Aberdeen, SD-Jean Cantwell, age 89, passed away quietly on December 13, 2020 due to complications from COVID-19. She was under the care of the staff at Aberdeen Health and Rehab, and the family is extremely grateful for the compassion they showed her during this difficult time. Services will be held at a later date.
Jean was born on April 13, 1931 to John and Edythe (Moore) Wolff of Forbes, N.D. Raised on a small farm with three brothers, Jean was always busy with chores like feeding animals, canning vegetables, or collecting fuel for the wood-burning stove. It was a true country life where she and her brothers walked to a one-room schoolhouse to study with children of all ages. In the winter, if the snow was too deep, her parents would take the kids to class in a horse drawn sleigh.
In 1942, the family moved to another farm near Frederick, S.D. There, Jean finished her education in the Barnard school system, graduating with a class of six students in 1949. Afterwards, she worked in a clerical position for several years in Aberdeen.
On November 8, 1954, she married John ‘Jack’ Cantwell. They settled in Barnard and began raising a family that eventually grew to five children. It was a lively house, made even livelier by frequent visits from relatives, friends and neighbors. Dedicated to her family, Jean always made sure that her kids were doing their best in school, that her home was a tidy and welcoming place, and that there were always fresh-baked treats to nibble on just in case company dropped by for a cup of coffee. She made a mean chocolate chip cookie, attended far more Little League baseball games than she ever expected, and was surprisingly strong for such a little woman.
After Jack’s death in 1994, Jean moved to Aberdeen to be closer to family. She loved spending time with her grandchildren and never missed any of their activities, or an opportunity to have fun with them. In fact, one of Jean’s absolute favorite things to do was going on an adventure to Storybook Land with her grandchildren and great grandchildren to see the animals or take a train ride around the park.
Jean’s faith was also important to her. After the move to Aberdeen, she became a member of St. Mary’s Catholic Church and attended services regularly. Another thing she did regularly was walk. She rarely missed a day, and it was a common sight to see Jean meandering the path along Moccasin Creek, looking for birds and other wildlife. She was a kind and loving person who will be greatly missed by her family and friends.
Jean is survived by her children Keith Cantwell of Jacksonville, FL, Kevin (Kathy) Cantwell of Aberdeen, Kim (Dave) Cantwell Gab of Ashland, OR, Kraig Cantwell of Kaneohe, HI, and Kermit (Suzanne) Cantwell of Portland, OR; brother Dallas Wolff of Diamond City, AK; sisters-in-law Betty Wolff of Watertown, SD, Paula Wolff of Oklahoma City, OK, and Elaine (Earl) Schulenburg of Dayton, MN; seven grandchildren, nine great grandchildren, plus numerous nieces and nephews.
She is preceded in death by her husband Jack; her parents John and Edythe; brothers Roger Wolff and Robert Wolff; and daughters-in-law Sharai Cantwell and Lynne Cantwell.
The family prefers memorials to Storybook Land, c/o Cantwell family, 12753 389th Ave, Aberdeen, SD 57401.
Carlsen Funeral Home and Crematory of Aberdeen has been entrusted with arrangements.