Jean L. Kistler, 86, of State College, died February 19, 2013 at home following a brief period of acute heart failure.
She was born Jean Beverley Leighty, on December 22, 1926, in Connellsville, the daughter of the late Dr. Orland F. and Edna Rietta Fike Leighty.
On June 23, 1951, in Connellsville, she married Robert King Kistler, Esq., who preceded her in death on August 10, 2012.
Jean graduated from Connellsville High School with the Class of 1944. As a teenager during World War II, she and her family spent summers with her father, an Army colonel, at military camps throughout the South.
She attended University of Michigan and Westminster College, graduating from the latter in 1950 with a degree in Education. Jean was a Chi Omega during her Westminster years. She taught grade school in California and Pennsylvania, but later devoted her time to homemaking and raising her children. In 1960, she and Bob moved into the residence at Tall Oaks Drive where they lived for 45 years.
A lifelong lover of the outdoors, Jean’s favorite activities included swimming, dancing, and skiing; all of which her enthusiasm taught her children and grandchildren to embrace. She and Bob traveled extensively throughout Europe and the United States, in addition to annual sailing trips in the British Virgin Islands. They enjoyed dividing their time between their homes in State College; Seabrook Island, SC; and Ellicottville, NY. As a longtime member of Centre Hills Country Club, Jean was proud of her hole-in-one on #7. She will be fondly remembered for her meticulous table settings and unflinching opinions, and her love of beach-combing, sunsets, angels and the season of Christmas.
Jean is survived by one sister, June Gawreluk, of West Milford, NJ, and three children: Leigh, of Detroit, MI; Thomas and his wife, Mary Jane, of Colyer; and John and his wife, Jane, of Wilton, CT. Also surviving are eight grandchildren: Hobart, Peter, Jane, William, Connor, and Emma Kistler, and Lauren and Shannon Hoffman; as well as two great-granddaughters, Mazdalyn and Finnigan Hoffman-Woznicki. Jean is also survived by her close friend and devoted caregiver, Lois Callahan.
In addition to her husband of 61 years, she was predeceased by a sister, Joanne Randolph of Uniontown.
Friends will be received from 4-7pm on Friday, February 22, 2013, at Koch Funeral Home, 2401 South Atherton Street, State College. Funeral services will be held at 11am Saturday, February 23, 2013, at State College Presbyterian Church, 132 West Beaver Ave., with the Rev Susan D. Reisinger officiating. Burial will be in Spring Creek Cemetery.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jean’s memory may be directed to the Centre-Foundation, on behalf of the Centre County Child Access Center, P.O. Box 648, State College, Pa 16804 or online at centre-foundation.org.
Arrangements are under the care of Koch Funeral Home, State College. Online condolences and signing of the guest book may be entered at www.kochfuneralhome.com.