Jean Kay (Platts) Kinkade passed away February 3, 2023 at home at the age of 89. Jean was born January 15, 1934 in Green River, Wyoming to loving parents, James William Platts and Susan Florence (Eyre) Platts. She was the only girl of three children and the middle child. Jean had a younger brother, Avard, and an older brother, Larry. Her mother was a wonderful mother that took care of the home and her family while Jean’s father worked on the Union Pacific Railroad to provide for their family. After the children were grown Jean’s mother also went to work for the UP railroad for many years to come.
Jean grew up in Green River, Wyoming. She loved school and always had good grades. Jean was a cheerleader and actually cheer leaded at a Cody/Green River football game where her future husband was playing on the field but she didn’t know it at the time! She also enjoyed swimming and was a lifeguard at the local pool.
Jean didn’t have TV in the early days. She had a wonderful memory of gathering around the radio with her family and listening to baseball games! They were all huge baseball fans! Jean, her mom and Avard loved the Brooklyn Bums (nickname for the Brooklyn Dodgers). Her dad loved the Red Sox and Larry the St. Louis Cardinals. When Jean was in middle school she remembers traveling back east on the passenger train ( it was a free ride with a UP pass ) to Cleveland Ohio to watch their favorite teams play! She said the passenger trains were amazing in those days - sleeper cars, lovely dining cars, etc. They watched some greats such as Satchel Paige, Bob Feller, Joe DiMaggio, Dale Crandall and Ted Williams. They also went to Chicago’s Wrigley Field. Jean said, “Those were the days when baseball was played for the “Love of the game!!” Another fun childhood memory Jean talked about was cranking up the old model “T” when the family went to Lyman to visit family.
Jean loved music. They got their first piano when she was ten years old and she was so excited! Jean became a wonderful pianist. She loved to sing and was always in a choir.
Jean graduated from Green River High school in 1952 and went on to the University of Wyoming where she was a member of the Tri Delta Sorority and was the song leader. Jean graduated with a teaching degree in Elementary Education in 1956. Her first teaching job was in Powell Wyoming where she met the love of her life, Karl Henry Kinkade. Karl was from Cody, Wyoming and going to Northwestern Jr. College in Powell at the time when Jean saw him driving by in a car one day and said, “I’m going to marry that guy!” Sure enough they met and hit it off right away and were married August 17, 1957 in her home in Green River, Wyoming.
Karl and Jean moved to Laramie where Karl finished his degree in mechanical engineering and Jean taught school in a little town, Fox Park, a half an hour away from Laramie. She taught grades five through eight in one room!
Jean loved to teach and through the years was a stay at home mom and taught school in between. Jean loved teaching school and created many Christmas programs for the children. Her favorite grade to teach was first grade. One of the fun memories is how she could arm wrestle the grandchildren. She couldn’t be beat! Jean had a lot of practice arm wrestling all of her students!
Jean and Karl were the proud parents of three children, Jamie Kay (Kinkade), Kristopher Avard Kinkade and Kole Randall Kinkade. Karl and Jean moved numerous times while the children were growing up. Jean always said, “home is wherever we are.”
Jean loved her country with a passion. She stayed up on all the happenings in the political world and would do what she could to make a difference for good there.
Jean was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints and was instrumental in bringing her family into the church. Karl and Jean and family were sealed together in the Idaho Falls temple in October of 1974. Her testimony of the Savior was so bright and strong. Jean served in many callings in the church. Her favorite calling was to be the pianist in Primary. Jean loved the children and the Primary songs so much.
Jean was always a very grateful person. She was a classy little lady that had much wit and humor in life. Family was always number one to her and she loved her family with all her heart. She was always "Gram" to the grandchildren and great grandchildren. The love of Jean's life, Karl, passed away in November of 2020. They were inseparable. Jean was happiest when she was with her family and especially Karl. Jean and Karl were two Wyoming kids that loved Wyoming and also loved the Northwest and spent a lot of time living there. They loved to hike and take walks, take road trips, ride the ferry across Puget Sound and explore wherever they went. We know that there is a wonderful happy reunion with her beloved Karl, and we are so grateful for eternal families. Jean left a wonderful legacy behind. Her family loves her so very much and she will be so greatly missed.
Jean is survived by her children, Kole (Sherri) Kinkade and Jamie (Dale) Barnes, 17 grandchildren and 32 great grandchildren. A family graveside service will take place at the Afton Wyoming Cemetery in the spring of 2023.