Jean Tennant was born February 7, 1933 in Miles City, Montana to Charles and Gladys Miller; she was the eldest of two children. A graduate of Custer County High School and Western Montana College, Jean taught elementary school for two years at the Sunshine Country School north of Terry, Montana; three years in the Glendive Public Schools; and 23 years at the Plevna grade school. Jean cared deeply about her students and fulfilled her responsibility as an educator with seriousness, commitment, and dedication. Retiring from teaching in 1999, Jean moved to the family farm in Miles City where she lived for 14 years. In 2013 she moved to Big Timber, Montana to be near her daughter, son-in-law, and grandchildren. With her children at her side, she passed away in her apartment at Boulder Meadows Assisted Living on November 23, 2019 from complications due to kidney failure.
Jean was a life-long learner who loved to read, take continuing-education courses, and explore the world on her computer. Her natural curiosity and love of learning expressed itself in her passion for travel: 23 years of road trips to Plevna ball games, 24 different states explored on summer road trips with her son and daughter-in-law, a dream cruise of the Hawaiian Islands escorted by her daughter-in-law, and countless day trips exploring the backcountry of central Montana with her daughter and son-in-law. Jean was an excellent cook, who loved to hunt for new recipes on the internet, as well as being an accomplished seamstress. Music and dancing were dear to her heart, and she could always be counted on to kick up her heals to “In the Mood.” Above all, Jean was a loving and supportive mother who lived for family gatherings: she treasured playing pinochle with her children, in-laws, and friends; celebrating holidays with immediate and extended family; and, most of all, participating in countless conversations around the dinner table.
A strong, tough, resilient woman, one of Jean’s greatest attributes was her unconditional love and support during difficult, trying circumstances. Her ability to listen deeply and compassionately will be greatly missed by family and friends. She is survived by her son Kevin Tennant and wife Nancy of Las Vegas, Nevada; her daughter Lori Wheeler and husband Rick of Big Timber, Montana; grandsons Brean and Brendon Tennant of Las Vegas; grandson Colten Wheeler and his wife Ayde of Bozeman, Montana; and granddaughter Hannah Wheeler of Missoula, Montana. She is also survived by her brother Ray Miller and wife Jan of Miles City, Montana, as well as numerous nephews, nieces, and cousins.
A public viewing with the family will take place at Stevenson and Sons in Miles City on Friday, November 29, 2019, from 4:00 to 6:00 pm. A celebration of her life will be held at Stevenson and Sons at 1:00 pm on Saturday, November 30, 2019, with a reception at the Parlor immediately after the celebration. Services will conclude with burial in the family gravesite at Custer County Cemetery at 4:00 pm. Jean’s favorite colors were pink and purple, so everyone attending the celebration is encouraged to wear pink and purple in honor of he