Jean Pierce Wakefield, age 94, died peacefully at home in East Lyndon surrounded by her family on March 19, 2021. Jean was born on October 13, 1926 at home in Hadleyville; the second of seven children of Leslie and Mildred (Grady) Pierce.
She attended Lyndon Corner School and Lyndon Institute, graduating in 1945. In the fall, she went to Boston, MA to study fashion design at the Vesper George School of Art. Through her instructor Katherine “Kit” Cornell, Jean met Christian Dior and many fashion greats. During her time in Boston she also modeled for Harper’s Bazaar magazine.
A visit to a Boston graded school to work with children on art projects changed Jean’s career path and she decided to become an art teacher. After finishing college in 1949, she returned to Vermont, teaching art first in Newport and then in Windsor. While in Windsor she reconnected with her brother’s friend Bruce Wakefield when he stopped to see her on his way north from Hartford, CT. Jean and Bruce were married in June, 1955 and lived in Hartford until 1956 when they returned to Lyndonville and their home in East Lyndon.
In the early 1960s, Jean became Caledonia North Supervisory Union’s first art teacher, traveling to Red Village School, Lyndon Corner, Lyndon Graded, the Campus School, Squabble Hollow,Wheelock, Sutton, East Haven, Newark, Burke, and West Burke schools.
Jean is survived by her daughter Wendy (Mark) Beattie, son Bruce (Ruthann) Wakefield and daughter Twiladawn (Jack) Perry, plus six grandchildren and two great grandchildren. Her sisters Colleen Kerr of Waitsfield and Janice Trush of Lyndonville survive her, as well as many nieces and nephews.
Jean was predeceased by her husband Bruce in 1973, her parents Leslie and Mildred, brothers James and Edward Wallace “Butch” and sisters Marjorie and Betty. The family wishes to thank the kind staff of Caledonia Home Health and Hospice who cared for during her final months.
Jean will be buried at Lyndon Center and a private graveside service will be held later when Covid restrictions are lifted.
Donations in Jean’s memory can be made to the Lyndon Institute Art Department, P.O. Box 127, 168 Institute Circle, Lyndon Center, VT 05850, or Caledonia Home Health and Hospice,161 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819.
Condolences can be shared with the family at www.guibordfh.com.