Jean grew up in a small town in North Carolina and lived through the depression, a time of great hardship. During World War II at the age of 16, she went to work at a military base in Norfolk, VA, experiencing the greatness of the American spirit. After the war, she married a veteran and helped him through school on the GI bill. They landed in Nashville, TN in 1959 where she still resides. It was there that she met friends that discipled her in Christ, which helped her to value the strengthening power of prayer. She says that it is this practice that has guided her through the struggles of life, allowing her to face each day with joy and praise.