August 15, 1934 ~ February 5, 2024 (age 89) 89 Years Old


Jean McCown

With sadness and great appreciation for a life well-lived, we announce the passing of Marjean (Jean) McCown, who died on February 5, 2024 in Yakima, Washington. Jean was born August 15, 1934 in Moscow, Idaho to Omer and Marjean Watson. Omer and Marjean raised eight children including Jean, sisters Nancy, Dorothy, Suzanne, Carolyn, Paula and brothers Omar and Riley.

At an early age, Jeans’ family moved to Garfield, Washington, where she spent the majority of her life. She married the love of her life, Ray McCown in 1951, eventually welcoming Debbie, Craig, Marcia and Jill into their lives. Jean was a loving, supportive and active mother and wife and the McCown household was always a welcoming place for friends and family.

When Jean and Ray’s children grew up and had begun embarking on their own lives, she started a new chapter in hers by enrolling at WSU where she earned a teaching degree in English. She was immediately hired by the Garfield-Palouse (Gar- Pal) School District where she proudly taught high school English for 10 years. During this stage of her life, she traveled often with Ray. They were delighted to chaperone a high school educational trip to New York, Washington DC, and Philadelphia one year. The two of them loved long road trips together and eventually visited all 50 states (Including a trip with Craig to Alaska). Other lovely memories include trips to Ireland, Belgium, France, England and Scandinavian countries. One of their favorite excursions was a Panama Canal cruise which they took with Marcia and her husband, Tim.

Jean dearly loved the town of Garfield and its community which she served in so many ways. As a member of AAUW, she helped fundraising efforts to support high school girls with college math and science scholarships. For many years foreign exchange students stayed with host families in Garfield, and local students lived abroad as a result of the AFS program of which she was a vital part. She served on countless committees formed to help Garfield in some way. She and Ray were the driving force behind many beautification projects including adding lovely “Welcome” signs at both entrances to town, constructing park benches, planting and caring for a lawn and seasonal flowers and installing Christmas lights on the tree in downtown Garfield. The couple was often seen at Gar-Pal athletic and extra-curricular events, were proud season ticket holders of WSU sports for decades. Jean was a member of several “bridge” clubs and loved playing Scrabble with family and friends.

Jean was the matriarch to a large, close knit family that includes 4 children, 11 grandchildren and 19 great-grandchildren. After Ray passed away in 2020 she remained in Garfield for more than a year. She eventually moved to Enumclaw, Washington, to live with Jill (and husband Ted) for several months then to Fieldstone Memory Care, a facility in Yakima, Washington. She loved being in such close proximity to Craig and his entire family living there.

Jean will be laid to rest in the Garfield Cemetery with her beloved Ray. The family will host a “Celebration of Life” for her on May 4, 2024 at 1:00 pm at the Garfield Christian Church.

Kramer Funeral Home, Palouse, WA is caring for the family. On line condolences may be left at

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Celebration of Life
May 4, 2024

1:00 PM to 3:00 PM
Garfield Christian Fellowship
Garfield, WA 99130
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