Obituary: Jean Marie (James) Dancz, 76, of Scottville,

June 19, 2020

Jean Dancz

Obituary: Jean Marie (James) Dancz, 76, of Scottville,

Jean Marie (James) Dancz of Scottville, born March 11, 1944 to Edward (Hank) and Doris James of Ludington, passed away June 18, 2020 surrounded by loved ones in her home following a long battle with cancer at the age of 76. 

Dennis and Jean were married August 26, 1961 (almost 59 years of marriage). Jean is survived by her husband, Dennis Dancz of Scottville; her son and daughter-in-law, Jeffrey and Candy Dancz of Manistee; daughter and son-in-law, Lisa and Rodney Barth of Missouri; two brothers and sisters-in law, Edward and Sandy James of Ludington and Roger and Mardi James of Florida; a sister and brother-in-law, Judy (James) and Larry Morrison of Walhalla; two brothers-in-law and sister-in-law, Brant and Joan Dancz of Ludington, and James Dancz of Scottville; five grandchildren (Matthew Dancz, Zachary Enos, William Enos, Brianna Barth, and Abram Dancz), two step-grandchildren (April Brown and Jonathan Barth), two great-granddaughters (Rein Dancz and Willow Dancz), numerous friends, cousins, nieces, nephews, and long-time friends, Ray and Pat O’Brien and Barb Beckstrom. Jean is preceded in death by her parents, Edward and Doris James; brother, Larry James of Ludington; Father-in law and Mother-in-law, Francis (Frank) Dancz and Magdalena (Margie) Dancz; brother-in-law, Richard Dancz; and life-long friends, travel companions, and family members Pat and Danny Warner.

Since There are No Public Services Planned at this Time, here are a few Words about Jean:

A wise man once said that our Mother was an interesting lady. That man is our Father and he loves our Mother, his Wife, more than life itself. She has played many roles, that of daughter, sister, friend, wife, mother, aunt, grandmother, great grandmother, seamstress, gardener, baker, cook, runner, health and nutrition enthusiast, archer, dancer, camper, traveler, avid reader… the list is endless. 

Our Mother always prided herself on her family, a life of hard work laced with a clean and honest living, and a clean, warm, and welcoming home filled with love and compassion. She instilled in us a love for reading. In the summer, we would sit under one of our trees and she would read to us while the sweet scent of black locust petals would float down around us. Our home was always filled with the sweet scents of freshly baked bread, homemade cinnamon rolls, cakes, pies, and cookies. She was as patient with her grandchildren as she was her children, teaching them life skills and life lessons that they hold dear to this day. She loved Christmas…the decorating, the cheer, the sights and sounds, the cooking and baking, the sharing of recipes, but most of all, she enjoyed the gathering of family and the building of family bonds and traditions the most, regardless of the holiday or time of year.  

With all the roles our Mother wore, none has been more important than her role as wife. Nothing in this entire world made our Mother as happy as spending time with Her Den, our Father, her husband. They have a marriage and bond that most people dream about, but never achieve. They are best friends, companions, and lovers. Each morning, they sit with their coffee and talk about the books they are reading, current events, hopes, dreams, fears, and the adventures that await them whether that be their next home repair project or the planning of one of their many travels.  

They loved to travel, meet new people, and experience new places. One of their favorite places, in which they would return numerous times over many years, was Panama City Beach which became a home away from home. They camped, scouted out the perfect bar and grills, found the dance halls, collected seashells, searched for perfect views, and took long walks on the beach…there was never a dull moment. Their love is palpable and those that knew them or seen them together understood that the bond they share can not be described by mere words.

The profound effect our Mother has had on the lives of so many people will be remembered forever. Mom, you will be missed and loved beyond belief. 

Memories of Jean through the eyes of her Children and Grandchildren:

A Son (Jeffrey) – My memories of my Mom can be summed up in a vast love and respect for a strong willed and temperate Lady. Her long hours of sacrifice to me, my sister, and my Dad made life so much more fulfilling and abundant. Especially priceless to me was her time taking me to guitar lessons and boy scout meetings.  She taught us gardening, baking, caring for things and each other. I cherish the long hours at the beach during the summer and lazy afternoons playing music, shooting the bows, or launching model rockets. Her talents in the kitchen using a wood stove which imbued the air with the odors of fresh bread, stews, and cookies which we enjoyed along with the delight of licking the bowls and beaters well before the treats would be ready.  Aside from giving me birth and caring for me as if I we’re the most precious bundle that ever existed; I thank you Mom for that sense of wonder that you sensed in me and fostered it’s growth. Through visits to the libraries where the mysteries of the known universe were revealed in the pages of those beautiful worn tomes! I’m thankful she and Dad found, reinforced, grew, and flourished throughout her time on this ole Earth with us. Now that we are parted it will make the day when next we meet blessedly sweet and joyous.  

