Jean Ellen Tisdale Houff (Tizzy, Jeannie, Weenie, Bee), age 78, of Wilmington, DE, slipped quickly and unexpectedly away from us on Monday, June 12. Although she had suffered a turbulent year of serious health problems, she was able to spend her final months at home, enjoying the company and care of her husband and youngest son. Born in Lyndhurst Virginia, she spent the first three decades of her life in the Old Dominion state, primarily in Waynesboro where she graduated from high school and started her family, before moving to Wilmington, DE in the early 1970’s.
In her youth she was a gifted athlete and she retained her love of sports, tennis in particular, and dance throughout her life. Her tremendous love of music also shaped her-- She joked that Chuck Berry must surely have written “Sweet Little Sixteen” for her after she sat on his lap at a concert —and she passed this love to her children and grandchildren. She spent countless hours in concerts and performances supporting them.
She cultivated a home where people could gather, relax, eat, laugh, and play. She loved animals, children, gardening, and the sun. Some of her greatest joy came from watching things grow. Despite her lifelong struggles with depression and anxiety, hers was a radiant personality. Sharp-witted and vivacious, she epitomized southern charm and warmth.
She is survived by Edward, her husband of 57 years, her children and their spouses, Kameron, Kurt and Lois Houff, Kathy Houff and Clayton Speak and by her beloved grandchildren, Dr. Madison Houff, Konnor Houff, and Talia Speak.
The family will be receiving visitors on July 6th from 6:00-7:00 p.m. at McCrery and Harra Funeral Home (3924 Concord Pike, Wilmington, DE 19803) immediately followed with a memorial service celebrating Jeanne’s life. In lieu of flowers a donation may be sent to NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness),
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