Jean Reiss, direct descendant of Peter Clemmons
Jean May Reiss, an avid researcher of her family roots, moved to Clemmons NC from CA, as she put it " to raise Peter Clemmons from the dead". She spent many years researching his family and she was so enthusiastic.
Virginia Blanche May Reiss, “Jean”, a direct descendant of Peter Clemmons, the founder of the village that bears his name, died Dec. 20, 2010. She was born on January 21, 1925 in Beaumont, California, and late in life moved to Clemmons to research her family roots.
Many residents at Bermuda Village enjoyed her piano performances during Sunday vespers while she lived here.
Jean displayed early on, her interest and talent in music, starting in Junior High and High School. She studied the piano and became an extremely accomplished pianist. Her studies took her to the University of Utah, and while attending there, she performed with the Utah Symphony Orchestra as featured piano soloist. Jean was very intellectual and loved going to school. She obtained her Bachelor of Arts Degree from Westminster College in California. Jean held the position as organist for the North Hollywood Methodist Church for 28 years. She also directed the children’s choir there, presenting special performances. Later on, Jean converted to Catholicism and played the organ for many masses and weddings. She also earned recognition as the best accompanist in the San Fernando Valley and Los Angeles area. This was acclaimed by symphony orchestra and many soloists. One of Jean’s main interests was the work she did for the Film Advisory Board in Los Angeles.
In later years, Jean began to study geneology. This curiosity led her to Clemmons, North Carolina to search the ancestry other mother, Blanche Catherine Clemmons May. In doing this, she created a contagious excitement in family members who encouraged her along the way.
Jean made an effort to stay in touch with her family. Dropping in and out and phoning was her style, and when visiting she brought with her an exuberance and zest for life and music.
Jean married Robert Reiss and they had a son, David. She lost both of them in two separate auto accidents.
Jean is survived by her sister, Marjorie Egloffand her brother William S. May and his wife MaryAnn and many nieces and nephews and friends.