Jean Colby Zaun Davis, 89, of East Burke, passed away peacefully at her home on Friday, Aug. 20, 2021.
Jean was born in St. Johnsbury, Vt., on April 28, 1932, to the late Clarence Frost Colby and Lydia Adams (Holmes) Colby. She was raised in St. Johnsbury Center and graduated from St. Johnsbury Academy in 1949 and from Lyndon State College in 1968.
A dedicated elementary school teacher for 27 years, Jean treated every child like her own and always went above and beyond in service to her students. She earned the Outstanding Teacher Award from UVM in 1991. After her retirement, she always enjoyed reconnecting with former students and learning about their lives.
Her faith was important to her and she was a valued member of St. Peter’s Mission in Lyndonville for many years. She was always available to help her church community as a volunteer, fundraising coordinator or any other role required of her.
Jean took an interest in the lives of members of her various communities and spent a great deal of time helping others, always following her beliefs and leading by example. She was a Justice of the Peace in Burke for many years, and volunteered her time to Caledonia County Home Health Care & Hospice, The American Cancer Society and Relay for Life, Meals on Wheels, The Lyndonville Food Shelf, NVRH, The Burke Mountain Club, The DKG Teacher’s Sorority, along with many other organizations and causes.
She married Jack Davis on June 28, 1969, and they enjoyed 51 years together. Jean enjoyed golf, bowling, boating and fishing. She and Jack trained a seeing-eye dog through Guiding Eyes. In her retirement years, she and Jack enjoyed traveling extensively with their camper. They traveled to the Arctic Circle, Alaska and enjoyed many trips to the western states to spend time with their grandchildren. Both Jean and Jack were landowners and supporters of the Kingdom Trails Association.
She was an avid photographer and was vigilant in documenting family and community events. Jean was also a gifted artist in many respects but was passionate about creating stained-glass pieces for her home, family and friends, and to donate. She was also a talented rug hooker and created a number of beautiful heirloom pieces.
Jean was predeceased by her first husband, William Knighton Zaun, in 1963; a daughter, Diane Zaun D’Leon in 1985; her sister Cynthia Toussaint in 2021; and her husband Jack Davis in 2021.
She is survived by her six children; John E. Davis Jr. and partner Ginny of Zephyr Hills, Fla.; Andrea Kupetz and husband John of East Burke; Michael Zaun; Marie Grosser and husband Roger of Sutton; Karen Kennedy and husband Dave of East Burke; Peter Zaun and wife Dorene of West Burke; a sister Norma Treat of St. Johnsbury Center; sister-in-law Jean Bailey of Newark; many grandchildren and great-grandchildren, nieces and nephews, and friends.
A graveside service will take place at the Woodmont Cemetery on Saturday, Aug. 28 at 10 a.m., followed by a gathering of family and friends at her home in East Burke to celebrate her life.
Donations can be made, in Jean’s memory, to one of the following:
Caledonia Home Health Care & Hospice, 161 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, VT 05819
The Diane Zaun D’Leon Scholarship Fund at Lyndon Institute. This scholarship was created by Jean in memory of her daughter Diane, for a graduating senior planning to continue his or her education in the field of nursing. Donations to the scholarship, in Jean’s memory, may be mailed to: Melissa Hall - Director of Development, Lyndon Institute, P.O. Box 127, Lyndon Center, VT 05850.
Condolences may be shared with the family at www.guibordfh.com.