Jean Ellen Black

Jean Ellen Black, 95, passed away peacefully on November 28th at her home in Taft surrounded by her loving family. Jean was born on August 30th, 1925, in Kerman, California. She was the first of four children born to Stanley and Ardis Huggins. In 1942, at the age of 16, Jean graduated from Kerman High School and then continued her studies at Fresno State. She aspired to become an elementary school teacher but a chance encounter with a handsome redhead would change her destiny. Jean’s summers were spent visiting her Aunt Noni and Uncle Reg Garrould, owners of Taft’s popular Tennis Shop. It was there that Jean met her future husband, the young but confident Glenn Dolder Black, an employee of the Garrould’s. The two lovebirds were married in Kerman on June 15, 1946, but Taft was destined to be their forever home. The following year Jean and Dolder welcomed their first child, Kathryn, and over the next twelve years the Black family continued to grow with the births of Stephen, Michael, Kelly and Glenn. Jean dedicated her life to her family, raising five children and supporting her husband in his endeavors. In 1970, Jean and Dolder built a vacation cabin in Bass Lake, California, and many friendships and fond memories were made while boating and waterskiing there. Jean loved to socialize and she was an active participant in Taft’s community. She was a member of the Presbyterian and Methodist churches and enjoyed singing in the church choir. She was president of the PTA and a member of the American Legion Auxiliary, where she dutifully sold poppies to support their cause. When Dolder, an accomplished businessman and local politician, finally retired the couple became avid travelers — especially in their RV and oftentimes with grandchildren in tow. Jean and Dolder’s annual RV trip to Quartzite, Arizona, was always a highlight on their social calendar. Jean had a green thumb and a penchant for succulents and cacti. She was a whiz at crossword puzzles and Jeopardy. But what Jeannie loved best was her family. She looked forward not only to weekly get-togethers with those who lived nearby but also festive holidays with loved ones gathered from near and far. She had a thoughtful, kind and caring heart and she united the family in her role as matriarch. Dolder and Jean were happily married for nearly 66 years when Dolder passed on March 11, 2012. Jean was also preceded in death by her son Michael and her brother Dale. Jean was a proud resident of Taft for 74 years and she never failed to appreciate the beauty of its sunsets. She is survived by her four children: Kathie (Marian), Steve (Paulette), Kelly (Paul) and Glenn (Kelle), 11 grandchildren, 18 great-grandchildren, her beloved brother-in-law Bill and his wife Verna, her sister Jacque and brother Don, and countless nieces and nephews. The family would also like to give special thanks to her loving caregiver and friend, Gloria Wagner.

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Posted online on December 08, 2020