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19 Rock Island Rd
East Wenatchee, WA 98802
Phone: 509-470-6702
Fax: 509-470-6186
Jean Gere

Jean D Gere

Sunday, June 2nd, 1929 - Saturday, November 28th, 2020
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On 6/2/29 Jean Gere, the oldest of 4 children of Roy and Dorothy Harless was born in Hamill, South Dakota, at the farmhouse of her most favorite paternal grandmother, Gertrude Harless. Through out her childhood years Jean loved being on this farm assisting with all the chores especially feeding the chickens. Jean was a good high school student and grandmother Harless had plans to fund Jean’s college education to become a teacher. Jean graduated from Winner , S.D. High School in June, 1947.


All family plans for college changed abruptly when Jean fell in love with her navy man Dean Gere. Dean was discharged from the Navy in 1946. Jean described Dean as Tall (all of 5-10) Dark (only his black curly hair) and Handsome (correct). They were married with a beautiful formal summer wedding on 6/8/1947 in Winner, South Dakota.


In 1953 to be close to family, Jean and Dean relocated to Dryden, Washington. They remained all their 40 years of married life in Dryden raising 6 children in the same home affectionately named by Jean “The Old Blue House”. For both Jean and Dean having a family was a priority . Jean had 5 of their 6 children by the age of 23 years. Dean and Jean were parents FIRST above all else in their lives.

Husband Dean passed away in 1987 of lung cancer. Jean continued to live for the next 20 years in “The Old Blue House” surrounded in love by their expanding family of 6 children, 13 grandchildren, and

31 great grandchildren.

“ Thus we see that the family is the basis of life”
(Jean Harless Gere; Philosophy of Life; High School Essay, 1947)


In 2016 when her dementia became too debilitating Jean moved to assisted living Mountain Meadows, Leavenworth, Wa. Jean passed away at Mountain Meadows on 11/28/2020.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents Roy and Dorothy Harless; Brothers Floyd and Lee Harless; Sister Phyllis Salem; Husband Dean Gere; Son Dell Gere; daughter-in- law Donna Gere (Jerry); and grandson KC Gere (Dell & Marcia Gere).

Jean is survived by children Pam (Bill) Cronrath Wenatchee, Wa; Twyla (Loren) Darlington Dryden, Wa.;

Daughter in Law Marcia Gere (Dell) Sun City, Az; son Jerry Gere, Peshastin, Wa; son John Gere Wenatchee, Wa and son Scott (Denise) Casa Grande, Az. She is also survived by 13 Grand children and 31 great grandchildren.



Throughout our family lives together whenever some unexpected event (like the boat motor falling off into the ocean) we would all say “okay we just made another story”

Pam Cronrath Daughter (oldest) married to Bill Cronrath (oldest son in law): My Mom was known by most as truly an outstanding “Listener”. When I left home for College I began a life-long practice of a daily phone call to Mom. In the early years many calls had to be made at a phone booth with coins ( a memorable challenge itself). This daily touch base became expected and accepted by my husband Bill and close friends; “Pam has got to call her Mom”. Even though I never discussed my phone call practice with Mom; Now at 72 years myself, with our sons raised and grandchildren, I recognize how much Mom must have relished those conversations.

Twyla Darlington Daughter: I loved living up the road from my Mom all these years where I could have coffee every morning with her. She was always the best listener. I will miss taking her with me to all the grandkids events. She was fun to be with and would get so excited watching them play their sports. Mom taught me the true meaning of being dedicated to family.

Chris Cronrath Grandson (Pam /Bill Cronrath): Hanging out with my Grandpa you could always count on my Grandma making early morning pancakes with eggs smothered over them; mid-day hot fresh homemade bread with butter and jelly; and late night hot tea (Grandpa’s drink of choice) with hamburgers off the fryer, and rice crispy treats for dessert. All of this served up by Grandma with never a complaint; just lots of love.

Rod Cronrath Grandson (Pam /Bill Cronrath): We lost our beautiful “ Gram “ last night. Gram was the most kind and caring person I’ve ever MET or KNOWN. She always found the best in all people; even when others wouldn’t or couldn’t; continually bringing folks back together, never apart. She was the center of entire family for as long as any of us can remember. Love you forever and I will see you again one day.

John Gere Son: My mom always made me feel safe and protected. As s young boy I cut my knee on barb wire while putting our horse away. I ran bawling to the house where my Dad started dabbing turpentine on my cut. Mom appears and says “Dean what are you doing? “ She grabbed me up and into the car we went; pedal to the medal to the local doctor. 15 stitches later Mom took me home to sleep like a baby that night.

