Jean DeBoest, 1936 – 2019

Jean Marie (Finnegan) DeBoest, 83, passed away on June 29, 2019, at the Kavanaugh House in Des Moines.

A funeral service was held  July 3 at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson. Burial was at St. Joseph Catholic Cemetery in Jefferson.

Jean was born to Roger and Ella (Piepel) Finnegan on June 3, 1936, at the Greene County Hospital. She was the third daughter of four, and her sisters Rita, Joan (Jim Pierret) and Mary Ann were lifelong friends and confidants. She graduated from Jefferson High School with the class of 1954 and was united in marriage to Joe A. DeBoest on October 5, 1957, at St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson. They were blessed with three children, Marcia, Timothy, and Daniel.

Jean and Joe raised their children in Forest City. Jean worked at Anderson’s Clothing Store, for Bill Welsh at Welsh’s, and finally with Joe at the DeBoest Insurance & Real Estate Agency. Jean was also a dedicated volunteer. She worked tirelessly for American Field Service, the March of Dimes, Meals on Wheels, St. James Catholic Church, and many more organizations.

Jean was the consummate party giver! She and Joe hosted parties for friends that sometimes lasted well past anyone’s bedtime. She was constantly looking for new recipes to try out on her friends. She also helped her children entertain their friends at their home with endless supplies of pizza, pop, ice cream, cookies…you name it!

Throughout her faithful life, Jean was a member of St. James Catholic Church in Forest City, St. Theresa Catholic Church in Des Moines, and Sacred Heart Catholic Church in Des Moines. Jean and Joe, were longtime communion servers and served on many boards and committees within these parishes.

Jean was known for her big heart and welcoming home. As an expert homemaker and entertainer for her whole adult life, she always kept extra food on hand in case company dropped by (family and friend favorites were her fudgins and turtles) — and acted as a “second mom” and “bonus grandma” to dozens in her children’s and grandchildren’s lives. She enjoyed entertaining, cooking, spoiling her children and grandchildren, and playing bridge and dominoes.

In retirement, Joe and Jean moved to Des Moines to be closer to family. Jean found community within her Red Hats group and served as the Queen Mum for her Des Moines chapter. These dear friends traveled together, dined together, and were there for each other for all of life’s ups and downs. Jean and Joe wintered in Port Aransas, TX, and later in Mesa, AZ, developing great friendships in both locations.

Jean’s bright personality was matched only by her colorful wardrobe. She loved all the brightest colors — reds, blues, purples, and more. Her love for purple carried through to decorating her beautiful home as well as picking out all of the purple jelly beans and gum drops from the candy bowl she always kept well-stocked.

Jean is survived by her husband Joe; her daughter Marcia (Murray) Katter; her sons Tim (Ellen) and Dan (Lisa); her sister Joan Pierret; grandchildren Emilie Katter, Andrew DeBoest (Mary Ellen), Ali DeBoest, Morgan Julson (Jordan), and Riley DeBoest. She is also survived by her cousins Joyce (Jim) Calder, Jack (Ann) Piepel, Becky Piepel Sisca, Mike (Dianne) Piepel, and Peggy Stevens.

Jean was preceded in death by her parents Roger and Ella Finnegan; her sisters Rita and Mary Ann Finnegan; brother-in-law Jim Pierret; brother and sister-in law-Ralph and Ann Morlan, John and Virgina DeBoest, and Darwin and Ida Robinson; along with Joe’s special cousin Howard Voshell.

Memorials may be directed to St. Joseph Catholic Church in Jefferson.

The family was assisted by Slininger-Schroeder Funeral Home of Jefferson.

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