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Jeanne

Jeanne Hey

d. November 22, 2021

The family is sorry to say that we have decided to cancel the memorial service due to the current state of the pandemic. Thank you for remembering Jeanne. Jeanne Hey (nee Cooper) passed away peacefully on November 22, surrounded by her family and in her son’s home. Jeanne was born to Clement and Anna Cooper in December 1932 in West Chester, PA. An only child, she became an early avid reader. She graduated from West Chester High School as valedictorian in 1950, where she met her future husband, E. Berry “Joe” Hey, Jr. Jeanne graduated from Bucknell University with a degree in mathematics and chemistry in 1954. She and Joe married in June of 1954, after which she went to work for DuPont in Wilmington. Her work in a materials laboratory helped put her husband through medical school. Jeanne gave birth to a son in 1958, the first of six children in 10 years. Three of those years were spent in Pisa, Italy, an experience that permeated the rest of her life. The Heys eventually settled in Bern Township, Pennsylvania. Jeanne taught her children to love life, to embrace adventure, and to never be “bored,” a word she abhorred. On any given day, one might find her playing tennis, preparing a delicious meal for a family of eight, shuttling kids to and from activities, planting a garden, helping with homework, and volunteering for a political campaign. It was literally hard to keep up with her. She walked at such a brisk pace that her children had to run to stay at her side. She was elected to the Bern Township Planning Commission and to the Schuylkill Valley School Board. As her children grew and her marriage ended, Jeanne embraced new activities. She became a serious cyclist, biking all over hilly Berks County and beyond with her friends Catherine Shade and Emily Weidener. She earned an MBA at Albright College. During her studies, she discovered a fascination for economics. She enrolled in a Ph.D. program at Lehigh University. At age 57, she earned her doctorate in economics and joined the faculty at Lebanon Valley College. She retired from LVC as chair of the department of economics and political science at age 72. Every summer Jeanne, Emily, and Catherine embarked on a 1000-mile unassisted cycling journey. Carrying their tents, equipment, and provisions on their bikes, they completed the perimeters of states and great lakes, followed the Lewis & Clark Trail, and climbed and descended the Rockies. They continued the tradition deep into their 70s. Jeanne and Catherine also were avid cross-country skiers, traveling to the icy environs of Norway and Alaska in winters. Amidst all her professional and other commitments, Jeanne was always dedicated to her family. She loved to be with her children, their partners, and their children. She was deeply engaged in the lives of all her children and grandchildren, never daunted by the sheer number of them. Every Christmas she hosted the entire family, more than 20 people at a time, in the family farmhouse. Her grandchildren consider those holiday visits among their happiest memories. Jeanne is survived by her children, Jody, Elizabeth (Betsy), Jeanne (Boo), Clem, Jamie, and Christopher Hey. And by their families, Kathy Roberson, Nathan Roberson, Diana Rosenthal-Roberson, Charlie Rosenthal Roberson, Laurel Roberson, Christopher Leibig, Katie Roberson, Molly Engel, Tom Klak, Jackson Hey, Owen Hey, Kimberly Engle, Trevyn Hey, Darien Hey, Kristine Harrison, Melissa Hey, Tom Moutinho, Andrea Hey, Danielle Hey, Cooper Hey, and Maxim Hey. In her later years, Jeanne became active in the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County. She served as the Church’s treasurer during a critical time. As she aged, she found no greater joy than being with her children and grandchildren. Jeanne’s exceptional energy, enthusiasm, and curiosity permeated everything she did. She was a strong woman in every sense – in her achievements, emotions, opinions, talents, and commitments. She was smart, generous, fun, and funny. One is tempted to say that they broke the mold when she was born. Her spirit and influence live on in her loving family’s lives. A gathering will be held from noon to 2 p.m. on Tuesday, December 28, 2021, at the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Berks County, 416 Franklin Street in Reading. Please note that the church requires both proof of vaccination for all eligible individuals and indoor masking. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Hawk Mountain Sanctuary, 1700 Hawk Mountain Road, Kempton, PA 19529; www.hawkmountain.org
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jeanne Hey, please visit our flower store.

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