Scott Gere Son (Denise Gere): I am the youngest (61 yrs) of the 6 children. I truly was the BABY of the family and loved every day of being spoiled rotten by the whole family. I was so much younger that I was able to be the flower boy in my oldest sister’s wedding. Wife Denise says Jean was the person she could always count on to sit and really LISTEN to her. Our entire family loves fishing . For our family reunions we would all gather at Smugglers Resort Orcas Island Wa. to celebrate Mom’s BIG birthdays (70, 75, 80). Mom’s one huge fish (we call him Walter) was very long and difficult for her to reel in, but finally he surfaced with this huge head, bulging eyes, and our net really not big enough. We all gazed at Walter but with one flip of his head, line snapped, Walter swam off to live another day.

Eric Gere Grandson (Dell & Marcia Gere): There are very few people in this world who are able to live a life the way my Gram lived hers. Many people talk about loving unconditionally, her love WAS always unconditional. Many people talk about being kind, nice, and genuine to all friend or stranger; she was always that to everyone. Anyone that met my Gram loved her and was loved by her. My Gram, love you the way you loved us all….with the purest of all love. May the angels lead you in.

Heidi Brown Granddaughter (Loren/Twyla Darlington): Much of who I am as a mother is a direct result of Gram’s love, devotion, and modeling through the years. Countless cups of coffee have been shared around her kitchen table in the old blue house. She was always my sounding board and I have yet to meet a better example of offering unconditional love. Having the opportunity to share my amazing Gram with my own kids and watch them grow to appreciate her in the same way as I do, is a true blessing. You have left impossible shoes to fill Gram, but I will do my best to continue to make you proud through what you have taught me about devotion to family.

Sabrina Ames Granddaughter ( Scott /Denise Gere): I remember all the many times she would open the front door to total strangers (like Jehovah Witness) to let them tell her all about their religion (for the thousandth time) while filling them up with coffee and goodies. She had her own religion but she knew how important it was for them to share their belief of salvation. I remember how she made me feel I always had a home and was Always loved. She had a way of speaking to me that made me feel so super special. She made sure I knew with every fiber in my body that family was the best.

Paul Darlington Grandson (Loren/Twyla Darlington): One of the things I remember the most was how all of the Grandkids wanted to stay the night at Gram’s house. How could you not? We played ball or tag until dark. Then we would run in to the house with the smell of fresh home made bread and hot chocolate, or homemade pie, or her famous Special K bars. After eating we would head to the living room to build our own Taj Mahal. Gram would let us pull off all the couch cushions and blankets to the floor for our night’s adventure. Yes, it was always a dream to spend the night with our beautiful “Grammy”. I love my Gram with all my breaking heart.

Matt Darlington Grandson (Loren/Twyla Darlington): Gram was the face for Dryden for many years. People would come from all over to taste her home made bread, apple pie, ginger snaps, or Special K bars. From the world’s best cooking to wiffle ball in the yard, trips to the Dryden store, fishing in the river, swimming in the ditch, sledding down the hill, shooting hoops front yard, with all the neighborhood kids gathering at the old blue house. My grandma was all about family. We live in a world where everyone is quick to find fault in someone, but she was always there to compliment. Gram had no social status agenda she loved and welcomed all. Rest in Peace and I will see you in heaven.

Kristiana Spoor Grandaughter (John Gere): I have treasured and kept every letter my Grandma has written me over the years. She never missed a moment to write me a letter to keep me up to date on everything happening with the family. She is the main reason why I have a relationship with my Dad today. I still remember when I would visit the old blue house and she would call everyone in the family to let them know I was visiting. It makes my heart happy to know how much she always wanted to include me. I like to think the baker in me comes through from her. Today heaven gained the most perfect angel.

Jerry Gere Son: When I moved back to Peshastin from Shelton I would stop by almost daily in the afternoon for a chat on my way home from work. Mom would tell me stories of her childhood and early married life in S.D. As a young teen to pay for her “extras” she would go out into the empty fields nearby and collect old dried cow bones and sell them. She also told me when the Doctor told her she was having twins (me being one), she was so happy and excited she floated all the way home from the office.
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No services at this time.; A Celebration of Life is scheduled for next summer.


