Jean Godwin

Jean M. Godwin, 93, of Chilton passed away peacefully on May 3, 2020 at home where she lived with her daughter Pat and grand-daughter Shannon.

The daughter of Leo P. and Georgianna M. Dohr (Ortlieb), Jean was born in Chilton on Oct. 3, 1926. Growing up in Chilton she attended grade school at St. Charles Barrmeo Catholic School (locally known as St. Charles) in Charlesburg. She later attended St. Augustine Catholic School graduating from eighth grade in 1941. Jean attended and graduated from Chilton High School in 1945. Shortly after graduating, she along with other young women from Midwest cities were recruited and hired to work in San Francisco at the Port of Embarkation where they would begin work as secretaries/typists etc., supporting the Armed Forces need for workers when the shift of the full war effort moved to the Pacific. As part of their training at the busy Army transportation port centered at Ft. Mason, they were instructed in military correspondence and Allied subjects. When initially interviewed for this job, Jean stated simply that she signed up because she wanted to travel and that she had a private interest as her older brother was in the Navy and stationed in San Francisco at the time. About a year later when her contract ended she returned to Chilton sharing with her family and friends how very much she enjoyed the challenge and experience afforded her during the time spent in San Francisco.

On May 21, 1947 Jean married LaMar J. Tyrrell at St. Augustine Church, Chilton and together they had three children, Patricia (Pat), Thomas, and Mark. Shortly after marrying, LaMar re-enlisted in the U.S. Army having served his first enlistment prior to meeting and marrying Jean. During his Army career the family moved many times, living on Army posts throughout the U.S. Jean and children also lived in Austria in the early 1950s during the Occupation when LaMar received orders for this European assignment. They formed life-long military friendships keeping in touch over the years with one another. Tragically LaMar died in a car accident on May 19, 1960 at the age of 38 leaving Jean a young widow with three small children.

In 1962 Jean and children moved to Tallahassee, Florida. She was a stay-at-home mother until the youngest, Mark, began school. Leading up to that Jean began honing her secretarial skills in which she excelled, thus enabling her to easily secure employment. Some years later while still living in Tallahassee she met James H. Godwin, a U.S. Army major stationed in Pensacola, Florida and whom she would later marry on Oct. 29, 1971. She moved to Pensacola where she worked for the State of Florida, Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services until her retirement. A few years following Jim’s retirement in 1986 as a major in the Army Reserves they decided to return to Wisconsin where they would make Chilton home. Sadly Jim passed away on July 24, 2014.

Friends and family remember Jean as a strong and resilient person, feisty and energetic and not afraid to speak her mind. She always rallied when challenges presented themselves. “She was a walking talking history book when it came to facts about Chilton, its residents and businesses of long ago,” as reflected by her daughter, Pat. “She would often tell people how proud she was to have been born in Chilton.” Jean reminisced while talking about her brothers with pride as to their athletic skills and how she and her dad would attend all of their sports events in high school. Her love of sports did not end there as there was no bigger fan of all things Wisconsin—the Packers, Brewers, and the Badgers.

Jean loved travel and did so over the many years. Age didn’t slow her down when the long road trips ceased as you could see her driving around Chilton and the countryside with her furry companion, Bailey, the family dog, riding shotgun.

Jean was the consummate party planner and hostess delighting her guests with delicious meals giving much of the credit for her culinary skills by watching her dad and husband LaMar cook. “I learned from the best.”

Friends who knew her described her as classy, never a hair out of place, dressed to the nines and never being caught without her lipstick on.

Family remembers her for her passion and steadfast devotion to God, family, and country. She was also known to be generous to a fault.

Jean is survived by her daughter Pat Oaks, Chilton and son Thomas L. Tyrrell (Diane), Kewaunee. Also surviving her is her youngest brother Gerald F. Dohr (Maureen), of Elm Grove. Grandchildren are Shannon Meitner, Stephanie Meitner, Shane Meitner (Jessica), Ashley Lisch (Jake), Brianna Tyrrell, and step-grandson Paul Manske.

Surviving great-grandchildren are Keenan Meitner, Mackenzie Meitner, Gavin, Gabriel and Grayson Meitner, Mayta and Grace Lisch, and Nicholas and Piper Tyrrell. A great-great grandchild is expected to be born this October.

She is also survived by nephews and nieces Michael Dohr (Mak Nai), Robert Dohr (Regina), Mary Ellen Abraham and Patty Landolt (Rob), Susan Plate (Ken), Donna Kulas (Gary), and Tom Kramer (Jean).

Preceeding Jean in death are her husbands, LaMar J. Tyrrell and James H. Godwin; an infant daughter; son Mark Tyrell; her parents Leo and Jan Dohr; a sister and brother-in-law, Dorothy and Wayne Kramer; and a brother and sister-in-law, Robert and Yvonne Dohr. Additionally, LaMar’s parents William and Violet Tyrrell passed before her as did her brother-in-law William Jr. and Carol Tyrrell; and sisters-in-law and their spouses, Darlyne and Leonard Behnke, Betty and Waldo Greider, Califern (Cally) and Donald Schleh, and Joann and Jack Wrase.

A special thank you to family and friends for the support given to Pat and Shannon while caring for Jean, as well as to the excellent care and compassion by Ascension Hospice and Health care providers with special recognition to Kris, Joy, and Cliff.

Following Jean’s wishes and with the assistance for funeral arrangements by Heart of the Valley Cremation Services of Kimberly, cremation has taken place. While a member of Good Shepherd Catholic Church, Jean asked that a private family graveside service be planned which is to take place this October at St. Augustine Cemetery.

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