Cornell, Jean Emma (Babcock) Jean was born in Matawan, Minnesota, on August 25, 1924, the youngest of six children, to Arthur and Emma (née Stiebler; foster parents' name, Ellenberg) Babcock. She entered the arms of her Heavenly Father on July 27, 2020, at the age of 95. She was preceded in death by Donald, her loving husband of nearly 70 years; parents; sisters Carol (Charles) McGrath; Marie (Wilbur "Bill") Peterson; Doris (Leonard) Whalen; brothers: Terence (Lorraine) Babcock; Lora (Pauline) Babcock. Jean is survived by her sons Lee (Valerie "Jo") Cornell and Brian (LuAnn) Cornell; grandchildren Adam (Aubrey) Cornell; Heather (Mike) Geariety; Sarah (Joel) Ihrie; Caitlyn (Crystal) Johnson; Allison (Ted) Bickel; and Brett (Amanda) Cornell; great-grandchildren Joseph Geariety; Shepard and Adelaide Cornell; Jonah and Luca Ihrie; Sibley Johnson; Hudson, Sutter, and Shae Bickel; and Connor Cornell; and many nieces and nephews. After graduating from college at age 19, she taught school while Don served as a Navy pilot in WWII. Jean Babcock and Donald Cornell were married in New Richland, Minnesota, on December 16, 1944. They began their teaching careers and their family in Iowa. In 1959 the family moved to St. Louis Park, Minnesota, where Don taught school and Jean taught part-time, but mostly dedicated herself to being a wonderful mother to Lee and Brian. They joined Westwood Lutheran Church, where they remained as active members for almost 60 years. Her belief in God's plan for her never wavered and she drew strength from that throughout her lifetime. From 1970 until she retired in 1985, she was the Upper School Librarian at Blake Schools. A lifelong student, she had received her Master of Science Degree in Information Media in the fall of 1978. Don and Jean had extensive gardens, and she displayed her artistic talent by arranging stunning bouquets. She was exquisitely talented in many aspects of needlework, including tatting, embroidery, hardanger, and intricate needlepoint, as well as quilting. Years before the internet was available Jean traced her genealogy and was accepted into the Daughters of the American Revolution as well as the Mayflower Society after proving her direct bloodline to a passenger on the Mayflower. Jean and Don traveled widely, covering most of the United States and 21 foreign countries. They were dedicated bridge players, a game which she enjoyed into her 90's. She was a life-long reader of serious literature and a terrific cook. Baking was her specialty; a talent passed to her from her mother. One Christmas Eve two 6-year-old grandchildren asked if they could each have another home-made roll ... instead of dessert! Among her many talents and interests, Jean was a naturalist from her earliest days. Of the many blessings that she bestowed upon her loving sons, one of the greatest was the joy of, and interest in, all things in God's creation. In their retirement, Don and Jean were able to spend much of the summer and fall at the family cabin near Hackensack, Minnesota. She reveled in walks down the gravel road with grandchildren in hand, looking for agates and describing bugs and birds and wildflowers and the connections between them. Above all else, she deeply loved her family and treasured each and every moment with them. She was an ardent supporter of the many sporting events and activities in which her sons, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren participated and was in attendance at a countless number of them. Due to the pandemic, a private family service will be held at Westwood Lutheran Church in St. Louis Park on August 10th. Memorials preferred to Westwood Lutheran Church, your local library, or donor's choice. Washburn-McReavy.com Strobeck Johnson 952-938-9020
Jean Emma (Babcock) Cornell
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