JEAN RITA STAIMAN
We lost a special woman, Jean Rita Staiman, 92, on Wednesday, September 30, 2020. A Williamsport native and daughter of the late Rebecca and Benjamin Alpert, Jean was born on December 2, 1927. Devoted wife, loving mother and beloved Bubbie (Yiddish for grandmother), Jean is survived by her husband Marvin Staiman, the love of her life, to whom she was married for 73years, and her six children Keith (Eva), Cynthia (Arno), Jeffrey (Chaya), Richard (Allison), Jonathan (Lisa) and Rebecca (Stuart), 19 grandchildren and 27 great-grandchildren.
Next to Jean’s favorite chair was always a pile of books. Her passion for reading was passed on to the next generations. She enjoyed rides in the country, jigsaw and word puzzles. She and Marvin played endless games of Scrabble and swam together. She completed countless miles of laps over the years.
Jean was an eloquent, articulate public speaker. Beautiful,with a flawless complexion and always so put together with that enigmatic smile of hers, she had taste, poise and an unerring sense of style. Her forte was finding terrific buys on QVC and when shopping, a favorite pastime. She never traveled without sending postcards and bringing back gifts for everyone including the office employees at Staiman Brothers (Staiman Recycling) where she worked for 22 years.
An avid basketball fan,her children lovingly remember her letting the refs know when she disagreed with them from the top bleacher row at the old high school gym during the Eastern League games.
Despite losing everything in the 1936 flood and her own mother at 26, Jean was an incredibly strong woman, capable, organized and efficient. She hosted rabbis, cantors, out-of-town guests and locals at multi-course meals on Sabbaths and the Jewish holidays and made every person feel special. Every fall she and Marvin welcomed Ohev Sholom Synagogue congregants to their home for a holiday reception. She was renowned for her brisket, stuffed cabbage, chicken soup with Hungarian beans, sweet and sour meatballs, teiglach, honey cake, mandelbrot, apple pie and other delectable recipes.
Jean went on cruises with Marvin and toured much of the world. They were honored to be in Israel for its50th and 60th anniversaries and visited the four European concentration camps where members of her father’s family perished.
Jean and Marvin walked to and from Sabbath services every Saturday. People often remarked how lovely it was to see them holding hands as they strolled along Grampian Boulevard.
Jean graduated Summa Cum Laude from the former Dickinson Junior College, now Lycoming College. She was named Lycoming College Alumna of the Year and received an honorary Doctor of Laws in 2016.
Community and Jewish service were Jean’s life. She was active in Hadassah as president of the Williamsport and Eastern Regional Chapters and served five years on the National Board in New York City. She and Marvin led the local Israel Bonds campaign for over 60 years. They were original contributors and raised funds for the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C.She chaired fundraising efforts for other organizations including Lycoming County United Way, Susquehanna Boy and Girl Scouts and the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra.
Jean served on the boards of the YMCA, Ohev Sholom Synagogue and as Sisterhood president;the Williamsport Symphony Orchestra, the Community Arts Center, Girl and Boy Scouts, Crittenton Services and innumerable others. Her devotion and lifelong accomplishments earned her a spot with Marvin on the downtown mural as well as numerous awards -- the Susquehanna Council Boy Scouts of America Distinguished Citizen Award (1996) and Silver Beaver Award; Lycoming County United Way Honoree of the Year for Community Service (1992); Grit Award for Community Service (1985); the Community Arts Center Director Chair (with Marvin – 2006) and the Anti-Defamation League of B’nai B’rith Torch of Liberty Award (with Marvin – 1990) to name just a few.
Jean will be deeply missed, her legacy forever remembered, and she will always live on in our hearts. Her cherished Marvin, who has been in love with his “Jeannie” since he was 10, once wrote her a poem. Here are a few lines:
Since childhood, you were a beautiful vision,
Making easy my life’s decision.
Our marriage is fantastic and wondrous,
You brought out the best in both of us.
Your love, devotion and companionship –
#1 in our everlasting relationship.
To my Eishet Chayil (Woman of Valor) - “Chazak Chazak Venischazake (Be
Strong, Be Strong and May We Be Strengthened)
Rest of my life in you I stake!
Jean was buried in Israel.
A Memorial Service will be announced at a later date.
Send condolences at jamesmaneval.com or to Staimancondolences@gmail.com.
Donations in honor of Jean to:
Ohev Sholom Synagogue, 1501 Cherry Street, Williamsport, PA 17701
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington, D.C.
Local charities, Lycoming College, Pennsylvania College of Technology
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean Rita (Alpert) Staiman, please visit our floral store.