Jean Marie (Watkins) Ayers passed away peacefully on January 17, 2023 at the age of 79 after a short battle with lung cancer. Jean was born in Westwood, PA on February 23, 1943 to the late Eugene and Dorothy (Wilhelm) Watkins.
Jean was active in sports from a young age and earned varsity letters in field hockey, basketball and softball at S. Horace Scott Senior High School in Coatesville, PA and in field hockey at West Chester State College. She studied early education and psychology in college and left to begin a career mentoring mentally and emotionally challenged children and adults at the Devereaux Foundation in Pennsylvania and later in Texas.
Jean and her family moved to Monticello in 1969 and has left an indelible mark on the community. She painted and wallpapered many of the homes in Monticello and the surrounding area. She owned and operated Henri’s Delicatessen and drove a Twin Lakes school bus for over 40 years. She enjoyed watching Premier League Soccer, her Philadelphia Phillies, and all men’s and women’s Big 10 sports. She also loved her life on the lake and especially fishing.
Her proudest moments were when she was interacting with children throughout the town. She won the Crystal Apple Award for making a dramatic difference in the lives and learning of Twin Lakes children. She was a Cub Scout den mother, was a founder of and coached in Monticello’s first girls’ softball league. She drove the team bus and was stats keeper for Twin Lakes girls’ volleyball and basketball teams for nearly 30 years. She was passionate about coaching and volunteering for the Special Olympics and formed special bonds with the athletes.
A special thank you goes out to friends and family who visited and cared for her in her time of need, especially to those in her Friday night card group.
She is survived by three sons, J.T. Ayers of Granby, MA, Sean (Jodi) Ayers of Lafayette and Eric Ayers of Charlotte, NC; four brothers, Doug (Brenda) Watkins of PA, Barry (Laurie) Watkins of FL, Dave (Patty) Watkins of FL, and Brian (Bheby) Watkins of FL.; three grandchildren, Jill, Connor and Ellie.
She was preceded in death by a sister, Lynn Watkins
A Memorial Service will be held at a later date.
Memorial contributions may be given to the Special Olympics and can be sent to P.O. Box 962, Monticello, IN 47960.
Family and friends are encouraged to share a photo, a memory, or a message of condolence at www.springerfuneralhome.com