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Jean Elizabeth Lovett was born September 14, 1953 in Minot, North Dakota, and died August 5, 2021 at home in Mankato, Minnesota. She lived an amazing 36 years after receiving a kidney transplant, giving everyone who loved her extra time to enjoy her wit and enthusiasm.
Jean led a creative and eclectic life. She was full of dreams, and when her health forced her to give up one dream, she came up with another, time and again. Her athletic skills, love of animals, and commitment to social justice led her to a wide-ranging choice of jobs: horse wrangler at a Lutheran youth camp; quarter horse trainer; athletic director at College of St. Teresa in Winona; office manager for Winona Women's Advocacy Center; veterinary assistant; bookstore clerk; dishwasher; organizer for mobile home court residents fighting unfair rental practices; and secretarial positions at Grace University Lutheran Church in Minneapolis, Mapleton elementary school, Mankato City Engineering Department, and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato. She was an avid reader, nature lover, camper, vegetable farmer, volleyball and softball player, lover of dogs, horses, cribbage, the Lynx, and the BWCA Wilderness. Jean was joyful, energetic, determined, and loving, and delighted in her ever-growing circle of friends.
Jean grew up in Minot, North Dakota; St. Paul, Minnesota; and St. Louis, Missouri. She finished high school in 1971 in Amboy, Minnesota. She was a graduate of Minnesota State University, Winona. In the mid-90s her dreams brought her to United Theological Seminary in New Brighton, Minnesota. Jean found her roots living on her great-grandparents' homestead near Amboy, growing vegetables and immersing herself in the natural world she loved. In 2006 declining health led her and Diane to move to Mankato, but even when she had to leave other dreams behind Jean continued to create community, which is the best expression of social justice that there is.
Jean met the love of her life, Diane Dobitz, in 1997 and they were married in August 2013, as soon as it became legal. She was preceded in death by her mother, Margaret Lovett; father, Herbert Lovett; brother, Donald Lovett; infant sister Joan, and her beloved “Auntie Sis,” Ruth Burkholder. In addition to her wife, she is survived by her cousins Mary Beth Burkholder (Gary Zaremsky), Barbara Burkholder, John Burkholder (Nancy Krohn), and nephews Matthew (Samantha Ley, daughters Ellery and Rowan), Aaron, and Adam Zaremsky.
A private green burial was held on August 5 at Vernon Center Cemetery. A memorial service will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato at a later date.
Memorials may be directed to Blue Earth Nicollet County Humane Society (BENCHS), Planned Parenthood, Committee Against Domestic Abuse (CADA), and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Mankato (UUFM).
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