A Life Lived: Jean Bautista’s life was marked by a giving spirit

Published 8:41 am Wednesday, October 24, 2018

Someone has said that the happiest people are not those getting more, but those giving more.

Annie Jean Bautista was a very giving person. She gave of herself, her time, and her resources to make life better for others.

Jean died October 7 at the age of 81. She was the mother of two children – Lisa and Tim –  and had three grandchildren.

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Jean had been a resident at Ivy Hall Nursing Home for the past four years. As long as she was able, Jean attended most of the nursing home activities, and even visited with many of the residents. “She was a people person, who made the best of each situation,” said her daughter, Lisa. Prior to becoming disabled, Jean had worked in the health care field as a certified nursing assistant and an activities director.

“She enjoyed taking care of other people,” said Lisa, who noted that her mother earlier in life had attended nursing school, but put it on hold when she had to undergo open heart surgery. She suffered a stroke at 60 years of age, and both the heart surgery and stroke took a physical toll on her. However, Jean never gave up. She kept going and doing for others. Prior to working as a CNA, Jean had done volunteer work at the old Carter County Memorial Hospital.

Aside from her family, her other love was her church family at Southside Christian Church. “She attended church until she was unable to walk. “Being able to worship with her church family was most important to her,” said Lisa.

Jean also enjoyed reading and did some writing. One of her articles was published several years ago in a booklet of short stories. “She was very talented and when younger enjoyed traveling. She especially enjoyed flying. A few years ago she traveled out west, and it was one of the highlights of her life,” said Lisa.

Jean, like most grandmothers dotted on her grandchildren. But she also dotted on a lot of her people, especially her nursing home friends, when she worked as an activities director. “She had a special love for people, who were down and out, who were sick, and alone. She was drawn to them,” said Lisa.

Jean rarely complained about her situation, she just made the best of it.

One of  six children of John and Effie Lovelace, she grew up in the Siam Community and graduated from Elizabethton High School.

Friends at Ivy Hall remember Jean as a fun person, who was always encouraging. “She enjoyed visitors,” said Lisa, “but she also enjoyed the nursing home residents as well, and she especially enjoyed the worship services and singing at the nursing home.”

Jean Bautista may not have had a lot of worldly possessions, but she was one of the richest people around, because she was a giver.