In memoriam: Jean Rahn, 1946-2015

Western Today staff
  • Rahn

[ Editor's note: This obituary was first published in The Bellingham Herald. ]

Jean Cook Rahn passed away peacefully at home April 2, 2015, after a courageous battle with ovarian cancer.

She was born May 22, 1946, in Springfield, Ill., an only child, to William and Norine Cook.

During summer vacations to the Colorado Rockies as a child, she fell in love with the mountains, and met her future husband, Dave Rahn, from Billings, Mont.

After completing her undergraduate degree in American history from the University of Denver, she married Dave in Evergreen, Colo., on Aug. 26, 1967, and together they moved to Missoula, Mont. A few years later, they moved to Billings to start and raise a family, and there Jean completed a masters degree in counseling at Eastern Montana College.

In 1979, she went to work for the Eastern Montana College Foundation, and there she discovered her talent and passion for fundraising. She had a long and successful career fundraising for public universities, including Western Washington University and Colorado State University in Fort Collins, Colo.

At her final position, she found great joy and satisfaction in fundraising for a private hospital, PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Center, in Vancouver, Wash. She enjoyed doing work that made a difference in people's lives.

Over the last few years of her life, she rediscovered her faith and found her spiritual home and community at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral in Portland. She loved her friends, traveling, gardening, the Rocky Mountains, the Oregon coast, reading, and good wine and chocolate. But most of all, she loved her family, especially spending time on family holidays and vacations.

Jean is survived by her two children, son Andrew Rahn of Bozeman and daughter Shannon (Chris) Cumming of Seattle. She is also survived by her grandchildren Trillium and Charlie Memmer-Rahn of Bozeman and Daniel Cumming of Seattle.

The family would like to express their deepest gratitude for the excellent and compassionate care their mother and grandmother received from the many outstanding people at Compass Oncology, PeaceHealth Southwest Hospice, Northwest Healthcare and Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

Services will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, April 11, at Trinity Episcopal Cathedral. 147 NW Avenue, Portland, Ore. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to PeaceHealth Southwest Medical Foundation or Trinity Episcopal Cathedral.

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Thursday, April 9, 2015 - 8:27am