Jean Florence Kirk Shiflet, of Manassas, Virginia, died at The Fairmont Retirement Home on 17 March 2016 of natural causes. She was 94.
Jean Florence Kirk Shiflet was born March 17, 1922 in Elizabeth, New Jersey to Lillian Mills and John H. A. Kirk. At age 4, her family moved to Roselle, New Jersey where she resided until the age of 19. She attended Harrison Grammar School and Abraham Clark High School, graduating from high school in 1940. After graduation, Jean worked for the Prudential Insurance Company.
On Christmas Eve, 1941, the future Mrs. Shiflet married Kenneth E. Shiflet of Cranford, New Jersey. The previous April of that year, with the war in Europe and the Pacific raging, Ken volunteered for military service, enlisting as a Private in the United States Army. After her husband completed Officer Candidates School, Mrs. Shiflet was a military wife for the 31 years of her husband’s Army career, residing in the United States as her husband served in the North Africa and European Theater in World War II, in Korea and in Vietnam during the Vietnam War. In addition to living on many military posts and stateside assignments throughout the United States, Mrs. Shiflet also accompanied her husband on lengthy assignments to Quito, Ecuador in the early 1950s, and to Manheim and Heidelberg, Germany in the late 1960s and early 1970s. As her husband rose to the rank of Colonel in the Army, Mrs. Shiflet and her husband spent many happy years together, traveling to many states and other countries, particularly in South America and Western Europe. Mrs. Shiflet particularly enjoyed her trips to the Netherlands to enjoy the tulips.
After her husband’s retirement from the Army in 1972, Mrs. Shiflet and her husband resided in Lake Barcroft, Falls Church, Virginia with their youngest son, Jeffrey. Colonel Shiflet died of cancer in 1978 and Mrs. Shiflet and Jeffrey, who was still in high school, remained in Lake Barcroft until 1986. During her time in Lake Barcroft, Mrs. Shiflet and her husband were members of Saint Alban’s Episcopal Church in Annandale, Virginia; Mrs. Shiflet and her son, Jeffrey were later members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints in Annandale. Mrs. Shiflet was a lifelong volunteer working for many causes. After her husband’s death, she worked for Congressional Schools of Virginia in Falls Church (where her son Jeffrey attended and Colonel Shiflet was the Chairman of the English Department until his death) and Fairfax County Schools. Having not previously completed college, at 60, Mrs. Shiflet returned to school, graduating with an Associate’s Degree (with honors) from Northern Virginia Community College in Annandale and later a Bachelor’s Degree in Social Work (specializing in Psychology and Gerontology) from George Mason University, Fairfax; and Brigham Young University in Laie, Hawaii. Mrs. Shiflet received many honors during her college career, graduated Magna Cum Laude in 1991 and was inducted as a member of the Phi Theta Kappa and Psi Chi honors fraternities. She was also honored in Who’s Who in American Colleges. Mrs. Shiflet pursued Master’s degree work in Gerontology at George Mason University in the early 1990s, although health issues forced her to suspend her studies.
Between 1991 and 2010, Mrs. Shiflet resided in Ocean City, Maryland, a place she had always enjoyed visiting for summer vacations with her husband and family. For years, Mrs. Shiflet was a member of and volunteer at the Church of the Holy Spirit (now Charismatic Episcopal Church) in Berlin, Maryland and active in many social and senior’s groups in the Ocean City area. She also enjoyed gardening (her flowers and garden were often highlighted in local papers) and traveling with local senior’s groups. Mrs. Shiflet moved to Manassas, Virginia in 2010, taking up residence at the Fairmont Retirement Home, to be closer to her youngest son, his wife and her two grandchildren. In her remaining years, Jean continued to enjoy trips with her family, particularly with her many grand- and great-grand children, to the beach and Disney World; participating in Sunday church services at the Fairmont, and engaging in the many social events and other activities held at the Fairmont.
During her life, Mrs. Shiflet was a member of the Army Navy Country Club, Retired Officers Association, National Association for Uniformed Services, Society of Military Widows, Gold Star Wives, American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars Auxiliary, AARP, Singles on the Shore, and the Ocean City Health and Racquet Club.
Mrs. Shiflet and her husband had four children, Kenneth David (deceased, infant), Bonnie Jeanne of Parsons; West Virginia; Robert Kirk (CAPT, USN, Ret.) of Littleton, Colorado and Jeffrey Woodson, of Bristow, Virginia. Bonnie Jeanne is married to James D. Parsons, and they reside in Parsons, West Virginia. Robert Kirk is married to the former Debra Branan of Upper Marlboro, Maryland. They reside in Littleton, Colorado. Jeffrey Woodson is married to the former Cynthia Smith of Red Creek, West Virginia. They reside in Bristow, Virginia. In addition to her surviving children, Mrs. Shiflet is survived by many grand children and great-grandchildren, her grand children include: Sherry Parsons Ramsey of Morgantown, West Virginia (married to Terry Ramsey); Donna Jean Parsons Hardy of Hurricane, West Virginia (married to Jeffrey Hardy); Brenda Parsons Overstreet, of Morgantown, West Virginia (married to Dwight Overstreet); Kenneth Kirk Shiflet of Littleton, Colorado (fiance’, Olivia Martinez); Walker Woodson Shiflet of Hermosa Beach, California (married to Amber Klinck); Brett Woodson and Claire Marie Shiflet of Bristow, Virginia. Her great-grandchildren include: Haley and Jayden Ramsey, Christian and Codi Hardy, Reese Overstreet, Skye Shiflet and Damien Martinez.
She is also survived by two sisters, Audrey Kirk Collins of Weeki Wachi, Florida and Vivian Kirk Ogden of East Brunswick (Old Bridge), New Jersey, and many nieces, nephews.
Mrs. Shiflet will be interred alongside her husband of 37 years at Arlington National Cemetery, Arlington, Virginia. A memorial service is planned at the Baker-Post Funeral Home & Cremation Center in Manassas, Virginia at 2 p.m. on 9 April 2016. The family requests that in lieu of flowers, donations be made to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society or any one of the many national organizations supporting military widows.