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Jean (Wilcox) Westfall
August 29, 2023
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Jean Virginia Westfall (Wilcox), 85, passed away Aug. 29, 2023 at Crouse Hospital in Syracuse,
N.Y. due to natural causes.
Jean was born in Syracuse, N.Y. on Feb. 19, 1938 to Dorothy (Harrington) and Lawrence
Wilcox. Jean, known affectionately as “Jeanie” to her good friends, was a down-to-earth,
practical country girl who grew up on Wilcox Farm with her brothers and sisters in Kirkville,
NY. She was a graduate of Minoa High School, where she was class president. Jean married her
best friend and love of her life Thomas Westfall, a pilot, on May 10th, 1958.
Jean worked for Hoover Vacuum and later ADT Security, but her true life’s work was sharing
her kind, generous, loving heart with everyone she encountered. She was still in touch with her
childhood friends and her late husband’s companions, sending out hundreds of greeting cards
each year to her many loved ones. She always remembered important details about each person
she met, and had a unique ability to make everyone feel special.
Jean was a big fan of the New York Yankees and enjoyed playing pitch and dominoes with
friends and family. She was a voracious reader and particularly enjoyed books about history and
politics, as well as mystery novels. Jean was a proud liberal who passionately advocated for
social justice and human rights. She had a love of classical music; her car radio was almost
always tuned to WCNY Classic FM where she listened to the symphonies and sonatas she
adored. Her sense of style was bold and one-of-kind—Jean loved to wear fun, interesting outfits,
always accessorized to the nines with a hat to match every ensemble. In her later years, Jean
became a prolific, talented poet, and her poems are treasures that keep her brilliant, inquisitive
Jean was preceded in death by her husband Thomas and her sister Eunice Harter (Wilcox.) She is
survived by her five siblings, Lawrence Wilcox, Linda O’Neill (Wilcox), Laurel Huff (Wilcox),
and Roger Wilcox, as well as three children, Laura Westfall, Marlene Westfall Rizzo, and
Douglas Westfall, seven grandchildren, one great-grandchild, six nieces, five nephews, and many
Jean touched countless lives with her kindness, compassion, and dedication to the people she
loved. She always had a seat at her table for those who were down on their luck, and never
judged anyone. Those who loved Jean will always remember her zest for life, hunger for
knowledge, and above all, her genuine loving warmth and unending generosity. She was always
there to lend a listening ear, and made every person she spoke with feel important and respected.
To honor Jean’s commitment to social justice and helping those in need, donations can be made
in her memory to Habitat for Humanity, one of many causes she championed.
Calling hours will be held at Gang Memorial Funeral Home on 104 Fordham Rd. Syracuse, NY form 4-7 Pm Friday September 8, 2023