Norma Jean Heatherly
Private funeral services were held at Exeter District Cemetery on July 1 for Norma Jean Heatherly of Exeter.
Jean was welcomed into her eternal home on June 26, 2013 at the age of 84.
From her humble beginnings she learned the value of hard work and the importance of family. She completed her education and during WWII went to teach at a local grammar school. While living in town she met the love of her life and on September 11, 1947, at the age of 18, Jean married Walter Heatherly.
Shortly after, they moved to Exeter and she began working for Ross Sellars and Sons Insurance Agency. Walt and Jean became a family of three in 1955 when their only son, Galen, was born. As a mother, Jean continued to pursue her passion as a professional woman and in 1974 received her California insurance agent’s license. Jean was a charter member and past president of the Insurance Women of Kings and Tulare Counties, was the first woma
n in the Kings & Tulare Counties to receive the National designation of Certified Professional Insurance Woman and was selected as the Insurance Woman of the Year in 1977 by the Kings and Tulare County Insurance Women’s Association.
She celebrated a long and rewarding career in the insurance industry and in 1977 enjoyed a brief retirement before returning to school for her teaching credential a year later. Jean developed and taught insurance classes at the College of the Sequoias and never truly retired as she continued to “fill in” at any opportunity even after she
assumed what would be the most important role of her life, 10 years later.
For many years, Jean was a devoted wife, mother and friend, and in 1988 with the birth of their first granddaughter, she assumed her most important role of “Nanny.” For the next 21 years Nanny and Poppy’s world revolved around their two “sweet dolls,” and during the winter of their lives they found new passion and unparalleled joy in ice cream runs, soccer games, and crayon love letters.
As she joins again the love of her life with whom she spent 61 beautiful years, her parents, her brothers, and others she has dearly missed, she leaves for a short time her son Galen and daughter-in-law Wendy, her two granddaughters, Danika and Kara, her brother Glen Weaver, sister Sue Arnold, and many lifelong friends.
Those who know Jean admire her selfless love, unwavering devotion, gentle spirit and determination. She has taught us much and as we rejoice in the promise of eternal life and celebrate a grand homecoming in Heaven, we know that her spirit will continue to live in each of us – for that we are forever thankful.
Condolences can be made online at www.smithfamilychapel.com. Arrangements made by Smith Family Chapel of Exeter. Please make remembrances to the Kaweah Delta Hospital Foundation, 216 S. Johnson St. Visalia, Ca 93291.