Jean P. O’Leary
Brilliant Artist and a Fierce Advocate and Activist
Jean P. O’Leary died on Saturday, April 22, peacefully in her sleep having a really good dream, from the look on her face.
She would want you all to know she looked beautiful, and she really did. Jean had a long battle with Alzheimer’s and though she did pass, we would argue that she still won that fight. She carried that insidious disease with humor, grace and generosity the whole entire time, better than the rest of us did. Jean was always right, was taller than Laura, everyone was a wimp compared to her, she always knew the type of bird or flower, you should keep up with her when she’s walking even if it takes five of your steps to make one of hers, she could make anyone laugh, brought everyone she knew joy, made the best chili in the world, she knew everything and loved the heck out of all of us.
She made children cry, grown women wet their pants with laughter and protected everyone she loved. She was a brilliant artist and a fierce advocate and activist.
She was the greatest person we’ve ever met, and we got her as our mom, Laura got her as her life partner in the truest sense of the phrase for almost 45 years, and if you’re reading this because you recognized her name, you were incredibly lucky for knowing her. She was one of a kind, she made a deep and lasting impression on all she met. She leaves a hole that will never be filled, but we’ll try to live life as she did, to the fullest and with a lot of sarcasm, grit and generosity.
Some of the people who loved her most and will be crying spontaneously for the rest of their lives are her son Devin, daughter Maddy, wife Laura, daughter-in-law Nikki, best friend Carol, sisters Barbara and Janet and brothers Arthur and Ricky. We would name more people, but if we listed them all they’d never let us print this.
We will miss her forever and celebrate her always. Thanks for being undeniably you, mamacita.
We welcome all to come to her party, May 20th at the First Parish in Brookline. The family will greet people from 4-5, will have a ceremony and say a few words from 5-5:30 and will spend the rest of the evening eating, drinking, laughing and crying as we remember Jean in all her glory. Please come if you can. Jean deserved an epic sendoff.
This is a celebration, so please wear what you want, whether it be a colorful ball gown, a black veil or your comfiest outfit. Bring your favorite memory of her. First Parish In Brookline – 382 Walnut St, Brookline, MA 02445