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Life Story / Obituary
When reflecting on the life of Lynne Jett, it is easy to see the love she had for her family. She lived life to the fullest each day and devoted her days to caring for others in ways both great and small. Lynne faced trials in life, but even in the midst of those trials her strength and poise was easy to see. Always a free spirit, she encouraged others to be independent and remain true to who they were. Life will never be the same without Lynne here, but she leaves behind a priceless collection of memories that her loved ones will forever hold near and dear to their hearts.
The 1950s were an exciting time in America when the cultural fabric was colored with Elvis Presley and his introduction to the sounds of rock ’n roll. This was also the decade when we became a nation of 50 states with the addition of both Alaska and Hawaii. It was during this same time that Paul and June (Parko) Zandee were pleased to announce the birth of the baby girl they named Lynne Marie on September 5, 1955. Born in Grand Rapids, Michigan, she was the second of six children as she was joined in her family by her siblings, Mark, Matt, Beth, Brooke, and Todd. During her earliest years their family lived near the corner of Kalamazoo St. and Hall St., but in 1966 they moved to their home on East Leonard. Because her mother was sick during much of her childhood, Lynne became the “mother hen,” taking care of the cooking, cleaning, and keeping the household running.
In many ways Lynne was a young girl of her generation. As a family they loved spending summer days at The Moorings on Lake Macatawa in Holland. This was a fun resort kind of place where Lynne and her family did plenty of swimming, fishing, and sailing while staying in a cabin. This was a tradition that Lynne carried on with her own family for many years. As a student she attended local schools including Beckwith Elementary, NE Junior High, and Central High School. As a high schooler Lynne was involved with Junior Achievement until graduating in 1973.
Not to be forgotten during her years in high school was Lynne’s introduction to the man of her dreams. His name was Jim Jett, and they met at a local Burger King where she took a part-time job and he was her boss. They soon fell in love, and they were married on September 13, 1974, in her mother’s backyard in Grand Rapids. After a honeymoon at Holly’s Landing, they settled into Jim’s house on Tamarack. Lynne then took some classes at junior college. Interestingly, her mother-in-law was supposed to be one of her instructors until the schedule was changed. Together she and Jim welcomed their daughter, Heather, in 1976 and then their son, James, in 1978 into their hearts and home.
There was no greater priority in Lynne’s life than her family. She was there to walk her kids home from school as she was always there to support them in everything they did. Lynne encouraged her kids to be outside whether they were at a park, swimming at Richmond Park, and having one of countless beach days with a picnic. There were also trips to Chicago as well as several visits to The Moorings until they closed. While there, Lynne taught her children how to play spoons. A talented seamstress, she made formal dresses for Heather for proms, honors banquet, and even a wedding. It was something Heather appreciated as it gave her a chance to go shoe shopping with Lynne and Grandma June. Lynne always had an open door, and her kids’ friends were always welcome at their house.
From an early age, Lynne suffered from epilepsy. She didn’t allow it to slow her down or restrict her activities, but when Heather was in middle school she began to take over the cooking duties as Lynne had some significant injuries. Lynne still loved to bake, however. In 1996 she had brain surgery to eliminate the epilepsy. It was successful, but she did have complications such as a loss of taste, sensitivity to hot and cold, and a shift in her personality that became more evident as she grew older. The stimulus and noise was hard on her epilepsy, so Lynne and Jim moved to Woodville for a quieter and more peaceful place to live. Jim built the home on the property they owned. As grandchildren arrived, Lynne couldn’t have been more thrilled, and she had so much love to give them just as she had with her own children.
There were many things that kept Lynne busy over the years. She liked writing, keeping a garden, photography, and crafts like painting. Lynne was very generous and always willing to help others when she saw a need. She even went down to Mississippi to help rebuild her brother Matt's home when it was destroyed. Lynne enjoyed movies, music, and musicals including West Side Story. For years she and James enjoyed dancing at River City. Lynne was a proud hockey mom when her son played, and later in life she became a proud grand hockey mom. As a nature lover, she fully appreciated how being outside helped her feel so connected to a higher power. Later in life Lynne and Jim did a bit more traveling and made regular visits to Mississippi to see her brother. Wherever they went, it was always about who they were going to see. She often found her greatest joy in the simple things like walks to get ice cream, swimming in the lakes followed by slurpees, and a simple picnic over eating in a restaurant. Lynne always made it a point to remain true to what she thought was right, even if that meant she went against the flow at times. She was free-spirited, described as even a bit of a hippy, and her strength and resilience were a true inspiration. She was there to love others in countless ways including when she took care of her husband during his heath struggles.
All who knew Lynne Jett would agree that she was truly beautiful on the inside and out. She treated others with unconditional love and acceptance, and her spirit of generosity was unmatched. There was no greater gift in her life than being a mother, although being a grandmother just may have been Lynne’s greatest source of pride and joy. Deeply loved, she will be forever missed.
JETT – Lynne Marie Jett age 65, a resident of Woodville the last 20 years and formerly of Grand Rapids, passed away on May 12, 2021 in Fremont. She was preceded in death by her husband, James; mother, June Zandee; brother, Mark Zandee; and brother-in-law, Pat Van Valkenburg. Lynne is survived by her children Heather (Joel) Ellingson and James C. (Stacy) Jett; grandchildren, Brennen and Seth Bunn, Jada Riley, James A. Jett and Grace Ellingson. Also surviving are her father, Paul Zandee; siblings, Matt (Terri) Zandee, Beth (Jim) Kieling, Brooke (Dennis) Alt and Todd (Stacy) Zandee; brothers-in-law and sisters-in-law, John (Diane) Jett, Vanda Van Valkenburg, Rene Van Valkenburg, and Mike Van Valkenburg; as well as many nieces and nephews. The service to remember and celebrate Lynne’s life will be held at 3 PM Tuesday May 18, 2021 at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home 2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW. Family and friends are invited to visit with Lynne’s family (masks and social distancing limits of 25) from 6-8 PM on Monday at the funeral home. Contributions in her memory may be made to Hospice of Michigan. Please visit www.heritagelifestory.com to read Lynne’s life story, submit a favorite memory, photo or to sign the guestbook online.