Jean T. Andrews, 88 of Middlebury


MIDDLEBURY — Jean Tolman Andrews, 88, of Middlebury, departed on her final voyage, surrounded by her children, Karen and Brian Andrews, on April 29, 2023, after a six-year battle with Alzheimer’s disease.

Born in Keene, N.H., on May 14, 1934, to Helen Pearson and Edwin Lonie, she attended school in Keene until she enrolled in the Northfield School for Girls in Northfield, Mass., graduating in 1952. She went on to graduate from Wellesley College in 1956 with a degree in Zoology. After college, Jean embarked on a life of travel when she and a friend realized their dream of going to Europe and had a wonderful adventure traveling through several countries. This experience spawned a deep love of travel and learning that lasted throughout her life.

Jean married David H. Andrews in 1956 and moved to Ithaca, N.Y., where Jean worked in the agricultural lab at Cornell University, supporting Dave while he worked on his Ph.D. in Cultural Anthropology. Dave’s area of research sent her on the adventure of a lifetime when the young couple packed up a pickup camper and drove from upstate New York to Peru, where they then lived for the next 2.5 years. During this time, Jean wrote articles to her local newspaper back home about their adventures abroad in the remote villages in the Andes.

Academic teaching jobs took them to Iowa City for three years before Dave accepted a position teaching at Middlebury College. While Middlebury remained her home for the rest of her life, she continued to travel abroad whenever she could. Once she became an empty nester and a newly single woman in the mid-1980s, Jean’s globetrotting became extensive and exotic, traveling to all seven continents on trips with friends through Elderhostel (now Road Scholar).

When Jean wasn’t traveling, she did the next best thing to satisfy her curiosity by bringing the international experience into her home on Shannon Street. For several years, she hosted foreign students studying abroad at Middlebury College when they arrived for the semester and during their college years when individuals were unable to travel home during semester breaks. Other community service included volunteering at the Shelburne Museum and mentoring students in reading as part of the Everybody Wins program at Mary Hogan School.

It would be hard to say which activity Jean preferred better, but sailing became as much of a passion as travel when she began sailing the waters of Lake Champlain and a few trips to the Caribbean with her companion, Lynn Hinman, also of Middlebury. She and Cap’n Lynn explored the bays and inlets of Lake Champlain for many summers, making sure to anchor by nightfall so they could enjoy a proper gin & tonic as the sun set over the Adirondack Mountains.

It wasn’t all travel and sailing and G&Ts of course. Jean worked for Eye Care Associates alongside Dr. Bill Eichner until her retirement. Over the years, Dr. Eichner became well-aware of Jean’s passion for traveling and her experience (and thrill of) roughing it in the tropics. For her retirement gift after years of service, Dr. Eichner sent her for a week to his remote mountain coffee plantation in the Dominican Republic, accessible only by a long ride in a rickety pickup truck up into the mountains.

Back home in Middlebury, Jean was always busy with her many hobbies, especially gardening and painting. She took Early American Decorating painting classes for many years and over time became very accomplished in the craft; eventually she had two works accepted into the Guild of the Historical Society of Early American Decoration. Examples of her artistic and sewing talents live on in the homes of friends and family. Pieces featuring images of strawberries or mice — preferably both — became recurring themes throughout her house, and by extension throughout her children’s houses.

She is predeceased by her longtime companion, Lynn Hinman and her mother, Helen P. Tolman. She is survived by her daughter Karen Andrews of Melrose, Mass., and her family, husband Brian Slater and daughter Fiona; her son, Brian Andrews and wife Deirdre O’Regan and their sons Aidan and Grady Andrews of Monument Beach, Mass.; and extended family, including the Hinman children — Jennifer, Kathy, Pete, and Bill and their families; and longtime neighbor and traveling companion, Hannah Magoun.

The family wishes to thank her doctor, Natasha Withers; Addison County Home Health and Hospice, especially Sarah Frisch; but most importantly they would like to express their deep appreciation to the team of incredibly dedicated caregivers led by Dzevida Avdagic and Becky Shepard.

A celebration of Jean’s life will be later in June. Donations in Jean’s memory may be made to Addison County Home Health & Hospice or to the Alzheimer’s Association.◊


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