Jean Wylie
Jean Wylie
Jean Wylie
Jean Wylie

Obituary of Jean Managan Wylie


Jean Managan Wylie, beloved wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother and friend, died peacefully on February 1, 2023. Jean was born on December 31, 1924 in Lake Charles, Louisiana, to Frances (Williams) Managan and William Henry Managan. Jean received her early education in the public school system of Lake Charles. She served briefly as a typist for the military in Washington D.C. at the end of World War II. Then she tried to attend Yale Divinity School, but they were only accepting men at the end of the war, so she enrolled in graduate school at Tulane in social work. After her field internship in rural Louisiana, she left school to accept an administrative position at the University of Illinois Baptist Student Foundation, where her home church pastor had become the chaplain and had moved his family. That’s where Jean met bachelor Reverend Elwood K. Wylie, who came to campus to visit students from his church. Elwood and Jean courted and were married June 12, 1949 in a double wedding with her younger sister Martha. 


They moved to Carbondale, IL, where Elwood served as chaplain of the Baptist Student Foundation at Southern Illinois University. One of their deeply meaningful adventures together was to travel with other clergy and youth to Hanover, Germany to assist with rebuilding bombed churches after WWII. Always welcoming the stranger, Jean took a job with Welcome Wagon. Their first child Scott was born in 1951. 


In 1952, Elwood accepted a call to serve First Baptist Church, Moline, IL. While he was a busy pastor, managing a successful capital campaign and construction of a new church building, Jean served in an important, unpaid role as the minister’s wife. She sang soprano in the choir including solos, managed the parsonage, gave birth to their 3 daughters, and mothered the four children and her ailing father-in-law!  In 1959, Elwood accepted a call to First Baptist Church, Bloomington, IL, where Jean continued as minister’s wife, taught church school, sang in the choir, served on the board of Booker T. Washington Children’s Home during integration, and in 1965 started taking classes and completed a teaching certificate and a masters degree in school counseling at Illinois State University. In 1970, Jean started her career as a counselor at Lincoln Middle School, Rockford, IL after Elwood was called to State Street Baptist Church there. When her mother had a stroke, Jean arranged for her care in Rockford and faithfully visited her till her death in 1989. To be closer to family, they retired to Becketwood Senior Cooperative, Minneapolis, in 1991, just before the Halloween blizzard! They joined Macalester Plymouth United Church where Jean taught Junior High Sunday school, sang in the choir, and led Women’s Association and Circle. 


Jean’s guiding Bible verses included “Make a joyful noise to the Lord!” And she did, singing beautifully at all hours of the day and passing on her love of music to her family. “Serve the Lord with gladness” and “Freely give.” She did both, living a life of joy and service, loving her family, her church, dancing, baseball, gardening, traveling, walking, reading, sewing, and hosting coffee parties for friends and newcomers. In retirement, she started a quilting group that made a quilt a week to donate to needy causes. She diligently cared for Elwood in his final years with diabetes, and Elwood’s doctor credited Jean for his long life of 87 years! She was famous for her pies and donated several for youth mission trip fundraisers. A former pastor was heard to say when she saw Jean coming down the hallway at church with a pie, “There is no clearer image of our loving God than Jean Wylie coming toward me holding out an apple pie like an offering!” 


Other guiding verses were “Perfect love casts out fear!” and “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Jean and Elwood lived the Gospel and fearlessly embraced diversity and justice. In 1967 they traveled to El Salvador and Nicaragua to offer compassionate support to earthquake victims. In her 80’s, Jean participated in two adult mission trips, one for post-Hurricane Katrina relief, braving camping with fire ants, and another trip helping refugees in Northern Mexico. Jean embodied courage, faith, hope, and love!


Jean spent countless hours babysitting and playing with her grandchildren, and attending recitals and school concerts and plays. Her greatest joy was spending time with her family and her greatest regrets were that she was too frail to attend church and all the recent family weddings! She is survived by her four children: Scott (Denise) Wylie, Bellingham, WA; Martha (Tim) Cambridge, Happy Valley, OR; Margo (Mark) Dickinson, St. Paul, MN; and MariLyn (Roland) Kemp, Houston, TX; her ten grandchildren Emily Quindry, Collin Cambridge, Lauren, Jesse, and Matthew Dickinson, Rachael Weasley, Sarah Witman, Wylie Burge, Jeff Burge, and Patricia Burge Rogers; her nine great-grandchildren Joelle Jordan, Moriah Hill, and Miriam Hamtil, Kaydence, Trinity, Ciera, and Micah Cambridge, Ezekiel Weasley, and Adrian Dickinson; her faithful sister-in-law, Dorothy Managan; and much-loved cousins, nieces and nephews. She was preceded in death by her husband Elwood (2002), her brother Bill Managan (1984), and her sister Martha Lee (2003).


Jean and her family are deeply grateful for the care she received at Episcopal Homes and by other caregivers, and for the love and support of family, friends, and church. Jean will be dearly remembered by so many. Her memorial service will take place on March 11 at 11am, Macalester Plymouth United Church, St. Paul, MN. A live stream option is available on the church YouTube channel. Memorials can be made in her name to Macalester Plymouth United Church, Episcopal Homes of St. Paul, or Habitat for Humanity, and she would thank you for giving freely!

A Memorial Tree was planted for Jean
We are deeply sorry for your loss ~ the staff at Cremation Society of Minnesota
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