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Heidi Brown

Posted at 09:23pm

Gram, to summarize your influence on my life would be near impossible. So much of who I am today is a direct result of your love and devotion to me through the years. You have always been my sounding board, my safe place to cry, as well as one of the first places I would run to share any good news. I will always remember having coffee with you and mom at your kitchen table in the old blue house, reminiscing of days gone by or tackling the problems of the world. There has never been a better listener than you, a softer place to land, or a better role model for true acceptance of others and unconditional love. I am certain it will take some time to process the flood of emotions I have, but I know it will bring me comfort to see you living on in those around me, especially my kids. To have been touched by your love was special enough, but to have had the opportunity to share my amazing Gram with my own kids, and watch them grow to love you in the same way I do, is a true blessing that I don’t take for granted. It was a joy to watch them participate in childhood traditions, like measuring their height each year on the kitchen wall and comparing their "ranking" with others in the family, or our annual trick-or-treating stop at the old blue house. Without question, my views on motherhood and devotion to family are directly passed down to me from you and through your influence on my mom.

My childhood was rich beyond anything money can buy and at the center of it all was Grandma Jean and the old blue house. It was the gathering place and she was the glue that connected our very large and passionate family. I will always remember staying the night at her house with cousins, the very loud train going by in the night (that grew to become a comforting sound), and the smell of homemade bread and cinnamon rolls coming out of the oven. Family gatherings included countless games of football (I was the only girl), whiffle ball tournaments (a few broken windows), competitive games of may day (tag), trips to the Dryden Store, stern talks about riding bikes in the road (rescued by grandpa from the dump), getting too close to the river or the bin lot, and upsetting “pecker pecker” (some of my cousins will remember this and chuckle 😉). Let’s also not forget the many basketball games and “PIG” competitions with “Johnny Be Good.” Gram would often cheer or referee from her chair under the carport.

I was always so proud of my Gram, realizing her extra-special qualities even as a young child when I would invite her to school for grandparents day at school and she shone so bright, stood out in the crowd, and eventually had many less fortunate students who didn't have a grandparent to bring to school, gathered around her as well. There wasn't a kid she didn't love like her own and she was pretty much a magnet to them. I quickly realized that Gram was the go-to gal for any baked treats for school functions and that carried well into adulthood for work parties and social functions where a dessert was needed. Her baking was just another way she offered to lessen the load for everyone.

Life was a true adventure with Gram and she was always ready and willing to come along on family vacations. I am so fortunate to have had the opportunity to have her travel with my mom to all of my basketball games, on into college, experienced many trips to Orcas Island with a good majority of our extended family, and even travel with her to Hawaii, where she rode horses with us ladies at the age of 81. There isn’t much that Gram wasn’t willing to do. She even attended a Prince concert with me…these are just some of the many fond memories that come to mind when I reflect on the amazing woman my Gram was. While it is incredibly hard to say good-bye to a true angel on Earth, I know she is welcomed with open arms by Grandpa Dean, Uncle Dell, K.C., and her sister Phyllis, amongst many other friends and family that went before her.

RIP Gram. You have left huge shoes (that are impossible) to fill, but your legacy will live on through our wonderful family that you have touched with your love and dedication. I love you! ❤ 😇 ❤

Amber Gere

Posted at 11:47am
White Granny,
You got that nickname from your Tanner Boy. Man, the looks we'd get when he'd shout that out as a little boy... he loved your puffy white cotton hair and lovingly gave you that name and it just stuck. I am so greatful I had you, when I had him. You were my rock and constant supporter. You instilled the family first ALWAYS mantra I have/will always live by.
I am so greatful for you and all you've (silently) done to help me in life. I am so lucky and thankful to be raised by you...the most kind hearted, loving, caring granny in the whole wide world!

I'm so excited you get to finally start living again.

You are my heart, I love you for always and ever! 💗

Ps. It drove me bonkers when you wanted me to sit down and watch your pictures go by on your computer or interupt a conversation to say "oh, look at that one" or "Oh no, you missed it" You would beam with pride looking at your family and I would groan. I'd do anything go back to that and so many many other moments in time.

Eric Gere

Posted at 06:35pm
Gram: You were always the highlight of every trip over the mountains! You were there waiting for us in the ol' blue house with baked goods galore, ice cream and other goodies. You knew exactly how to make everyone feel welcome and loved. I will forever cherish those mornings when I would wake up early, climb out from under mounds of blankets you had on the upstairs beds, and head down to the kitchen where it would be just me, you, and my dad in your kitchen talking, eating pancakes and sausage, and drinking coffee. You would give us the update on all of the family, making sure even the bad stuff had a good spin on it.

Until the day when I can hug you again, you will be in my thoughts and prayers! Your grandson, Eric Gere.

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