hartmann), Jeffrey Katz (Alison Knight), Sean Summer, and Prairie Summer (Andris Bjornson); and four great-grandchildren (Alyssa and Brett Summer, Cedar Bjornson, and Zelda Knight Katz); and dear friend Jilita.
Jean's family extends their gratitude to the many people who lovingly helped care for Jean in recent years.
Visitation and funeral service will be held Sunday, 1:00 p.m. at Daly Funeral Home, 242 McClellan St., Schenectady. Interment to follow, in Vale Cemetery, Schenectady.
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