Jean was born in Beaver Dam, Wisconsin, but grew up in Eagle Rock, California, which she always considered her childhood home. Jean earned her BA in psychology and education from the University of Redlands. In 1961 she married the late Richard S. Lehman, who took them to Lancaster, PA for his job as a Psychology Professor at Franklin and Marshall College.
Jean's life was one of passionate connection with people and with the arts. Beginning as an educator, she taught first grade in Boulder, Colorado; she later completed coursework for a master's degree in education. However, her life changed forever in 1976 when she discovered her passion for pottery. Her husband and children supported her love of clay, which required long hours at the wheel and juggling many deadlines. She was proud that her pottery income paid for one daughter's college tuition. Her own work was distinctive and highly regarded, including innovative items like a sugar bowl with side pockets for sugar substitutes, and a one-piece soap dish with drainage. She loved to be surrounded by handmade functional pottery for everyday use.
Although Jean retired from active pottery production in 1999, she continued to teach and promote pottery. Her passion for fine crafts led her to leadership positions in the community, including the state and local Pennsylvania Guild of Craftsmen, the Central Pennsylvania Potters Group, the National Council on Education of Ceramic Arts, and the Potter's Council (as a charter member). She also chaired or co-chaired the Strictly Functional Pottery National (SFPN) for seventeen years, retiring in 2012. SFPN is a national ceramic exhibition that provides a venue for functional pottery.
Following her retirement, she moved to Bellingham, Washington, where she continued to organize events in her retirement community.
Her friends and family remember her as loving, kind and generous. Her passion and determination were balanced by her quick laugh and the sparkle in her eye. She remained energetic and eager to travel, to learn, and to connect with people until her final moments.
Jean was the proud mother of Patricia Sue Lehman of Lancaster, Pennsylvania, and Barbara Jean Lehman, married to Chris Loar, of Bellingham, WA. She was "Mimi" to her grandson, Micah Lehman-Loar. She had no siblings and was widowed in 2004. Jean is survived by her sister-in-law Cheryl Morris and predeceased by bother-in-law John F. Morris. Although separated by distance, her cousins, Marcia Speicher and Claire Weber were dear to her.
A celebration of Jean's life will be held on July 28 at 2:00 PDT at Solstice Senior Living in Bellingham, WA. Fully vaccinated friends are welcome to attend in person; all are welcome via Zoom. Instead of flowers, please send donations to the ARC of Lancaster County, https://www.thearclancleb.org/donate, or to the Strictly Functional Pottery National, c/o MHCC, https://market-house-craft-center.square.site/.