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Jean Breeman

10/17/2017


Jean A. Breeman, age 80 of North Haledon, passed away peacefully on Tuesday, October 17, 2017. Her family stood by in loving and comforting support, playing hymns of her Christian faith to encourage her at the time of her passing.

Jean was born in Paterson and raised in the family’s home on 12th Street in Prospect Park. She was a graduate of Hawthorne High School, Class of 1954,

After completing her schooling, Jean initially worked as a bank teller. Soon after, she started dating Robert Breeman – a handsome guy she knew from church. Her children recall how Jean would tell them about some of her and Bob’s first dates together, ice skating on Gaeds Pond on Pompton Road in Wayne. They fell in love but marriage had to wait a bit as Bob was called into service in the U.S. Army. When he returned, they exchanged their wedding vows before God, family and friends at the Morningside Chapel in Haledon. After the wedding, they initially settled in Prospect Park before moving to North Haledon in 1963.

Jean settled into the busy role of homemaker and mom. Showered with the blessing of children, their home in North Haledon was situated in a perfect neighborhood to raise a family. A quiet street with each house on a relatively small lot, there was a great sense of community in the neighborhood and lots and lots of kids. It seemed that the Breeman house emerged as the hub for kids to gather and play. This of course was not by accident. Nothing made Jean happier than to know that her home was a welcome place and she fostered that in many ways. Her sons and daughters were encouraged to invite their friends for sleepovers, or to come swim in the family pool, and of course, there were always fresh home-made treats to be enjoyed. When her children were all grown up and married, Jean loved it when they would return home with the greatest gifts a mom could ever ask for – grandchildren! She was blessed with seven in all including her grandson Jeffrey who was actually raised his whole life in Jean’s home by Jean so that her daughter Carol could go to work to provide. Jeff and all his cousins, when they frequently came to visit, continued to foster the Breeman home to be a hub for all the new generation of neighborhood kids to gather, and Jean made sure the welcome mat was always out for this new generation of kids.

Having family gathered together was Jean’s greatest joy and Jean’s family got to enjoy a delicious home-cooked meal on a daily basis. Every Sunday after church, the Breemans came home, gave God thanks for their blessings, then enjoyed the time-honored tradition of a delicious Jean-prepared Sunday pot roast complimented with potatoes and vegetables. The family did everything together and Jean was the glue that held them all together. She shared her love of ice skating with her family and after a good snow storm, they all headed to the big hill at Manchester High School or Goffle Brook Park for sleigh riding. Summer times featured backyard pool parties and annual vacations down the Jersey shore to Wildwood Crest, and Beach Haven at LBI. Those shore trips went on for at least twenty consecutive years.

One of Jean’s favorite place to be was right in her kitchen. She produced some of the most delicious home-baked goods you could imagine in that room. Her family would get really excited (and hungry) if you asked them about their favorite recipe that Mom baked, including pineapple upside down cake, graham cracker squares, chocolate cake with homemade white icing, pumpkin pie, sour cream coffee cake, cream puffs, and rice pudding. Yes, it’s true, Jean always made sure her family had plenty of treats in the house to enjoy but she loved sharing her baked goods with many folks beyond her family. For example, if you were sick and Jean found out, you’d get cookies. Or if you just needed some encouragement, you’d get a cake. Or if you paid Jean a compliment for something she had baked, you could be sure she would make a special batch of that treat just for you. In the fall season, when apples were ready for picking, her kitchen become a canning factory. She’d fill hundreds of Ball mason jars with delicious, juicy, sweet apples and apple sauce and, of course, she gave a lot of it away. In fact, because her generous heart caused he to give so much away, her family learned to hide some bottles so that they would be able to enjoy a little too. When Jean’s mother-in-law passed away, she was called upon to carry on the family tradition of making the Easter bread and, since baked goods were almost like a ministry to her, Jean always made countless more loaves than she needed with the express intention of blessing others with a loaf.

