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Jean Beltz Barss

Jean Beltz Barss

Jean Barss, 92, of Medford, Ore. died peacefully July 1, 2015. She was born August 27, 1922 to Howard and Josephine (Foster) Beltz in Washington, DC, where she lived until she was married.

Jean graduated from Wilson Teachers College with a BS in Education. She received her MA in Education from George Washington University and was an elementary school teacher in Washington, DC, and the Boston area.

She met her future husband, Theodore Barss, the first day of junior high school and they were in school together through high school. After Jean graduated from George Washington, she and Ted got reacquainted and married a year later on August 7, 1948. They were married 65 years before Ted’s death in 2013. Jean and Ted lived in Medford, Mass.; Lexington, Ky.; Colorado Springs; and Kaiserslautern, Germany prior to settling in Medford in 1955 where Ted established his practice of anesthesiology.

Jean was very active in the community throughout her time in Medford. When her children were young, she led Girl and Boy Scout groups. She was a charter member of Westminster Presbyterian Church where she served as Superintendent of the Sunday School. She was on the building committee when the church was built and again when the new sanctuary was built. In the early 1970s, she was a member of the Medford School District 549C School Board for five years. During this time, she was instrumental in establishing the “Artists in the Schools Program.” She also served on the Board of Directors of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival Association, was President of the Activities Council of Rogue Valley Art Association, and was affiliated with Chapter CP of PEO, AAUW, Gold Diggers' Guild, and the Craterian Guild.

Early on Jean recognized skiing as a great family sport and it became a lifelong passion. Other interests included tennis, needlepoint, collecting antique still banks, and Ikebana. She made many beautiful Ikebana arrangements. Jean and Ted traveled extensively in the U.S. and Europe including many ski trips.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents and husband, Ted. She is survived by her sister, Dorothy Beltz; and her three children and their families, Susan and Jeff Lathrop, of North Conway, N.H., Sally and Marc Vomocil, of Corvallis, Ore., and Steven and Kathy Barss, of Wilmot, N.H.; six grandchildren, Peter Vomocil, Sara (Vomocil) Smith, Christin Lathrop, Abbi (Lathrop) Martz, Jenny (Lathrop) Buchar, and Thomas Barss; and one great-grandchild, Wyatt Smith.

A memorial service for Jean will be held at 10:30 a.m., Monday August 10, 2015 at Westminster Presbyterian Church.

In lieu of flowers, contributions can be made to Westminster Presbyterian Church or Rogue Valley Manor Employee Scholarship Fund.

Jean Beltz Barss