Tributes to well-known Lewes woman who devoted her time to public affairs

The family of a well-known Lewes woman who has died have paid tribute to her.

Tuesday, 9th June 2020, 11:03 am

Jeanne Jennings, known as Jean, was a ‘passionate advocate for social justice’ and wore many different hats in the Lewes community.

She sadly died from Covid-19 and underlying health conditions on May 18, at the age of 93.

Her daughter, Mandy Pittman said she will be remembered for her ‘wisdom, humanity, honesty, loyalty and tolerance’.

Jeanne Jennings worked tirelessly in the Lewes community

She told the Express: “The people of Lewes owe a debt to her for the devotion and time that she gave to public affairs for the benefit of her local community.

“She will be missed, but remembered, by us all.”

As a young wife and mother, Jean became more and more involved in the local community of Lewes, Mandy said.

A passionate advocate for social justice, she remained a loyal supporter of the Labour Party, acting as secretary for the local constituency for many years.

Jeanne with her three children: Andrew, David and Mandy

She was also a member of the Old People’s Welfare Committee, the Parochial Parish Council for Cliffe Church, Lewes Road Safety Committee, and 1st Lewes Scout Parents Committee. And as a result of her social, political and church life, she was nominated and appointed to the Lewes Bench as a magistrate in 1967, a position she served until retiring at the age of 70.

Jean worked tirelessly for many organisations in Lewes, Mandy said, and as the then Secretary of the Moral Welfare Committee was instrumental in the setting up of a day centre for older people, which continues today as the House of Friendship in School Hill.

She was also on the steering committee for the setting up of the Phoenix Centre, a community building and resource for the people of Lewes set up 28 years ago.

In 1988, her husband, Peter, died at the age of 69 from lung disease. Jean spent 30 years of widowhood living in the same house until she went into residential care for the last two years of her life.

Jeanne on her 80th birthday

A small funeral was held for Jean on Tuesday, June 2, at Wealden Crematorium, attended by immediate family only, but people were able to watch the service online via video link.

Jean is survived by her children: Mandy, Andrew and David, nine grandchildren and seven great grandchildren.

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Jeanne as a JP swearing in the new Police Constables in the 1960s

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