In later years, Jean and Bob seized on the opportunity to travel a bit. They enjoyed trips together with their good friends Pete and Marie Drost to Myrtle Beach South Carolina, and a cruise to the Bahamas. A little closer to home, they especially liked going to Lancaster, PA where they usually stayed at the Bird- in-Hand and enjoyed hearty meals at the Shady Maple Smorgasbord. Jean also loved the simple things of life like simply gathering with her good friend Carol Ann Boonstra for coffee, or spending time with her grandchildren, or cheering on her beloved New York Yankees.

Above all else, Jean was dedicated to her Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Her faith defined everything that she did and everything that was important to her. As Jesus invested himself into the lives of others, so did Jean. That’s why baking was such a ministry to her and that’s why she spent time in prayer every day for her family and friends. She greatly desired to know that her children and grandchildren were walking with the Lord and she did her best to teach them all to be faithful stewards through her loving example. For many years she was a faithful member of Bethany Reformed Church in Prospect Park.

Jean will be fondly remembered by her family and friends for her genuinely loving and caring heart. It often becomes a bit of a cliché but Jean truly did care about others more than she cared about herself. She learned this from her Christian faith and, while her family is thankful for her life, love and example, and that she’s now at peace, she will be truly missed.

Jean was predeceased by her beloved husband Robert in 2004 and her dear daughter Karen Breeman in 1960. She was the loving mother of Janyce and husband James MacRae of Port St. Lucie, FL, Robert and wife Annmarie Breeman of North Haledon, Carol Breeman of North Haledon, Douglas and wife Catrina Breeman of West Milford, and Steven and wife Colleen Breeman of Oak Ridge; adored grandmother of Frank and wife Marissa Liccardo, Nicole and husband Tim Boyd, Robert Breeman, III, Joshua Breeman, Jeffrey Breeman, Steven Breeman, and Victoria Breeman; cherished great-grandmother of her soon-to-be-born great-grandson Lucas David Liccardo; and dear sister-in-law of Lois Verblaauw of Punta Gorda, FL. She was also predeceased by her dear brother Richard Verblaauw in 2008.

Friends may visit with the family at the Vander May Wayne Colonial Funeral Home, 567 Ratzer Road, Wayne, on Friday, October 20, 2017 from 4-8 PM.

A Funeral Service will be held on Saturday, October 21, 2017, beginning at 9:30 AM at the funeral home. Interment will follow at Fair Lawn Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, those planning an expression of sympathy in Jean’s name are asked to consider The Myelodysplastic Syndromes Foundation, Inc., 4573 South Broad St., Suite 150, Yardville, NJ 08620 (www.mds-foundation.org).

Guest Book

10/19/2017

Dawn and I would like to send our condolences to the entire family. Jean was a wonderful person and the best friend my Mom ever had. We appreciate everything Jean did for Mom and our family. She will surely be missed by all of us.

Dawn and Ken Drost

10/21/2017

Jan and Jim: Condolences to you and your family in this difficult time. Prayers sent your way and peace be with you knowing that your mom is in the hands of the Lord.??

Leonard and Karin Monticello

10/21/2017

I would like to express on behalf of the Golden Age Circle of Wayne, our condolences on the loss of your mom. Many of us here knew her personally and she was well-loved among our members. She will be missed. Again, we extend our deepest sympathy to you and your family during this time of mourning. Terry Coronato-Rossi Corresponding Secretary GACW

Terry Coronato-Rossi, Corresponding Secretary Golden

10/22/2017

I wish you enough sun to keep your attitude bright; I wish you enough rain to appreciate the sun more; I wish you enough happiness to keep your spirit alive; ... I wish you enough pain to make the smallest joys in life appear much bigger; I wish you enough gain to satisfy your wanting: I wish you enough loss to appreciate all you possess; I wish you enough Hello's to get you through the final Goodbye.

Joseph & ConnieSue Romeo


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