Jeanne F. Wallin Formerly Jeanne Wells, Jeanne Lydon, passed away peacefully in the early hours of January 2, 2011. A third generation native Californian, born in Oakland on January 18, 1921, she is pre-deceased by her parents Chester Clarence Frederickson and Ruth Grennan Frederickson, brother Peter G. Frederickson, and sister Lois R. Sheppard. Jeanne graduated from Oakland High School, class of 1940, the source of many lifelong friendships. While at SF State, she met Barratt Miles Wells, a student at UC Berkeley. After he graduated and joined the Navy, they were married in 1942. As a young war bride, Jeanne ventured across the country by train, moving to new apartments and jobs as Barratt's assignments changed. After the war, they made their home in Oakland. They enjoyed the latest foreign films, reading, talking about everything, and finding the best fishing spots in the Sierras. They had two daughters, Wendy, and Vicki. Barratt died in 1963. In 1964, Jeanne married Joseph Dee Lydon, a widower with three adult sons, Jim, Mike, and John. They made their first home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, and then returned to Jeanne's hometown, Oakland. In 1967, they were thrilled by the birth of their daughter Betsy. For years, most weekends and summers included time on their boat, both on the Bay and up and down the West Coast from LA to Alaska. In 1971, they moved to Moraga. Holidays and special occasions, and lots of family, centered on their large table. Joe died in 1981. In 1987, Jeanne married Ira O. "Buck" Wallin, M.D.. From their home in Moraga they went to lectures, movies, and yearly medical conventions (where they both enjoyed learning about new medical advancements, going to new museums, and seeing new sights). They loved savoring the evening air in the garden while discussing the fine points of medical diagnosis. Buck died in 2002. Jeanne's love of learning was comprehensive, including history, art, medicine, and people with their various perspectives. The garden was a place to discover the form of a leaf, or the intricate patterns of a flower. Travel was enriched by pilgrimages to understand more - to the Alhambra and the Oracle's site at Delphi, to Amalfi and Kaui, to Pompeii, Ostia Antica, Prince Rupert Inlet, and even the Mississippi River. Jeanne embraced life in both difficult and joyous times. She had an intense appreciation for and understanding of life, beauty, and the unique nature of the individual. People gravitated to her, and she gathered family about her until her last days. Wisdom and intuition informed her knack for connecting with people, and with Jeanne, there were always fewer than six degrees of separation. Jeanne will be deeply missed by her daughters Wendy Jeanne Wells, Victoria Wells Larson (Richard), and Elizabeth "Betsy" Lydon, her stepsons James R. Lydon (Betty), Michael D. Lydon, and John D. Lydon, and by her adoring grandchildren Brooke Caputo (Chris), Will Turpin, Christina Larson, Stephanie Burlingame (Richard), Matthew Lydon (Lisa), Christine Lydon-Omark (Rhett), Kevin Lydon, and Katie Lydon (Eric). She was loved by nieces and nephews Steve Wells (deceased), Gren Frederickson (deceased), Gary Sheppard (Marybeth), Pam Rafanelli, Mark Frederickson, Russell Sheppard, Randy Wells, John Wells, and Leslie Frederickson, as well as many other family, and the friends she made everywhere she went. Her family extends deep and grateful thanks to her beloved Carmen Flores, and to Hospice of the East Bay, Bruns House. Jeanne was a volunteer for Children's Hospital, Hawthorne Branch, for over 50 years, and was a founding board member of The Wellness Community, Walnut Creek. In lieu of flowers, contributions in her memory may be made to Children's Hospital Branches, Inc., Oakland (specify Hawthorne Branch), or Cancer Care Center (formerly The Wellness Community). A service in celebration of her life will be held Sunday January 16, 2011, 2:30pm, at St. Paul's Episcopal Church, 114 Montecito Ave., Oakland.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from January 10 to January 11, 2011