She came into this world on Nov. 17, 1923, in Keene, the daughter of Clinton F. and Bessie (Bailey) Thurston. She grew up in Winchester and was a 1941 graduate of Keene High School.
Following high school, she joined the Cadet Nurse Corps and helped others during World War II, a time when very few ladies were allowed to participate in the war efforts.
With a thirst for knowledge and a quest to help others, Jean began her educational adventure by graduating in 1945 from the Nashua Memorial Hospital School of Nursing. She later graduated Cum Laude from Keene State College and was a 1981 graduate of Antioch College where she received her Master's Degree in Psychological Counseling.
With all of this knowledge gained, Jean was successful in creating, and teaching, a psychiatric nursing course at the former Elliot Community Hospital School of Nursing. She also served during the 1950s as head nurse at the former Elliot Community Hospital in Keene. From 1963 to 1966, Jean worked in the operating room and was a recovery room nurse and supervisor at the Childs Hospital in Albany, N.Y. Then, from 1967 until 1969, she worked as the school nurse and teacher, in Voorheesville, N.Y.
Jean returned to Keene in 1970 and taught at the Cheshire Hospital School of Nursing, retiring in 1985. Not enjoying the simple life of retirement, she returned to work as a counselor at the Good News Christian Counseling Center in Keene.
As if her work responsibilities as a care giver and teacher didn't keep Jean busy enough, she was also very active within the communities she resided within. She was a member of many professional organizations, including the National League of Nursing, American Nurses Association, NH Nurses Association, American Counseling Association, NH Mental Health Association, Elliott Community Hospital School of Nursing Alumni, past president and member of the Cheshire County Hospice Board of Directors, an active member of the United Church of Christ in Keene, was named Woman of the Year by the KBPW Club in 1985, served on the Keene State College Alumni Board of Directors, was a member of the Keene Senior Citizens Center, the Homestead Garden Club, UCC Women's Fellowship, the American Association of University Women, Keene Emblem Club, Friends of the Thorne Art Gallery, Cheshire County Historical Society, and the National, State, Regional and Local Button Clubs.