Mary "Jean" Cruz

Aug 30, 1933 – Jun 10, 2016


Mary “Jean” Beaton Cruz

Mary “Jean” Beaton Cruz, 82, passed away at her Sea Tac home June 10, 2016 surrounded by her children and family, after a three year courageous battle with Bulbar Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS).  The second of two children Jean was born August 30, 1933 to Angus and Eva Beaton. She graduated from Olean High School in 1950 and attended Mercy Nursing School in Buffalo, NY, graduating in 1953.  There she met a handsome young intern, Floro Cruz, and they were married in 1954. That same year, Floro and Jean moved west to Butte, Montana, going back to New York in 1957 before returning to Butte in 1959.  Four children later, they moved to Seattle in 1961 where they had their last two children, raising all six children in the Seattle area until 1973, when they moved to Pendleton, Oregon.  In 1981 they re-located back to the Seattle area.

Jean was dedicated to her family and grandchildren.  Memories of ‘Gramma’s Camp’ will live on for years.  She tirelessly worked on a book that was published in 2003 about her deaf-blind son, titled, “The Road To Autonomy”.  She lived a life of helping people, and as a registered nurse, worked at hospitals in in New York, Montana, Washington and Oregon until her retirement. Jean took great satisfaction in being able to bring communion to confined and ill parishioners unable to attend Mass.  Some of her fondest work memories were at Wesley Homes in Des Moines where she touched many lives and developed life-long friendships. 

Jean was preceded in death by her husband Floro and is survived by her children Jeanette (Joe), Cyndi, Gerry (Kathy), Larry (Gina), Eva and Eugene.  She is survived by her sister Donna, 14 grandchildren, 9 great-grandchildren and many loving nieces and nephews.  We will all greatly miss her.

A rosary prayer service will be held Thursday, June 23, 2016 at 7:00pm in the chapel at Bonney-Watson Memorial in Sea Tac. She will be laid to rest next to Floro on Friday the 24th at 12:30pm.  A Memorial Mass will be held on June 25th at 9:00am at St. Philomena Catholic Church in Des Moines followed by a reception in the parish hall.  Donations may be made to the National Association of the Deaf (NAD), 14150 Newbrook Drive, Suite 110, Chantilly, VA 20151, or The ALS Foundation, 19226 66th Ave. S., Kent, WA  98032.



Bonnie Larson
Seattle, WA
Jul 10, 2016

Jean has been a great friend for fifty years. We met at Community Services for the Blind where she was an inspiration to me and other families. She often surprised me with her creative solutions.

I recall when we were trying to get our children into school. We encountered resistance from the local special education director. Jean suggested we hold fundraising events to gather money to sue the school district. One of the events she arranged was a movie screening and had JP Patches and Gertrude there! We had a great turnout.

Jean learned the US Secretary of Education was in town. She tracked him to a local hotel and got him on the telephone. She explained our situation and learned the federal government would pay 100% of the cost to educate our deaf-blind children! This got our children in school before they were four years old. Because of Jean our four children were the only deaf-blind children in the nation attending local schools. All others were attending residential schools. Thus, Jean began a movement that seeks to have special education students attend school in the least restrictive environment.

A few years later my husband's mother was hospitalized. Jean was one of her nurses. Jean made certain she was at the hospital when Al visited his mother after work each afternoon. And she was there when his mother died. She provide Al with confidence his mother was receiving great care and comforted him when she died.

Jean was a gracious hostess and a tireless worker who improved the lives of her family, friends and community.

She was a class act! We are better for her having been part of our lives.

Carol Nolan Mercer
Columbia, SC
Jun 20, 2016

I haven't seen Jean since we graduated from Nursing School in 1953. I will always remember that she was the "baby" in our class, being the youngest of all of us. I have kept in touch with her by e-mail since i its inception. I own a copy of her book and have shared it with my son and his wife who have a "special" child. Such a smart lady she was. Rest in Peace, Jean.

