July 4, 1923 – February 10, 2022- Jean passed away at the Hospice Home in Burlington, NC. Jean is survived by her children Mary Killorin Caswell (Richard), James Edward (Jamie), Robert Joseph, Ann Bynum (Eric); grandchildren Meghan Rorie (Austin), Molly Basile (Jeff), Adam Killorin, Rachel Hemminger (Bart), Kate and Lauren Bynum; great-grandchildren Tilghman, Mary Crawford, Teddy, and Annie; brother John Gannon, Jr. (Gail).
She was preceded in death by her parents, John Martin Gannon, Sr., and Margaret Loney Gannon; husband, Ambrose (“Amby”) Joseph Killorin; son, John Gannon Killorin; sisters Jane, Ann, and Claire.
Jean was born in Hibbing, MN, and graduated from Hibbing High. She graduated from Trinity College (Washington, DC) in 1944 with a BA in Chemistry. Jean moved to Los Angeles working as a chemist at the University of CA, followed by three years as a research assistant to two scientists at the University of Minnesota Medical School who sought (and later perfected) treatment for a rare blood disease. She married Amby in 1950, and they relocated to Clinton, Iowa, for his job with Pillsbury. They moved to St. Petersburg, FL, for his new career at Merrill Lynch five years later. The family enjoyed summers at Swan Lake, MN, with all generations of the Gannon clan.
In 1976 she passed the CPA exam on her first attempt and worked during tax seasons in St. Petersburg. At age 65, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Costa Rica. She assisted small business owners in obtaining micro-loans and wrote a booklet in Spanish to help small businesses with their accounting. Jean enjoyed Costa Rica so much that she sold her home in FL and lived in Costa Rica for 20 more years.
Jean was active in many volunteer activities in St. Petersburg, including Girl Scout leader, Parish Council of St. Raphael’s, and Treasurer of the Stuart Society at the Museum of Fine Arts. In Costa Rica, she stayed active through the women’s club, bridge club, book club, and Little Theater as treasurer. Jean started a recycling program at her apartment complex in Cariari. She moved to Burlington in 2011 and participated in the Village at Brookwood fitness and social activities, duplicate bridge, and the newcomer’s committee. Jean enjoyed the lifelong learning program LIFE@Elon.
She made lifelong friends wherever she lived. She loved to travel and was fortunate to see so much of the world, often bringing family members along for the education. Mom was a lifelong learner and an avid reader. Her mind was sharp, and in her final days, she was doing Sudoko and crossword puzzles in ink, enjoying audiobooks, using FaceTime to connect with family every day, and reading the news on her iPad.
Named “Mimi” by her grandchildren and great-grandchildren, she inspired the love of learning, and we shall never forget her love, kindness and sweet smile. We will miss her dearly.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held later in St. Petersburg, FL. The family suggests memorial gifts to support LIFE@Elon. Please make checks payable to Elon University, Campus Box 2600, Elon, NC 27244.