Jean S. Rand, 88, of Columbia, Connecticut passed away peacefully in her sleep on December 30, 2021 after a long illness. She was a longtime resident of Columbia where she and her husband G. David Rand raised their family.
Jean grew up in Derry, New Hampshire where she played high school basketball and worked in her father’s pharmacy after school. After graduating from the University of New Hampshire and marrying her high school sweetheart, David Rand, Jean moved with her husband and three young children to Connecticut and became a teacher.
Jean earned a Masters Degree in education from Eastern Connecticut University and spent most of her career as a reading teacher inspiring a love of reading and writing in elementary school students and teachers at Natchaug Elementary School in Willimantic, Connecticut. She was passionate about children’s literacy, bringing children’s authors to the school and working tirelessly to get books into the hands of every child.
As an outdoor woman, Jean enjoyed daily summer swims in Columbia Lake, biking, hiking in the White Mountains and is credited with teaching all of her grandchildren to ski. As a pianist, she shared her love of music with her family and played for local shows. Jean encouraged girls to excel in life by volunteering with local Girl Scout groups. In retirement, Jean worked in real estate for a short time and also became an accomplished quilter. She sewed her love into full-size quilts for each family member and was happiest gathering family together around a home-cooked meal.
Her parents Henry and Merna Walbridge Spaulding and brothers Charles H. and Richard Spaulding predecease Jean. Her husband of 68 years, G. David Rand and three loving daughters Donna Rand and husband Jim Bidwell, Beverly and husband Bill Toner, Carol and husband Dave Eaton survive her. Jean enjoyed special relationships with each of her grandchildren: Ryan Toner and wife Dao, Jonathan Bidwell, David Bidwell and wife Katy, Christopher Toner, Rob Eaton and wife Eliza, Connor Eaton and wife Hannah and Amie Toner and fiancé Barry Spencer. Aunt Jean also held a very special place in her heart for all of her nieces and nephews.
The family has opted for a private celebration of Jean’s life. In lieu of flowers, please continue Jean’s passion for literacy by making a memorial donation to “Connecticut Reach out and Read” organization at https://give.reachoutandread.org/give/384915/#!/donation/checkout
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean Rand, please visit our floral store.