Jean Lorraine (Wilson) Levering, 80, of Smithville, TX passed away peacefully in her sleep on Wednesday December 16, 2020. Jean was a spirited educator for over 35 years and a passionate member of the art community.
She was born on February 19, 1940 to Leroy and Katherine (Kolter) Wilson in Newark, Ohio. Jean graduated from Highland Park High School in Dallas, TX in 1958, and earned her Bachelors and Masters degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. Jean married Joe Levering 57 years ago on June 1, 1963 and they began to create a life together in Austin. The young couple soon moved to Corpus Christi and then settled in the piney woods near Smithville in 1973 to build their home together and complete their family.
Jean brought her sharp wit to work as an English and History teacher at Bastrop High School and touched the lives of thousands of students. Her teaching style vividly brought the truth of history to her students in hopes the youth would be better prepared for life. She also led several UIL (University Interscholastic League) competitive teams in her career as an educator.
Jean brought her creative energy to pottery and crafted many beautiful works of art, as well as decades-worth of functional and treasured dishware (many of us have our morning coffee from mugs she made years ago). Earlier in life, she and Joe would pack up the pottery and drive the family to art shows all over Texas. In the 1980s, her passion for art led her to collaborate with fellow talented artists to found Gallery 71 and invigorate the early art scene in Smithville.
Her love of diverse music led her to perform in several bands including blues, folk, and even jug bands. Jean was an enthusiastic musician and multi-instrumentalist best known for her melodic flute solos. Whether playing on stage or at church she put tremendous energy into her craft. She sang in many choirs and performed in several drama productions at the Bastrop Opera House.
She truly relished nature and shared that appreciation with her family. She loved taking the family hiking and camping in the mountains of New Mexico and Colorado, and in retirement even ventured to Machu Picchu in Peru. Always health-minded, she ran a three mile loop in Bastrop State Park most days after school, placed in many local races, and devotedly ran the Capital 10k race in Austin for decades.
Jean is survived by her husband Joe, her son Craig Gido (wife Audri of Kent Island, MD), her son Vrad (Oakland, CA), her brother Jim Wilson (wife Sharon of Pittsburgh, PA) and her nephew Chris Wilson (Jacksonville, FL). Jean was blessed with two grandchildren Eva and Theo. She is preceded in death by her nephew Mark Wilson.
Jean will always be remembered for her kind heart, witty humor and the artistic energy that she brought to daily life and to her classroom. She will be in our hearts and cherished forever.
A private ceremony for the family is planned for late December. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to Alzheimer’s Research at www.alz.org or to the Sierra Club www.sierraclub.org in memory of Jean Levering.
Jean’s memorial web page is: https://www.mykeeper.com/profile/JeanLevering/