Jean Draper Means, 96, of Essex and Sanibel Island, FL, beloved wife of the late Augustus G. Means, passed from this life on September 28, surrounded by her family. She was born in Hopedale, the daughter of George and Jessie Draper. Jean attended Stoneleigh College, and went on to serve as a buyer for Filenes. She was an avid reader, gardener, bird watcher, seamstress, and community volunteer. She was a proud mother, grandmother, great grandmother, and fiercely loyal friend. Her late husband, Augustus “Gus” Means, a decorated veteran of World War II, had served in the state House of Representatives and the Governor’s Council.
Jean and Gus traveled extensively, embraced their blended family, and lived life to the fullest. They survived the ups and downs of having eight children, through the turbulent times of the 1960’s, and onward to the rewards of grand parenting. Jean and Gus hosted an annual family reunion, Christmas in July, complete with a clambake and a skydiving Santa. They were famously outgoing, known to all as a dynamic duo. Jean’s infectious smile and ebullient personality made an unforgettable impression. Her compassion and creativity were evident in every aspect of her life. Her many years as a volunteer with the Topsfield Fair and the Scleroderma Foundation of New England, earned her a reputation as a tireless and dedicated worker, well into her eighth decade.
Jean is survived by her children Valerie Draper Means of Pittsboro, NC, Shepherd Draper Means and his wife Maureen Murphy of Gloucester, and Richard L. Means of Essex, her stepchildren since 1961, Mary “Posie” Means Mansfield of Essex, DaisyNell Means Collinson and her husband Stanley of Essex, Dr. Roseanna Means and her husband Stuart McLaughlin of Natick, William Gordon Means and his wife Lee Emerson of Carlisle. She was the proud grandmother of eighteen, great grandmother of nineteen, and great great grandmother of two. She was predeceased by son Augustus G. Means, Jr and his wife Sharon Burke Means, formerly of Essex, and her brother Richard Draper formerly of Greenville, SC.
The family wishes to extend their gratitude to the caring staff at the Residence at Riverbend and Reflections in Ipswich and Care Dimensions.
Due to Covid-19 the family has decided that there will not be memorial service at this time. Arrangements by Whittier-Porter Funeral Home of Ipswich. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jean’s memory can be sent to Healthcare Without Walls, 148 Linden St, Suite 208, Wellesley, MA 02482(www.healthcarewithoutwalls.org).
“Somewhere over the rainbow ... I’ll wish upon a star, and wake up where the stars are far behind me, where troubles melt like lemon drops, and way above the chimney tops, that’s where you’ll find me...” (1939, Yip Harburg)