Jean Kraft died peacefully at home in Livingston, MT on Saturday, August 19, 2023, of congestive heart failure. Jean was born Helen Jean Ochs in Philadelphia, PA, the only child of Raymond and Vera Ochs. Jean graduated from Lincoln High School in Philadelphia in 1957, married soon after high school and had two daughters, Jeanne (1959) and Susan (1961). She divorced, taking her grandmother’s maiden name, Kraft, for herself and her daughters. In 1968 Jean married Hank Gritz who was her daughters’ loving stepfather. Jean and Hank pursued their educations at universities around the country and in Bogotá, Columbia. Returning to Philadelphia, Jean earned her bachelor’s degree from Temple University in 1976 and settled in Coatesville, PA. After divorcing in 1993 she moved to Aston, PA.
Jean worked for various companies including Dentsply as a medical and dental salesperson and was honored with many sales awards throughout the years. After retiring, she became a docent at the Deshler-Morris House in Philadelphia, traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe with her daughter Susan, and loved frequent visits to Longwood Gardens (Kennett Square, PA) and autumn trips to the New Jersey shore with her family. She was a loving “MomMom” to her granddaughters, Grace and Katie. In 2016 Jean moved to Montana to be close to her daughter, Susan. Jean loved her family, was passionate about political issues – especially women’s rights and education for underserved communities – and was a lifelong student of history.
Jean was predeceased by her beloved daughters, Jeanne who died in 2010 and Susan who died in 2016, and ex-husband, Hank, in 2017. Jean is survived by her granddaughters Grace Keiser (Bryn Mawr, PA) and Katherine Keiser (Lansdale, PA), son-in-law, Kenton Keiser and his wife Faith Keiser (Lansdale, PA) and son-in-law Lindsay Robb (Pray, MT). The family is grateful to Livingston Health Care Hospice and the compassionate staff of Home Instead Senior Care who made it possible for Jean to spend the last years of her life in her home. A memorial service will be scheduled at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made in Jean’s name to the Deshler-Morris House in Philadelphia or to the American Association of University Women (Park County, MT Branch) scholarship fund.
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Franzen-Davis has been honored to care for H. Jean and her family.