Emma Jean (Jean) Heath, 85, of Farmington passed away Sunday, May 16, 2021 in Farmington, New Mexico. She was born August 2, 1935 in Aztec, New Mexico, to Douglas and Emma Belle Brown, the second of five daughters and one son. She lived briefly in Aztec but spent the rest of her life as a resident of Farmington.
Jean graduated Farmington High School in 1953 as a member of the National Honor Society, National Music Honor Society, the High School band, serving as a majorette for three years, and as the Music Queen of 1953. After high school she worked for Lyle Adjustment Company where she met Rodney Heath. They were married November 4, 1954 in a small ceremony at her parent's home, and together they raised five sons, Forrest Frosty (Jeri) of Katy, Texas, Gary (Karen) of Farmington, Doug (Leslie) of Sacramento, California, Thomas Randy, deceased, and Bryan (Becky) of Farmington.
Jean's life was devoted to family and service to others, serving in community organizations including Cub Scouts (den mother), Junior Women's Club (President), and for 38 years in the Philanthropic Educational Organization (P.E.O.), serving as President, other officer positions, and on many committees. As a member of the Homerunner's Club for 18 years, serving as an officer for three years, she dished up sloppy joes, snow cones and soft drinks at ball parks all over town.
She was a member of the San Juan Regional Medical Center Auxiliary, a volunteer group of hundreds of women dedicated to serving the needs of patients and their visitors and raising funds and donations for needed hospital equipment. Jean served at various times as President, Vice President in charge of fund raising, 2nd Vice President, Chairman of the program committee, and liaison with the teenage volunteers.
For her life-long devotion to serving others, in 1990 the Farmington Chamber of Commerce recognized Jean as the Humanitarian of the Year.
Though Jean resided her entire life in Farmington, she was a traveler whenever an opportunity arose. She explored all 50 states and Washington D.C., and then filled her passports with adventures to more than twenty countries around the globe. But, ever mindful of family, she always reserved Sisters Week for venturing and vacationing with her four sisters. She cherished Sisters Weeks above all other travels.
Even all these responsibilities and interests were not enough to keep her from her true passion - her flower gardens. She spent countless hours nurturing her babies. As a member of the San Juan African Violet Society, she won numerous awards including Queen of Show on multiple occasions. She was also proud of her rose garden and orchids.
She is survived by her sons, two sisters, Ibby Lee Wickie Crawford of Austin, Texas and Flora Mae Cokie Birdsong of El Centro, California, eight grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, and numerous cousins, nieces, and nephews.
She was preceded in death by her husband, Rodney Heath, her son Randy, her parents, two sisters, Eleanor Duvon Vonnie Purcella, and Mary Anne Jordan, and brother, Doug Brown Jr.
Cremation will take place and a memorial service held for Jean at 10:00 a.m. Monday, May 24, 2021 at Emmanuel Baptist Church, 211 W. 20th Street in Farmington with Pastor David Brittain officiating. Jean will be laid to rest with Rodney during a private burial at Greenlawn Cemetery, 1606 N. Dustin Ave. in Farmington.
Honorary pallbearers are her grandchildren, Cassady Eppinga, Matthew Heath, Melissa Parker, Darin Leonhardt, Kymberly Baranzyk, Stephen Heath, Anna Daniele, and Abby Daniele.
Jean's care is entrusted to Brewer, Lee, and Larkin Funeral Home, 103 W. Ute St. in Farmington, 505-325-8688. Those who wish to express their condolences may do so at serenityandcompany.com.