Cover photo for Jean Elaine Abke's Obituary
Jean Elaine Abke Profile Photo
1948 Jean 2021

Jean Elaine Abke

January 17, 1948 — November 29, 2021

Jean Elaine Abke was a kind and thoughtful soul for 73 years. She passed on November 29th and did not want a celebration of her life during the pandemic.

Jean was predeceased by her parents Margaret and Ken, and her sister Kathleen. She is lovingly survived by her husband Rickie; The Abke family; her sister Karen; her sister Kathleen’s husband Ron; her niece Jackie, Jackie's husband Steve; her nephews Brian and Steven, Steven’s wife Peggy; her grand-nieces Kirsten and Beth; her aunt Marion; numerous cousins; and her dogs Betty Boop and Riney and cats Rodney, Shadow and Baby Girl.

Jean cared deeply about local food security and animal adoption. So, in lieu of flowers please contribute to the Mission Northeast food pantry in New Caney, Texas or a local No-Kill animal sanctuary.

Jean was born on January 17th, 1948 in rural Wisconsin and the family lived in Camp Douglas. When she was nine, they moved to Rockford, Illinois. Jean’s older sisters took her everywhere. If Kathleen and Karen went on a double date, Jean was the chaperone.

Jean graduated from Rockford East High School. She worked for the health department. She loved horses but got bucked off one afternoon and was bruised badly. So, from that point forward she stuck to her yellow mustang with a stick shift. Jean’s niece Jackie remembers many fun trips to get cheeseburgers and fries in that mustang. Jackie always palled around with Jean and recalls how many books Jean had on her shelves. Jean was an avid reader and enjoyed watching the TV show Jeopardy! with Jackie.

Jean decided to move to Texas. She took what she thought was a temporary job at Coca-Cola in Houston. Jean was new and didn’t know anyone so she would eat lunch alone. One afternoon Brenda Abke invited Jean to lunch, and they quickly became friends. A few months later Brenda invited Jean to a family party. Brenda had 7 brothers and sisters, so family get-togethers were large enough for 2 volleyball teams. Jean had a good time playing volleyball, grilling out with a cold beer, and sharing lots of laughs. So, she became a frequent contestant in Abke family volleyball matches. And that’s where she found her match, Rickie.

Rickie and Jean were laughing together from the start. Jean started attending Abke family holiday parties, and the two enjoyed talking and discovered common values. They started dating and married on November 21st, 1982. Jean and Rickie liked going to flea markets, garage sales, and spending time with family. Jean and Rickie shared a love for animals. Jean wanted to adopt every homeless dog or cat that she met. Jean and Rickie balanced each other, took care of each other, and celebrated 39 years of marriage in 2021.

Jean and her sister Kathleen were very close their entire lives. They talked on the phone every morning. Jean and Rickie always enjoyed visiting Kathleen and Ron each summer for two weeks. The sisters shared a love for collectables and would go to flea markets and shop while the guys went fishing or worked on a project. One summer Jean, Kathleen, and Kathleen’s granddaughter Kirsten took a trip back to rural Wisconsin where the sisters were born. Jean’s nephew Brian remembers fun times touring an auto museum, Anderson Gardens and Nicholas Conservatory with them during their visits.

Jean stayed at Coke for 38 years and loved Coca-Cola antiques and memorabilia. She was a kind and compassionate soul that wanted the world to sing in perfect harmony.

Jean will be lovingly remembered by everyone that knew her.
To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Elaine Abke, please visit our flower store.


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