Jean Jessie Hermsen
Sept. 20, 1921 ó Aug. 29, 2016
Jean Jessie Hermsen, formerly of Waukesha, passed away on Monday, August 29, 2016, in Whitewater, her family home of many years. Jean was born September 20, 1921, in Oconto, the daughter of William and Louise Telford.
She graduated from Oconto High School in 1939 and went on to become the secretary of the superintendent of schools for Oconto County. She also served as secretary to President R.C. Williams at UW-Whitewater from 1946-1949, while her husband, Leon Paul Hermsen, completed his education at Whitewater following his service in the U.S. Army during World War II. The couple raised their family in Whitewater and Leon was assistant dean of the School of Business and Economics at UW-Whitewater when he passed away while playing volleyball on campus on September 8, 1977.
Following Leonís death, Jean established a new career in the financial world, inspiring and empowering women to take charge of their financial matters. She worked for First State Savings, later known as First Financial from 1979 to 1986, relocating to Waukesha in 1985. She next took those skills to First Interstate Bank, where she was director of womenís programs. Jean became an active seminar presenter and professional speaker, sensitivity trainer and bank marketing consultant. She taught family budgeting classes at Alverno College and was a member of the Wisconsin Speakers Association, the National Speakers Association, and the National Association of Bank Women. She also served on the Board of Directors of the Bayland Telephone Company in Abrams, the Board of Directors of the Waukesha YWCA, and was a Tempo Milwaukee member.
Jean is survived by her children, Louise Hermsen (John Kaufman) of Hartland and Chris (Linda Braun) of Bailey, Colo.; grandchildren Aaron Kaufman and Zach, Adam, Josh, Leon and Jacob Hermsen; and great-grandchildren Noah, Hattie, Indie, Asher, Mackey and Frankie Hermsen.
In addition to her beloved husband, preceding her in death were her two sons Patrick (Julie Brandt) of Fort Mill, S.C., and Jesse (Tabitha Hambright of Tega Cay, S.C.; her sister Doris Westergaard; brother Robert Telford; and step-grandchild Braden Hamrick.
A memorial service and gathering will be held at Fairhaven in Whitewater on Friday, September 2, at 2:30 p.m., preceded by a private graveside service at Hillside Cemetery in Whitewater.
In lieu of flowers, please plant a flower. Gardenias, hydrangeas, peonies and irises were her particular favorites. Or send a memorial to the Fairhaven Foundation at www.fairhaven.org. The Nitardy Funeral Home of Whitewater, 920563-5898, is assisting the family. Please share your memories at www.nitardyfuneralhome.com.