Rogersville: Jean Kendall Brickell, of Rogersville, passed away peacefully in the presence of her family, after a long illness on Wednesday, November 27, 2019. Jean was preceded in death by her parents, Steward and Lena Kendall, and nephew Eddie Kendall.
Survivors include her spouse of 57 years Richard Brickell; daughters Shanna Obelenus (Danny) and Dawn Brickell Bryant (Chris); sons Sean Brickell (April) and Michael Brickell; four grandchildren Joshua Obelenus, Tristan Brickell, Brynn Brickell and Trinity Brickell; brother Don Kendall (Cookie), sister Joan Kendall, and several nieces and nephews; aunts Belle Monroe and Bertie Goote along with their families; and countless friends and others to whom she was a second mom or grandmother.
Jean met the love of her life as while a Jr in high school. They dated throughout high school and during his time in the U.S Navy Nuclear Submarine Service (SSBN 602 Abraham Lincoln), marrying after he was honorably discharged in 1962. Their marriage was filled with much love and four children she loved dearly. She was the best mom, a mom that many of her children’s friends adopted as their second mom. Her children always knew they were loved, that she believed in them, would always support them no matter what, and was only a phone call away when needed. Through her actions, she taught her children and many other children, compassion, kindness, empathy, and, of course, humor.
Jean could talk to anyone and had what the family calls the Kendall Gift of Gab. Her family still talks about her answering a wrong number call from a woman in Chicago, shortly after moving to North Dakota from Chicago, the call lasted almost 2 hours, and the caller was paying long distances charges by the minute. She and her brother, Don, did not miss a weekly call for the past nine years. He also has the Kendall Gift of Gab. Their phone calls had many “just one more thing” extensions that could last hours. They talked about as her brother would say, everything and nothing, but also talked about their strong Christian beliefs and that they would talk and pray to God throughout the day.
Along with her husband, Jean had great compassion and love for all animals. Over the years they shared their home with cats, dogs, hamsters and a ferret; they also rescued countless stray cats and dogs; and if that were not enough, an injured snapping turtle (that only liked her) and a Mourning Dove that returned every spring, after being rescued as an injured chick and recovering one long winter in the heated garage in North Dakota. She and Country (a 165 lb German Shepard) rescued and raised a baby Blue Jay named BJ one spring and summer while living in in Clifton Forge Virginia. She would always tell her children that her favorite child was the beloved family cat named Tigger. Her children have always thought she was being sarcastic but perhaps “one too many times” should have clarified her true feelings to them.
Jean was a top-notch storyteller and artist. She often told the story, more elaborately than her children writing this obituary, of why she celebrated her birthday on September 2nd but her birth certificate stated September 3rd. Jean was born around midnight on September 2nd. Her parents, given the choice between September 2nd or 3rd, chose the 2nd. She celebrated the shared birthday with her father, Steward, on September 2nd every year until his passing. Why the mix-up? She would tell of how she was swapped at birth. Fortunately, before leaving the hospital, Jean’s mom realized they were about to take home a boy, a boy that was born on the 3rd. No worries about the swap, her family knows her parents took home the right baby. Besides the obvious family resemblance, she also had a double dose of sarcasm she came by naturally from both of her parents.
It took her years to “teach” her husband, or as she would often say, her favorite husband, the fine art of sarcasm. When they renewed their vows at 33 years of marriage, she promised to love, honor and then intentionally smirked and paused as to whether to continue with agreeing to obey. After the laughter subsided from those in attendance, and a big smile from her favorite husband, she continued the vows and their marriage for another 24 years.
Jean loved playing Sudoku, the more difficult the better, and all types of word games and puzzles. She taught her children many a life lesson playing Monopoly on Friday nights. You have to still be in the game to benefit from owning the big ticket real estate! And she did not allow loans, even to 6, 10 or 12 year old children she gave birth to.
Throughout her life and through her actions, she showed her children and those fortunate enough to meet her, what mattered most in life – love, honor, integrity and of course, humor. Her love and humor will be missed by all.
We have been blessed to have shared life’s journey with Jean and to have called her wife, sister, mother and friend. We send you all of our love from all of our hearts.
Graveside service will be 11:00 am, Monday, December 2, 2019 at McKinney Cemetery, Stamps Rd., Rogersville.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be sent to the Hawkins County Humane Society, 5180 US-11W, Rogersville, TN 37857 or a local animal shelter near you.
Online condolences may be made at www.broomefuneralhome.com
Broome Funeral Home, Rogersville is honored to serve the Brickell family.
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