Dr. H. Jean (Helen Jean) Wilkinson, 89, of Acton, MA – formerly of Schenectady, NY – passed away Monday, October 7, 2019. Jean was the beloved wife of 66 years, sweetheart of 70 years, of Dr. John W. Wilkinson.
Jean was born to Thomas and Helen Foster, 1930, in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Jean and John were married in North Bay, Ontario in 1953. Jean received a BA from Queen's University (Kingston, Ontario) in 1952, an MA from Duke University in 1956 and a PhD in Clinical Psychology from University of Pittsburgh in 1962. Jean spent most of her career as Associate Professor of Psychology at the State University of NY in Albany (SUNYA). When she retired in 1995, Jean was also the Director of the Psychology Advisement Center at SUNYA. She had numerous professional affiliations including membership in the American Psychological Association.
Outside of work, Jean was very involved in the community, serving on boards of multiple organizations including Family Planning Advocates, the First Unitarian Society of Schenectady, Haven of Schenectady, the Joan Nicole Prince Home, the League of Women Voters, the National Board of Aquatic Sports, Niskayuna Friends of Music, Planned Parenthood Mohawk Hudson, Pooh's Corners Child Care Center, Proctor's Guild, the Schenectady Symphony League, and the United States Synchronized Swimming Association. Jean was honored to serve on the boards of Capital District Hospice Inc./Community Hospice, the NY State Hospice Association (1988-93) and the National Hospice Association (1992-97).
In 2010, Jean and John were honored recipients of the Katherine S. Rozendaal Award honoring people whose volunteer leadership and activities have had a positive impact on the Schenectady community. Jean had many interests and hobbies including travel, round dancing, attending cultural performances, visiting museums, ancestry research, sailing, skiing, knitting, sewing and gardening. Jean was a lifelong student and enjoyed classes at the Union College Academy for Lifelong Learning (UCALL).
Jean is predeceased by her parents Thomas and Helen Foster, sister in law and brother in law Ruth and Claude Watson and sister in law Stella McMillan. She is remembered with love by her husband John of Acton, MA (formerly of Schenectady, NY), son David Wilkinson, daughter Beth (and John) Flanagan, sister Marilyn (and Jack) Treddenick, sister in law and brother in law Margaret and Denny Bozic, brother in law Earl McMillan, grandchildren Kayla, Krista and Kiley, and several nieces and nephews.
Friends and family will gather to honor and remember Jean for a memorial service on Saturday, November 9 at 2:00 PM at the Unitarian Univeralist Society of Schenectady, 1221 Wendell Avenue, Schenectady, NY 12308.
To honor Jean's life, in lieu of flowers, a donation may be made to:
Community Hospice of Albany, NY
445 New Karner Road
Albany, NY 12205
Joan Nicole Prince Home of Scotia, NY
PO Box 2122
Scotia, NY, 12302
The family would like to thank the staff at the Inn at Robbins Brook of Acton, MA and Care Dimensions of Peabody, MA for their caring and compassion.