Jean Weitz, 95, died Saturday, August 22, in Fort Collins, Colorado, of natural causes. Anyone whose life she touched will remember her for her wide, warm smile, her wit and humor, her giving nature and her kindness.
Born to Morris and Harriet Corthell in Wyoming, Jean was the youngest of three surviving daughters. She grew up in Laramie and graduated from the University of Wyoming. She was active with her sorority and earned a degree in childhood education. During World War II, she volunteered with the Red Cross.
In December, 1949, she married Joe Weitz, a geologist who had come to Wyoming to work on a US Geological Survey project. After living in several different places, they moved to Fort Collins in 1960 when Joe took a teaching position at Colorado State University.
Jean was the first director of volunteer services at Poudre Valley Hospital, a position she held for 12 years. During her tenure she opened opportunities for boys as well as girls to be junior volunteers and encouraged men to volunteer along with women. She started and administered a helpline service at PVH, Lifeline, through which people could call for assistance in emergency situations. Jean retired in 1989.
Jean and Joe were charter members of the Northern Colorado chapter of the Friendship Force, a foreign exchange program whose slogan is “A World of Friends Is a World of Peace.” Through the program the Weitzes traveled to New Zealand, Australia and Europe and hosted guests from Georgia, Russia and other countries.
The Weitzes were also instrumental in initiating an adult education program, the Front Range Forum, now a vibrant part of the Fort Collins Senior Center with hundreds of participants which allows individuals to take short-term classes on a wide variety of subjects, paying only a small membership fee.
True to her nature, Jean volunteered for several organizations— making costumes for the Fort Collins Children’s Theater and eventually heading the costume department; delivering Meals on Wheels, and organizing a circle of support for friends in need of care. She was also active in the League of Women Voters, serving as president of the local chapter and attending national conventions. Jean was a member of what Nancy Gray’s husband, William Gray, humorously dubbed the “petticoat mafia,” a group of women who had been involved in his wife’s campaign for mayor and who successfully lobbied for the sign code, limiting sign height and billboards in Fort Collins.
Jean loved people, dogs, opera, classical music and reading. Service, community, connection and curiosity guided her life. Her many interests included swimming, hiking, sewing, entertaining, bicycling, skiing, playing bridge and following the Tour de France. The family cabin in the Snowy Range of Wyoming was a lifelong source of fun, adventure and inspiration. Over the years, Jean and Joe were involved with Timnath Presbyterian Church and Foothills Unitarian Church.
When Joe died in 2015, the couple had been married 65 years. Jean continued the couple’s devotion to their families and many friends. Surviving Jean are her daughter Sally Weitz-Michie of New Braunfels, Texas, her son Leonard Weitz of Fort Collins, Colorado, her daughter Phoebe Weitz of Fort Collins, her son-in-law Rex Michie, step-granddaughter Michelle and Corey Luhrs, step-grandson Adam Michie, and five great-grandchildren, daughter-in-law Maureen Weitz, grandson Michael Weitz and his wife, Leila, and six loving nieces and nephews. Preceding her in death were her sisters Miriam, Amy and Phoebe and her granddaughter, Valerie Weitz, who died in 1998.
The family is grateful to the staffs of Pathways Hospice, Aspyre Rock Creek and Seniors Helping Seniors for their dedicated and loving care. An online celebration of her life is planned for September 26, 2020, at 11 a.m. MDT. Anyone interested in attending is invited to refer to Goes Funeral Care, either online (www.goesfuneralcare.com) or by phone. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Pathways Hospice, 305 Carpenter Road, Fort Collins, CO, 80525.