Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Charter Member, Jean Clarey, dies at 91

JEAN SCOTT CLAREY April 1, 1918 - May 22, 2009

Jean Scott Clarey had three great loves in her life: her family, the Navy and Hawaii. She was the devoted wife of the late Admiral Bernard ("Chick") Clarey, a highly decorated WWII submariner, who later became Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. Pacific Fleet. Her life revolved around the US Navy, and Honolulu was forever her favorite "homeport", having lived here as a child and during repeated Navy assignments that began in the late 1930s. Jean, age 91, died at the Arcadia Retirement Residence on May 22nd from pneumonia.

She was born in Washington D.C., the elder daughter of Captain Leon B. Scott, one of the Navy's pioneering submarine officers. In 1937, while attending the Connecticut College for Women in New London, Connecticut, near the Navy submarine school where her father was stationed, she met her future husband Following her marriage in 1937, she embarked on her life as a Navy wife, a role in which she excelled, until Chick's retirement in 1973. During World War II, Jean spent most of her life on the West Coast, where she started her long commitment to Red Cross volunteer work at a local hospital. Following the war she followed the familiar path of a submariner's career first to New London, later to San Diego, and then repeated assignments between the Pentagon and Pearl Harbor. Following her husband's retirement in 1973, they settled in Hawaii for the next 36 years, without a doubt, the happiest of her life. During the Vietnam War, Jean routinely accompanied her husband to Saigon and they traditionally spent Christmas with American military personnel deployed overseas. Early in her husband's retirement, she accompanied him to Australia, as the US Representatives to the Coral Sea Celebrations.

Jean was a strong supporter of the arts and culture of Hawaii, particularly the Honolulu Symphony and Opera. In the 1960's and 70's she worked weekly at Waimano Home with the disabled, and was a Red Cross "gray lady" at Tripler hospital. After her husband's death in 1996, she continued to support many community organizations, including the annual Navy Marine Corps Relief Society bridge walk across the Admiral "Chick" Clarey Bridge to Ford Island, the last of which she took only a few weeks ago, after her 91st birthday.

Jean is survived by her sons, both Punahou graduates, Rear Admiral (retired) Steve (1958) and Mike (1964), her daughters-in-law, Bonnie and Penny, grandchildren, Christopher, Ashley, Nicholas, Lindsay, and Jamie, and her six great grandchildren, Toscane, Sevine, Ryan, Josie, Beryl, and Evie.

A CELEBRATION OF LIFE SERVICE AND RECEPTION WILL BE HELD AT THE ARCADIA RETIREMENT RESIDENCE ON PUNAHOU STREET AT 10:00 A.M. ON THURSDAY, JUNE 4TH. VALET PARKING WILL BE PROVIDED. ALOHA ATTIRE. INURNMENT WILL BE IN THE NATIONAL MEMORIAL CEMETERY OF THE PACIFIC-PUNCHBOWL IN A PRIVATE FAMILY SERVICE. In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations be made in Jean's honor to the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra at: 650 Iwilei Rd, Suite 202, Honolulu, HI 96817, or the Hawaii Historic Foundation, 680 Iwilei Road, Suite 690 Honolulu, HI 96817.