A Life Lived: Jean Stines enjoyed doing for her family

Published 11:42 am Tuesday, June 7, 2022

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At first glance, Jean Stines was just an ordinary woman. She loved her family, enjoyed shopping, kept a neat home, and cooked a good meal. But, what made her extraordinary was that she had the ability to go above and beyond in most aspects of her life.
Jean was a wife to David Stines, mother to two sons, and worked outside the home. For years, she worked as an operator with United Telephone Company. “It was the only job she had. She retired from it,” said her son, Robert.
That was back in the day when you didn’t get an automated voice when you called the operator. Rather, a pleasing voice answered and asked: “How can I help you?” They were patient, kind, and helpful…that would have been Jean Stines.
Jean enjoyed sewing, and made many of her clothes. But, she liked to shop, too. “She enjoyed shopping in Boone, N.C., and other places. She could look at clothes all day long; dad was a very patient man,” said Robert.
In addition to making some of her clothes, Jean also enjoyed crafts and making dolls. “Some she gave away, but most she kept,” Robert shared.
Robert said his mother liked to cook and was good at it. He described her as an old-fashioned cook. Some of her favorite things to make were fried chicken, gravy and biscuits. “She could cook anything and make it taste good. She would come home every evening from work and cook a meal. She cooked on Sunday, and we all sat down together and ate. That don’t happen too much anymore,” he said.
Robert noted his mother had a collection of cookbooks, but rarely used them. In fact, he never knew of her using a recipe when she cooked.
Jean was a “homebody,” according to her son. “We never went on vacations or traveled much. Occasionally, we visited her sister in Florida. But mostly we stayed close to home,” he said.
Robert described his mother as a quiet person, who loved her family and enjoyed doing for them. “She enjoyed church. We grew up in First Free Will Baptist Church. Mom and Dad later attended a couple of other churches, but in the end came back to First Free Will. For the past couple of years, Jean had been a resident at Signature Health Care Center. Her husband, David, died last year. “They were wonderful parents to me and my brother,” he said. Jean and David’s son, Todd, died in 2018. “His death was hard on them, they never got over it,” said Robert.
Some of Jean’s church friends remember her as “quiet, kind, respectful of others, and always wore a smile.”
Jean Stines died May 16. She was the last surviving child of Stuart and Lou Hill Powell’s eight children. She never made Who’s Who or the newspaper headlines, but she was one of those “extraordinary” women who was a great wife, mother, grandmother, and a friend to many. She had staying power, refusing to give in when others might have. She kept going — sometimes in the most ordinary but difficult of times, and there were few times in her life that she could not smile and laugh. Sometimes, the greatest of women are those who are the quietest.

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