Judy Pugh
Burien, WA
Jun 18, 2016

Jean was a wonderful person to work with at Bow Lake Elementary School, near where she lived in SeaTac. She volunteered in the Deaf and Hard of Hearing classes off and on. Eugene was one of the first students in the deaf program and his mother Jean was always there to help. She was skilled in sign language and would give encouragement to the deaf or deaf/blind students. I am also hearing impaired and enjoyed her as a friend during my years working with the staff at the school. She was such a lovely person and those that worked around her will always have fond memories of Jean. May the peace of the Lord be with you, especially at this time of bereavement.

Emmanuel Cayetano and family
Fresh Meadows, NY
Jun 18, 2016

Our heartfelt sympathy and condolences, to my cousins and their families, our prayerful intentions for the demise and repose of the soul of our beloved Auntie Jean. May you rest in peace. My Lord Jesus Christ, Son of the Living God, have mercy on the soul of aunt Jean, ourselves and the whole world. Amen.

Kurtis Cruz
Federal Way, WA
Jun 18, 2016

My grandmother was very kind, giving, and devoted to her children and grandchildren. All of her grandchildren will never forget summer camp and our news recordings with her and Eugene. She was always there to listen and help anyone who needed it. She will be missed dearly by all. When life seemed impossible, Grandma would tell me "you can do it, I know you can", which not only strengthened me, but inspired me to be a better person and pursue my dreams and return to school. Those kind words accompanied by a hug will never be forgotten

I Love you Grandma and will always miss you.

Harry And Darlene Snider
Yuma, Az
Jun 18, 2016

As long as there is one person alive that remembers her, she will never die!!! May she rest in peace!!

Greg Auman
Broken Arrow, OK
Jun 17, 2016

What an awesome aunt. A.J. brought laughter and joy to my heart many times. The impact she has had on my heart will last til the day I pass away. She will be missed physically by me, but what is in my heart toward her will live on for a long time. I love her and am eternally grateful that I have been honored to have such an amazing lady to call my Aunt A.J.

Cyndi King
SeaTac, WA
Jun 17, 2016

I love and miss you Mom......until we all meet again.

Elaine Alvarez
Kent, WA
Jun 16, 2016

It was such a joy and privilege to know Jean. Her kindness and gentleness would shine through to everyone there at Wesley when we would bring communion to the resident parishioners. I miss you, Jean. Rest in peace.


Thomas and Rose Cavagnaro and family
Chandler, AZ
Jun 16, 2016

Our heartfelt sympathy, prayers and love to the bereaved Cruz family. Aunt Jean will be greatly missed by her loved ones, relatives, friends and community. Rest in peace in Christ, Aunt Jean!

Janet Runnion Koch
Pendleton, OR
Jun 16, 2016

Much love and many prayers to the family. May you find peace in knowing she's in the arms of Jesus. Bless all of you.

Ray Auman
Wellsville , NY
Jun 16, 2016

We will forever love you Aunt Jean. Rest in piece and someday we will meet in heaven.

donna M. Kayes.
Portville , N.
Jun 16, 2016

It is Thursday night and we have talked every Thursday night for years. This will be our last one but I will always love you and think of you every Thursday night. I LOVE YOU SISTER

Elaine Ellsworth
Auburn, Wa
Jun 16, 2016

Jean and I worked together at Wesley. She was a great nurse, full of compassion and had a great sense of humor.

Rest in peace my friend.

Jocelyn and Bert Varner
Napa, Ca
Jun 16, 2016

What a beautiful write up about your mom, wish I had a chance to meet her, she sounds like such a kind, loving person who raised a bautiful family. It's never easy losing a parent..hold on to your memories and each other and know that she is now at peace.

Much love to you all,

Jocelyn and Bert

Eva Cruz
Seattle, WA
Jun 16, 2016

I Love and Miss You Mommy!

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