March 31, 2020
OMAHA, Neb. — Jean Holcombe, 86, of Omaha, died Thursday evening, March 26, 2020, at Josie Harper Hospice House due to complications with advanced Parkinson’s disease.
Jean Carol Pearson was born to Andrew and Signe (Nelson) Pearson near Plum City, Wisconsin, on Jan. 8, 1934. Jean was the youngest of seven siblings: Robert, Genevieve, Norman, Doris, Laura and John, all deceased. The family moved to Minneapolis around 1937 after losing their farm in the depression.
Jean grew up in south Minneapolis and enjoyed skating on Lake Harriet and youth activities at Calvary Lutheran Church. She graduated from Central High in Minneapolis, and then attended Lutheran Bible Institute (LBI) for two years, the first year in Minneapolis and the second year in Seattle. Then she attended Augsburg College in Minneapolis for two years while living at home. Jean typically drove her family’s car to classes, but one day it broke down and she had to take the bus. She met a charming fellow student, Thomas Holcombe, on the bus and told her dad not to worry about fixing the car.
Tom and Jean were married on June 2, 1956, at Calvary Lutheran Church in south Minneapolis. Tom and Jean soon headed to Rock Island, Illinois, where Tom attended Augustana Seminary. During this time, Jean was secretary to the executive director of the Augustana Lutheran Churchmen. They spent a year in Bridgeport, Connecticut, for Tom’s internship.
As Tom served four Lutheran parishes in Nebraska – Lyons/Rosalie from 1959-1964, Central City/Hordville (1964-1967), Hastings (1967-1983), and Genoa (1984-1998) – Jean was a full-time homemaker and faithful partner in doing church work at each parish. She truly enjoyed being a minister’s wife.
Tom and Jean had two children: Lisa (Gary) Choquette of Omaha, and Larry (Charlene Mussatti) Holcombe of Hurley, Wisconsin. They have three grandsons, Benton and Nolan Choquette of Omaha, and Andrew (Kyla) Holcombe of Lakewood, Colorado, and one great-granddaughter, Lilja Holcombe.
At home, she kept each house clean and organized where everything had a place and everything was in its place. She enjoyed searching for items at garage sales and auctions to decorate her home. She cooked meals using menus created from each week’s grocery ads to stretch their budget. She also enjoyed sewing, reading and various crafts, and had a keen interest in politics.
At church, she taught Sunday School and Vacation Bible School. She was active in the Lutheran Church Women (LCW) and quilting groups. She particularly enjoyed writing programs for various Christmas programs and teas, where she delighted in decorating for those, too.
Upon retirement, they moved to Omaha where they bought their first home. Together, they remained active in their church, and enjoyed family, travel and a local group of retired pastors and their spouses.
Jean was a faithful servant of the Lord, who cared deeply for her family and the work of the church.
A memorial service will be held at Kountze Memorial Lutheran Church in Omaha and burial will be in Lakewood Cemetery in south Minneapolis. Memorials can be made to Kountze Memorial at kmlchurch.org.