Jean Gowans-YearbyDecember 7, 1937 ~ November 6, 2019 (age 81)
Jean Gowans Yearby, 81, West Monroe, Louisiana was taken home on November 6, 2019. She was the second beautiful baby girl of Mr. & Mrs. Selma and Leola Kavanaugh and was born December 7, 1937 in Kelly, LA. Her father knew right away Jean would be strong willed and determined throughout her life, and proved him right when she learned to shoot and hunt early on and through her seriousness about any endeavor she chose to pursue. She got married and moved to Chicago, IL in 1955, where she furthered her Education at the University of Illinois-Chicago. In 1960 she earned her Cap and Gown from the University of Illinois-Chicago as a Registered Nurse (RN) and worked for the University as a Research Nurse. This is where Jean’s professional life began.
Jean Gowans Yearby held in her heart many along the way as if they were her own. She would often refer to the young people she met as “like a daughter” and “like a son”. Jean often nurtured and helped to guide, with love and wisdom, those she held in her heart. After becoming an RN, Jean worked as a Clinical Supervisor and held many other jobs at The Board of Health for the State of Illinois. As a part of her work in healthcare, Jean worked with victims of rape and drug addiction. She also helped several young people attend college. Being the wife of a minister, Jean also wore many titles in her personal life including mother, usher and speaker. She was a member of the Saint John Grand Lodge Eastern Stars and a member of The Upright Missionary Baptist Church. Jean retired from The Board of Health and moved back home to Louisiana where she met and married her husband whom she loved dearly, retired Lt. Colonel Joe Sampson Yearby in 2005. Through the years their relationship was filled with an endless number of adventures, on the road, and stories that were filled with laughter and joy. Along with her husband Joe, Jean joined Our Lady of Fatima Church in Monroe, LA where she converted to Catholicism. Jean was well connected to her faith. Her love for her Baptist roots was reignited through attending services, during her time at Farmerville Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, and she continued to nurture and guide those around her including the staff and her fellow residents.
Jean is preceded in death by her parents Mr. & Mrs. Selma and Leola Kavanaugh. Siblings Scottie Wooten, Clynis Kavanaugh, Joe Kavanaugh, Lillian Kavanaugh, Eldridge Kavanaugh and Wren Kavanaugh. Nieces and nephew Patricia Wooten, Rylee Woods and Troy David Wooten Jr. She leaves behind, to cherish memories, husband retired Lt. Colonel Joe Sampson Yearby of West Monroe, LA, son Lemory Craft Jr. of Chicago, IL, two sisters Annette Kavanaugh and Carolyn K. Richardson of Columbia, LA, two step children Marlies Yearby of West Monroe, LA and Gerard Yearby of San Francisco, CA, her best friend and niece Dy’Nia Thomas of Columbia, LA, who she affectionately called her ace boom coon and her step granddaughter Zanetta Yearby who she affectionately called her baby swirl.
Jean is also survived by goddaughter Nakeshia Williams of Chicago, IL, nieces and nephews, Danyell Kavanaugh, of Columbia, LA, Nakeshia Wooten and Latanya Wooten both of Beaumont, TX, Damian Wooten, of Austin, TX and Carlos Kavanaugh, of Monroe, LA. A cousin, she had a special connection with, Mrs. Elnora Combs, of Shreveport, LA, seven Step grandchildren, and eleven step great grandchildren, a host of great nieces and nephews, three brother–in-laws and three sister-in-laws.