Regina “Jean” Mary Birchmier, 75, of Cantril, Iowa passed away with family by her side on May 1, 2023, at MercyOne Des Moines Medical Center.
Jean was born on September 19, 1947, in Oskaloosa, Iowa to Paul and Mary (Hammes) Webb. She was the oldest of seven children and lived on the family farm in Sigourney, Iowa.
Jean attended 8 years at Plank #9 County School and graduated from Sigourney High School in 1966. She went on to receive her AA from Ottumwa Heights in 1968. After college she worked as a med tech at the Keokuk County Home and later worked as a bookkeeper at Ideal Manufacturing and as a home health aid for the Department of Health and Human Services until she married.
Jean married Ernest Birchmier on August 7th, 1976,at St. Mary Catholic Church in Sigourney, Iowa. He survives.
The Birchmiers made their home on a farm in Cantril, Iowa. Their only child, Mary, was born in October 1978. Jean worked on the farm and was also the Fox Valley School board secretary for 19 years. Later she worked as an office manger at Van Buren County Hospital until she retired to the farm.
Throughout her life she was active in 4-H, Pork Producers, Ladies Guild, Legion auxillary, Milton Herritage Society, Cantril library, and in many other volunteer capacities. She enjoyed baking cakes for others, cooking, gardening, sewing, quilting, reading, bird watching, puzzles, playing cards with friends, genealogy, and travel. Together, Jean and Ernie traveled to all 50 United States, Canada, Mexico, South America, and Europe. They also enjoyed hosting foreign exchange students and had several over the years. Antti Ukura was one student they hosted and they were able to visit him and his family in Finland in 1995.
She was preceded in death by her parents and her granddaughter, Regina Teresa Huff.
Jean is survived by her husband of 46 years, Ernie; her daughter, Mary (Allen) Huff of Bondurant, Iowa; brothers: Ed (Joyce) Webb, Charles (Joyce) Webb, Tom (Vickie) Webb, John (Jona) Webb; sisters: Janis (Ron) Collins and Mary Kay (Dick) Shepherd; and her grandchildren: Ashley, Jace and Caleb Huff.
Jean was a great friend to my mom and to me. Our neighborhood and the Fox Valley community will miss her greatly. She was someone we could always count on and a real intelligent, kind, caring, talented lady. My deepest sympathy to her loved ones.
I’ll always remember that smile.
Jean was my confirmation sponser.
Rest in Peace.
My deepest condolences to Jean’s family and all who loved her. I will always have a smile in my heart when I think of Cousin Jeannie.
Dear Family, Our deepest sympathy in your loss.
When Kathy & I started with 4-H Jeannie was a great mentor to us. And such fun times growing up spending time at your farm with family reunions.
Love & Hugs, Patty (Weber), Jim & James Vancheri
Our condolences to Jean’s family. She was a kind soul and a good friend to have. She definitely cared about family. May your memories help you through these difficult times and be a source of comfort for you.
A mother holds her children’s hands for a while,
their hearts forever..
I felt to be a family member when visiting the Birchmiers summer 82′! I will always cherish the memory of spendng that summer with my US family. We were privileged to host Jean, Ernie and Mary here in Finland 1995. In addititon, once again, we met again when I visited Birchmiers and Huffs during my business trip January 2004.
Sirpa and I want to send all strengths for you difficult times. Love you always!
I just learned of this yesterday and my heart goes out to Ernie & their daughter, Mary- May you all find comfort in the Lord at this time. I have very good memories of Jean and being a former “inlaw” member of this family (my ex FIL was Ernie’s first cousin), my sincere condolences are given to her husband and daughter’s family- May the Lord Bless you both in these trying times.
We send our deepest condolences on the passing of my dear cousin, Jean. She was always such a special person. We reconnected through the internet several years ago. Although we lived a great distance apart, she kept us informed of family happenings. I really appreciated that. She had such a giving heart and will be greatly missed.
Love, Jim & Kathy Vogel family
I remember having Jean and her family as neighbors growing up. Our thoughts and prayers are wirh you.
Marnita (Snakenberg) Beal
My sincere sympathy to Ernie and their family on the passing of Jean. She was a remarkable person, and I will never forget her kindness to me at St. John’s Catholic Church. She will undoubtedly be missed by many.
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