Jean Wood Sheldon was born February 1, 1922, to Joe and Audra Wood near Iconium, Missouri. She passed away April 11, 2020, at Golden Valley Memorial Hospital in Clinton from complications arising after hip surgery.
Jean was the oldest of Joe and Audra’s three children, with Elaine (Jane) and Jack coming soon after Jean. Jean grew up in the Iconium area, except for a short time that the family lived near Odessa, Missouri, and attended elementary school at Liberty. After elementary school, her father, Joe, arranged for and drove the first bus from the Iconium area so that Jean and other Iconium area students could attend Osceola High School, from which she received her high school diploma.
While attending high school, she met her future husband, Charles E. Sheldon. They were married May 15, 1941. After they were married, Charles was drafted into the Army during World War II. During this period, Jean lived with her parents and taught school at Bear Creek. While continuing to teach at Bear Creek, she used her earnings and monthly Army stipend to buy a home just two doors east of what is now the Sheldon-Goodrich Funeral Home. After the War, Charles and Jean lived in this home until they built a home on Congress Hill in Osceola. Charles and Jean lived in their Congress Hill home until his passing in September 2014. After his passing, a good friend, Eleanor Ratliff, stayed with Jean, allowing her to stay in her home until entering Truman Lake Manor nursing home in Lowry City, in September 2018.
After the war, Charles and Jean welcomed three children: Charles Randolph, Candice Jo, and Kimma Jean, each of whom they were very proud. During their school years, Jean was an active supporter of PTA and various school organizations and attended all her children’s school activities and functions, and Charles was on the Osceola School Board for 25 years. Charles and Jean assisted and supported each of their children in attending college to attain graduate and postgraduate degrees.
In 1966, Charles and Jean became insurance agents for the St. Clair County Farmers Mutual Insurance and Cameron Mutual Insurance, with their agency office located in Osceola. Charles and Jean worked as a team in operating their agency until they retired in 2000, when they sold the agency to their grandson Sean. Charles and Jean were proud that their Cameron Agency was at one time the largest producer for Cameron Mutual in rural Western Missouri.
Charles and Jean were avid bridge players and either hosted or attended duplicate bridge parties at least one night a week, again playing as a team. Jean also hosted or played bridge with her “bridge girls” at least one afternoon a week. She was an excellent cook and enjoyed hosting dinner parties for friends and Sunday and holiday gatherings for family. She was an avid quilter who made quilts for all of her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, and many others. She enjoyed jigsaw puzzles, which she pieced together while watching the daily news programs.
As a young girl, Jean had an experience of salvation by grace. She told that she had been spiritually bothered for a time, even asking her Dad “what is wrong with me?”, until one day when walking home from helping at the neighbors’ house, she experienced a “light and airy feeling” as the peace of salvation entered her heart. After moving to Osceola, she was a member of the Grace United Methodist Church until it was disbanded.
Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; her parents, Joe and Audra Wood; brother, Jack Wood; sister, Elaine Mitchell; daughter-in-law, Debbie Sheldon; grandson, Sean Sheldon; and great-grandson, Riley Baker.
Jean is survived by her son, Randy, of Osceola, Missouri; daughter Candice Baker and husband, J. D., of Osceola, Missouri; and daughter Kimma Old and husband, Jerry, of Overland Park, Kansas; grandsons Ryan Sheldon; Rodney Sheldon and wife, Amanda; Brandon Baker and wife, Renée; Blane Baker and wife, Emily, Brent Evans and wife, Rachel; grand daughter-in-law Lana Sheldon; great-grandchildren Lolly Sheldon, Tegin Sheldon, Jackson Baker, Jesse Baker, Jamie Baker, Reese Baker; Macy Evans, Casady Evans, and Logan Evans; sister-in-law Maxine Wood; and many cousins, nephews, nieces, relatives, and friends.
Jean will be missed by her family and all who knew her, but we are grateful that she will now rejoin her husband, mother, father, daughter-in-law, grandson, great-grandson, and other loved ones in Heaven.