Jeannette Waken Lief Chaplin
Jeannette Waken Lief Chaplin
January 26, 1918 - May 28, 2013
Jeannette W. Lief Chaplin, 95, of Beaumont, died Tuesday, May 28, 2013, at Christus Hospital St. Elizabeth, Beaumont. Jeannette was born to John Paul and Fadwa Waken, just before her twin sister, Juliette on January 26, 1918, in Enid, Oklahoma. She and her five sisters and one brother were raised in a traditional Lebanese family; faithful Catholics with strong family values. She attended Catholic school and worked in the family grocery store. Jeannette had a long career as a business owner and working for the Federal Government. She met and married Clarence Lief, in Enid, Oklahoma, where he was stationed, in 1945. They subsequently moved to Superior, Wisconsin, where Clarence was from, and bought and operated a grocery store for several years. They returned to Enid and Jeannette worked for U.S. Department of Agriculture Soil Conservation Service and also owned and operated a package store with her husband. In 1965, Jeannette and Clarence moved to Pasadena, California, where she worked for the Social Security Administration as a Claims Representative.
Having no children, Jeannette and Clarence loved spending time with their many nieces and nephews. Jeannette’s beloved husband Clarence passed away in 1976, and was buried in Enid, OK. In 1980 Jeannette married David Chaplin and in 1982 she retired and they spent many years traveling to destinations around the world.
In 2011 when David died Jeannette moved to Beaumont to spend her last years with her twin sister, Juliette Thedford and her children and grandchildren. Jeannette loved spending time with her many siblings and their children, enjoying Lebanese food, playing bridge, celebrating Holidays, Birthdays, and accomplishments. She was very generous with her many family members and friends. She was very compassionate and kind and when someone was in need she always helped, sharing her time and treasure, caring for them when they were ill, cooking for them or doing anything possible to assist. For many years she cooked meals and delivered them to her infirm Uncle. She loved to knit and needle point and created beautiful hand-made items for her many family members. She was faithful, fun-loving and hard-working. Until the age of 93 she could often be found walking to the post office, raking leaves or harvesting fruit from the trees in her yard. She enjoyed hosting many family meals. Jeannette loved the excitement of the horse races at Santa Anita Park, placing small bets and cheering for her brother’s horses. She loved to shop and could be counted on to go with her sisters or nieces and urge them to choose something interesting or a little out of character. Many family members and friends traveled to California to visit her and she was a very generous host. She traveled to Beaumont often to spend time with Julie and her family.
Survivors include her sister, Mary Rose Waken Boulder and her husband, Joseph; brother, Dr. John K. Waken and his wife, Grace; nieces, Phyllis Webb, Wendy Haun, Lisa Schaefle, Lauri Waken, Helen Marie Merry, Cindy Goutz, Val Rogers and Kristi Thedford Kimura; and nephews John Waken, Jim Haddad, Ed Marek, Ron Marek, John Thedford and Kurt Thedford.
She is preceded in death by her parents; husband, Clarence Lief; husband, David Chaplin; twin sister, Juliette Thedford; and sisters, Blanche Richards, Alice Marek and Helen Haddad.
A Memorial Mass for Mrs. Chaplin will be celebrated 4:00 p.m., Wednesday, June 5, 2013, at St. Anne Catholic Church, 2715 Calder Avenue, Beaumont, with Reverend Msgr. Michael Jamail officiating, under the direction of Broussard’s, 1605 North Major Drive, Beaumont. A committal of her cremated body will be 10:00 a.m., Friday, June 28, 2013, at Calvary Cemetery, Enid Oklahoma. A family committal was held at Broussard’s Crematorium, Beaumont.
We would like to thank Dr. Jeremy Huff, Penny Sirmons, R.N, Dr.Timothy Colgan, and Greg Gilbreath APRN, for their care and compassion during the last two years of Jeannette’s life. We would also like to thank all of the staff at Atria Collier Park for their care and support for the past two few years, and especially thank her private duty care-givers Shelia, Tiffany, Angelika, Sheca, Misty, Tracy and April.