Jean has the good genes!
Many happy returns to Mrs Jean Linehan of Resthaven Bellevue Heights, who celebrated her 105th birthday on 2 February, 2020.
Jean, not impressed by this, requested she instead be sent instead to Business School, where she could learn shorthand and typing.
After her graduation from Business School, Jean ‘tramped around looking for work,’ in the midst of the Great Depression. ‘The family lived on just two pounds a week,’ says Jean.
‘There was nothing from the government. Whatever clothes we had, we just wore and wore them.’
She worked several different office jobs before finally settling in at Bonds, where, along with office work, she had a stint modelling the wares. Ever modest, Jean says that she modelled ‘mainly negligees and night dresses, and some bathing costumes.’
She stayed at Bonds until 1939, aged 24, when she married her late husband, Kingsley. The couple moved to Melbourne, where they had two children, June and Maurice.
In 1956, the couple moved back to Adelaide, where they settled in Seacliff.
Kingsley died in 1988, aged 75, and Jean moved into a second-floor retirement living unit in Marion, where she lived until she was 103, enjoying her hobbies of walking, shopping, and cooking. During this time, Jean featured in Resthaven’s Celebrating Centenarians film project, produced by students from the University of South Australia.
It was not until 2018 that Jean moved into Resthaven Bellevue Heights. She has no secret for her great age, only saying that she must be ‘blessed with good genes. I never thought I’d live this long.’
Jean has four grandchildren, seven great-grandchildren, and one great-great-grandchild. She is happy in her home at Resthaven Bellevue Heights, where she continues to enjoy a great quality of life. ‘I seem to make new friends, I get on well with people here,’ she says.
‘I follow current affairs and news, we play trivial pursuit, I like to go for a walk around the grounds. I read books, although my sight’s not so good anymore.’
‘I’m just happy to go along as I am.’
‘Oh, and I have a glass of chardonnay at lunch, and a healthy appetite to go with it!’
Happy 105th birthday, Jean.