Our sweet wife, mother, sister, and grandmother peacefully and quietly passed from this life on Sunday, September 10, 2023. She was surrounded by loved ones and in her home in Fruit Heights, Utah at the time of her passing. She was 85 years old. Jean was the gracious, gentle, and beautiful matriarch of our family and will be deeply missed.
Born December 29, 1937 in Logan, Utah, Jean Madsen Reiche was the first born child of Chesley Mads Madsen and Eva Jeniel Jensen. After her dad graduated from Utah State University, her family moved to Davis County, Utah. She grew up taking piano and tap-dancing lessons, participating in student government, and was even the May Day Queen in the city parade one year! She adored her two younger sisters, who both looked up to her example. When Jean started high school, her family moved to Burley, Idaho and she graduated from Burley High School in 1956.
Jean studied English at Brigham Young University. While at BYU, she met and fell in love with Ralph Groo Reiche, who became her sweetheart of nearly 65 years. They were sealed for time and all eternity on October 24, 1958 in the Idaho Falls, Idaho Temple. They spent the early years of their marriage in California and Nevada, returning to Carmichael, California to live near family for many years. In 1978 they settled in Fruit Heights, Utah, where Jean was excited to live close to her mother and sisters again. Jean was a devoted and loving mother to her 6 children. She selflessly cared for her family and those around her, including her disabled son, Barry, who passed away at the age of 36.
Jean and Ralph went on many adventures together after Ralph’s retirement, visiting 49 states and several countries. Although she loved visiting new places around the world, Jean was a country girl at heart. She enjoyed going on road trips in their fifth wheel camper to spend time in the mountains. Jean and her husband loved to spend time together and could be found every night after dinner playing card games. Jean would often say that much of the good in her life was “all because two people fell in love”.
Jean was a faithful and humble follower of Jesus Christ and was a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Jean had a very grateful heart and her love for Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ was evident through her actions. She and her husband served as missionaries for the Church in the England Birmingham Mission from May 2001 - October 2002. Jean enjoyed sharing stories and pictures from their time living in Wales as missionaries and had a deep love for those she was able to meet and serve with while there. She also served in other various callings within the Church, including as a presidency member in her ward’s Relief Society and Primary Presidencies, Relief Society Stake Board Member, Teacher, and Temple Ordinance Worker.
Jean was a caring and affectionate grandmother. Her grandchildren were her world. She loved to spend time with her grandchildren and made the effort to attend many different performances, school activities, sports games, blessings, and baptisms throughout the years. Her grandchildren loved to visit “Grandma’s house” and were sure to leave her home with tummies full of candy from her candy jar.
To know Jean was to love Jean. She quietly went about doing good, serving and ministering to many around her without the expectation of recognition. She was very wise and often taught through simple sayings or phrases. Countless people benefited from her thoughtful and giving heart throughout the years. She enjoyed crocheting blankets for not only family members, but also the children she taught in her Primary classes. She would frequently be spotted in her red car taking her morning drive around Kaysville, often anonymously dropping off flowers to struggling neighbors on her way home. She had a knack for card-giving, sending hundreds of cards over the years with sweet notes expressing her love to those in her life. She loved the color blue and was affectionately known as “The Blue Girl”.
Jean is preceded in death by her parents and son Barry Drew Reiche. She is survived by her husband, Ralph Groo Reiche; her sisters Eva Ann Jacobs and Sarah Jane McDonald; her children Michael (Tammy), Brent, Lynnea Hamatake (Bart), Jennifer Byers (Jeff), and Jason (Joan); and many grandchildren and great-grandchildren. We are grateful that she has been reunited with so many of her loved ones and eagerly await the day when we will see her sweet smile again. We love her to pieces!
Funeral services will be held Saturday September 16, 2023 at 11:00 a.m. at the Fruit Heights 4th Ward Chapel, 24 S. Country Lane, Fruit Heights, Utah. Friends may visit with family Friday, September 15, 2023 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m. at Lindquist’s Layton Mortuary, 1867 No. Fairfield Rd., Layton, Utah and Saturday from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. at the church.
Interment, Kaysville City Cemetery.
Services will be live-streamed and may be viewed by scrolling to the bottom of Jean's obituary page at www.lindquistmortuary.com.