Jean Ann (Keely) Craven passed away on October 10, 2023 at the age of 91. Jean Ann was born in Grand Forks ND on December 2, 1931 to David D. and Laverne (Boyd) Keely and joined her older sister Colleen. Her younger sister Pauline soon followed.
Jean Ann grew up in ND and on September 3, 1951 married Roy Thomas Craven Jr. She began to travel the world as Roy enlisted in the US Air Force in 1951, where many lifelong friends were made, when called to serve in the Korean Conflict. In their deployments Jean Ann was birthing babies along the way. Daughters Penny, born in ND; Linda, born in NE; twins Peggy and Patty, born in ND as Roy Jr was transferred to England. Penny remembers she and Linda held onto Mom’s dress as she carried the twins in her arms. In England Terrie and Pam were born. The family had to wait until Pam was 6 weeks old before they could fly to Great Falls, MT where Roy Jr. was stationed at Malmstrom AFB for the first time. Here Tammie and Roy III completed the family. However, they would all travel to Guam in 1965 returning in 1968.
Throughout her travels Jean Ann worked many positions for many companies. One job for ATT telephone company she was a switchboard operator, a position no longer available. As seen on TV she wore ear phones, transferred calls by plugging cords into the switchboard and helped with long distance calls. Those were the years when no automatic dialing was available. Eventually Jean Ann went to work at Montana Farmers Union as a bookkeeper until she left for Guam.
Upon her return, she began work at State Lumber Company as the head bookkeeper; she was the only one there for Ole and Gary until 1978. She had flexible hours and could come and go as she pleased because of her children. She thrived at this job and was sad when the business closed. The Montana Farmers Union Company called and asked Jean Ann to come back. Eventually she became head bookkeeper doing all the quarterly reports, paychecks, and yearly financial reports. Jean Ann retired in 1986 and was very proud to receive a grandfather clock.
She really was a remarkable woman who cared for and loved her growing family. Camping at many of Montana lakes was the weekend treat. Imagine what a relief it was to finally retire and start to travel for enjoyment. For 13 years Roy and Jean Ann went to Yuma in their motor home where they square danced and played pinochle. They also traveled to Florida, Texas, California to visit family and friends. Jean Ann also enjoyed crafts, swimming, bingo, and pinochle at the Cascade and Great Falls senior citizens centers.
She is remembered by her daughters and son, her 24 grandchildren, her 73 great grandchildren and one on the way, and her 2 great great grandchildren. To read the complete obituary and share condolences, click here to visit the Croxford Funeral Home website.