Jean Ann Nist
Generous friend, loyal mother, crafter
Jean Ann Nist died Monday, February 10, 2014. She was 80.
Ms. Nist was born on December 17, 1933 in Rochester, Indiana to Nobelene Helen Brooker Spencer and Eugene A. Spencer. She graduated from Rochester Joint High School in 1951 where she was known as “Speed.”
In school, she sang in the Girls’ Glee Club, played french horn in the band and was a member of the Thespian Society where she was part of “We Shook the Family Tree” as Sally. Outside of school, she worked for The Chester White Journal. She also did a brief stint as a soda jerk at the local drugstore, securing a long-term passion for pop and ice cream.
In 1960, she moved to Pomona and became involved with the Pomona Unified School District, first as a room mother and then joining the Parent-Teacher Association. She served as an officer for the PTA, eventually as president, and worked as an instructional library aide for the ESSA Reading program before joining the workforce as an office manager. She retired in 2004 but continued to work part-time until 2010. She was a hard worker and was dubbed “Jean the Machine” during her career.
Along with her district position, she worked at the Los Angeles County Fair for 34 years at the P-Nuttles stand located across from the clock tower at the Fairplex. She started as a sampler and sales clerk before advancing to a management position. She was also known to play a pony or two through hot tips from longtime customers.
Ms. Nist also worked at the US post office in Pomona on Monterey Avenue during Christmastime from the mid to late 1960s. She took great pride in helping sort the letters for Santa to send to the North Pole.
Out of all of the positions that Ms. Nist held, her greatest role was that of a fiercely loyal mother. In her free time, she enjoyed baking, sewing and crafting. She always shared all she had with others, her family noted. Her gifts would show up unexpectedly at any time and for any occasion, family shared.
She was an independent woman with a style all her own. She would wear Birkenstock sandals and carry Dooney & Bourke purses. When the weather turned chilly, she had a stockpile of about 100 sweatshirts to choose from.
Ms. Nist is preceded in death by her only sibling, James Michael Spencer; and sons, Jeffery Michael Nist and Joseph Spencer Nist. She is survived by her son, Jon Thomas Nist of Claremont; daughter, Joni Catherine Sullivan of Coeur d’Alene, Idaho, three grandsons and one great-granddaughter.
A memorial service was previously held at the Todd Memorial Chapel.