A Daughter (Lisa) – One of my fondest memories of my Mother was when I was 7 years old, playing with my Brother in the treehouse our Father made for us. My Mother asked me to come inside to try on a new jumpsuit she had just made for me. The material was one that she had let me pick out at the store all by myself. It was brown and covered with pictures of candy. Hershey bars, M&Ms, Snickers bars, juju fruit, etc. The jumpsuit fit perfect and I was so happy to have such beautiful new clothes. After trying them on to make sure they fit, she told me I could go play in them. I couldn’t believe it. “Play in my nice new clothes?” I asked. And she told me those were my new play clothes. I was so happy to run back out to the treehouse in my new pretty jumpsuit. And to top it off, she brought sandwiches and lemonade out to me and my brother so we could have lunch in the treehouse on that warm and glorious summer day. I remember her standing on her tiptoes while my Brother and I stretched our arms down to grab the sandwiches and drinks. Of course, now when I look at that old treehouse, which only stands about 5 feet high, I can’t imagine why she had to reach up, or us down, but that’s the way I remember it…and I wouldn’t change a thing about that day. 

A Grandson (William Enos) – One of my oldest and fondest memories might seem kind of silly. But I remember going over on the weekends and hearing about grandma and grandpa going on these really long 2, 5- or 7-mile walks. I think I was 5 or 6 the first time I tried to go on one with them. We made it just a little past the mailbox before I was already too tired to keep going. And I just remember thinking to myself at that time, “wow, I can’t believe people walk further than this for fun” so grandma walked me back to the house, she could tell I was disappointed in myself for not being able to keep up, but she told me, that someday I’d be stronger and able to outrun her, she told me “it’s not going to be easy, you need to stay healthy though and running will give you a strong heart” and that’s just something that stuck with me for a really-really long time now. I didn’t know what staying healthy meant as a kid, but now i know what it means to be healthy for myself, and the people I care about.

I always really liked when we’d go out to the blackberry trees too, it wasn’t very far, but it gave me a lot of time to get creative with my own story telling. I’m sure I was probably really bad at it, but looking back, grandma always seemed to pay attention to what I had to talk about.

Sometimes it was about what I read in one of the new animal magazines they got for us, sometimes it was about one of my favorite cartoons, sometimes I was probably just fibbing! But she always had an open ear and thinking about walking to that blackberry tree just reminds me of talking and spending time with her. 

A Granddaughter (Brianna Barth) – Some of the most memorable times with my grandma were spent in the summer when we would come to visit. One of the summers I came to visit my grandma, she taught me how to sew. I remember this so vividly because it wasn’t your average sewing class. The fabric choices were brown, tan, black and white along with a pile of stuffing. The pattern showed arms and legs along with a head. What I didn’t expect was to see ears and a tail. We were going to be creating a teddy bear and I was so excited. I have to admit, I was terrible at sewing. However, my grandma was patient when teaching me and I also quickly learned that grandma was always right. She had sewn that whole bear for me, and we placed eyes and a nose on it at the end. But that wasn’t the final step. We brought the bear to life with a music box. There were multiple options to choose from, all with their own melody. I find this fitting to describe my grandma as she would bring life to everywhere, she went. She was genuinely a caring individual and used her gifts to share and spread joy to others. She made hundreds of those teddy bears to give away. Each with their own melody unknown to those receiving them that the melody they heard was my grandmas’ heart and soul that she poured into those creations.

Other memories of my grandma include:

My grandparents had taken me to a camp where I was able to ride horses, we spent our time together in a camper. There were so many things to do and see. But I remember playing checkers with my grandma. If anyone knew my grandma then they knew she never lost at checkers and there was no exception, even for me. I realized in that moment that she was strong willed and determined and that is where I got my sass from.

Another fond memory I have of my grandma is when we would visit for the summer and have a girl’s day along with my mother. We went shopping around the local areas and tried on various hats and scarves. We always had to touch and look at everything. I remember my grandma being very fond of turquoise whenever we went somewhere, she would have this power to somehow sense this stone across the room. So, every time I see that particular stone it brings me back to those times spent with her and the summers we came to visit.

A Grandson (Zachary Enos) – During this difficult time I find I am unable to share my personal thoughts and memories regarding the greatest woman on Earth, I will say that I cherish the time we spent on arts and crafts, the pancakes she made with loving care and kindness even as I became a man, the love of shared movies and shows from my childhood, playing outside, freshly baked cookies, and Nintendo 64…there is no place more sacred than Grandma’s.

A Grandson (Matthew Dancz) – I remember Grandma as a strong woman.  I will never forget foraging for blueberries to make Grandpa’s pancakes while camping in the motorhome at the state park.  She was a great gardener and taught me how to make great chips and cheese.  I will treasure the teddy bear she made me, until it is my time to pass on too.  I will miss being able to talk with her.

Our family would like to thank all the kind and compassionate health care and Hospice providers that helped Jean, Dennis, and the entire family love, laugh, and cry through this difficult time.

MEMORIALS: In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Cancer Society.

Arrangements were entrusted to Oak Grove Funeral Home of Ludington, www.OakGroveLudington.com

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