Jean Edith Albade
Jun 28, 1918 – Feb 28, 2017
I was born in Omaha, Nebraska in 1918 to Albert Berlin and Rose Clark. My mother, a vibrant headstrong matriarch and my father a kind, loving, intelligent self-taught man, had two children, my younger brother Marvin Edward and me, Jean Edith Berlin. They raised their children during the Great Depression in Omaha where my father worked for the Union Pacific Railroad. Later they moved to Westwood in Los Angeles, where my dad found a job working for the Los Angeles Railway, also known as the Yellow Cars, a system of streetcars.
My college education brought me to UCLA where I shared a room with consummate prankster, Lois Virginia Jensen, at the all women Mira Hershey Hall, room 214, on Hilgard Street. Built by the famous chocolate magnate it was a lovely Italian Renaissance Building with a fountain in the middle of a courtyard where the residents all spent time together. We received our Liberal Arts degrees in 1943 during WWll, when the woman who became my best friend forced me to take roller coaster rides in POP [Pacific Ocean Park]. She laughed herself sick when she accidentally hit me in the face, giving me a bloody nose when the coaster car sent us flying.
After college we joined the armed forces together as Waves, Women Accepted for Volunteer Emergency Service, a unit of the U.S. Naval Reserve. Initially I was sent to Hunter College in New York for training and went on working as a Pharmacist’s Mate stationed in both Seattle and San Diego. I was responsible for collecting needles to clean off the burrs, taking the syringes and running them thru autoclaves. After practicing the skill of piercing skin with a needle on Southern California oranges, I gave penicillin shots to the men in long halls with a flashlight tucked under my arm at night. In San Diego I worked in Balboa Park in what is now the gift shop in The Fine Arts Museum.
My best friend went her own way, staying in Los Angeles, and I moved on to Chicago to live with my parents’ good friends, where I had the great fortune to live in a house designed by Frank Lloyd Wright. Because her own daughter was not around, my Mother’s friend directed her maternal energy towards me. She dressed me in beautiful clothing and sent me out on dates, but only after giving me a stiff cocktail to loosen me up. I think she felt I was too reserved and required social lubrication.
Chicago was filled with handsome fertile men returning home from war. It was a time for many celebrations, one of which took me to Wells and Helen Albade's traditional Chicago home to celebrate their eldest son's homecoming from the South Pacific. He had fought to clear the enemy on the island of Luzon in the Philippines so US troops could land out of harm’s way. This was a bloody exhausting experience he was unable to shake off the rest of his life. Before I laid eyes on him coming down the formal staircase I had heard his voice and fell in love with him. That was that.
He eventually proposed (with some meddling from my over-assertive mother Rose), leaving thoughts of considering the priesthood and other women behind. Our marriage bore fruit. Our eldest daughter Pamela Ann Decker and later my husband's namesake Wells Tete Albade, III (Trey) were born in Chicago. When my first child turned out to be a girl instead of the expected male heir to the throne my father-in-law was annoyed with me and never forgave me. I convinced my husband to leave his family in Chicago and move to California. His family never forgave me for this either. Our third and last child was born in Palo Alto hospital in 1952. She was named Lois Marguerite after my best friend from UCLA.
We bought our first home in Palo Alto with a loan from the VA. Later we bought our second home, another postwar tract house, in San Jose, which is now known as Silicon Valley. We were surrounded by so many young families teeming with lots of children for our kids to play with. They had epic softball games in the intersection in front of our house under a bright phosphorescent street light until late on hot summer nights.
We became proud grandparents of three wonderful children. The first two (Matthew and Anna) are sfrom our daughter Pam and son-in-law Russell Jorgensen. The third (Kaelin) was born to our son Trey and daughter in law Jennifer after we moved to Seattle.
The small community we moved to in Burien, Washington used to be dairy farms. We lived in a rustic cottage, which was rebuilt by Trey and Jennifer, and it was she who gave me so much loving care in my later years. And this is my final resting place, in my grandchild Kaelin’s now third generation cottage where my earthly remains are commingled with the man whose voice I heard on that stairwell in Chicago.
I thank my loving family for their intimate care and for sharing their lives with me. I have left many of life's struggles out of my story in favor of leaving only the riches of goodness behind.
. . . I was once a very young woman who grew to be very old and aged to perfection.
I am preceded in death by: Husband - Wells Tete Albade, Jr. (1916-1998), Mother - Rose Clark Berlin (1897-1999), Father - Albert Edward Berlin (1895-1960), Brother - Marvin Edward Berlin (1920-2012)
I am survived by: Eldest Daughter - Pam Jorgensen, Son-in-law - Russell Jorgensen, Son - Wells ‘Trey’ Albade, III, Daughter-in-law - Jennifer Albade, Youngest Daughter - Lois Harrington, Son-in-law - Marshall Harrington, Grandson - Matthew Jorgensen, Granddaughter - Anna Jorgensen, Granddaughter - Kaelin Albade.
Private Ceremony will be held in May of 2017 to commingle the ashes of Jean and Wells and lay them to rest.
This obituary is provided by Bonney-Watson, providing caring and compassionate funeral, cremation and cemetery services since 1868. We have a professional staff, four funeral homes, two cremation facilities and one of the largest cemeteries south of Seattle, as well as a comprehensive grief support program.