Norma Jean Clements, 91, passed away on a crisp autumn day, October 1, 2020. It was exactly the kind of day she would have loved to sip coffee and watch the beautiful leaves beginning to turn. Norma Jean was born May 28, 1929 to Ben & Jewel Grogan of Chanute, Kansas. A testament to her feistiness, she was preceded in death by her parents and all 11 Grogan siblings: Ira, Earl, Carl, Max, Eva, Eleanor, Bernice, and Retha, all of Kansas; Archie of Indiana, Nata of Maryland, and Merle of Oklahoma. She started attending United Brethren in Christ Church of Chanute at one week old and continued as an active member of the church--teaching Sunday School, planning church dinners, serving as church treasurer, and singing her heart out--for her entire 91 years of life. Shortly after graduating from Chanute High School, Norma Jean met the love of her life as a beautiful, vibrant nineteen-year-old; she married Thad Clements the following year. While she loved being his wife, she took pride in the two wonderful daughters they had together: Linda Kay Jordan and Vickie Jo Maddox (Brian), both of Chanute. Together their sweet little family moved to Oklahoma for a bit, made wonderful friends, and a host of exciting memories. But when they returned to Kansas for Thad to teach and coach, Jean took her job as coach’s wife quite seriously. She baked cookies for his teams, traveled to away games, and even offered to help referees make the right calls. After retiring as a coach’s wife, she really picked up speed. Jeanie and her sisters met for breakfast and a brisk walk every morning. No doubt many of the world’s problems were solved during those 5am conversations. But the job Norma Jean was meant for was the one where she was called Grandma by her 6 grandchildren: Kristi Thomas (Ken), Rachelle Blue (Steve), & Shannon Jordan of Wichita, KS; Janna Nelson (Tony) of Gardner, KS; Chris Collins (Karen) of Austin, MN; & Jeremy Jordan (Deana) of Chanute, KS; her 16 great-grandchildren, and 1 new great-great-grand baby. Grandma Jean’s laundry smelled the way Heaven must smell, and she was full of wisdom, like “use butter to keep from burning your hands when making popcorn balls” and “if you talk to your house plants, they’ll grow better.” Every Thanksgiving she made us sing the Turkey Song together and she could not pass up a friendly game of Skip-Bo, Pitch, or Liverpool Rummy. And even though memories began to fade in the final years of her life, she would manage to make us cry from laughter and she always had a sweet little smile for her son-in-law Brian, one of the few souls entrusted to push her around in her wheelchair. She spent her life and final moments as our family’s true matriarch: with elegance, grace, dignity, and our unwavering love. She died surrounded by her loving family.
Visitation will be held from 5:00 P.M – 7:00 P.M Sunday, October 4, 2020 at New Life
United Brethren Church 500 North Forest Chanute, KS 66720.
Celebration of Life funeral service will be at 10:30 A.M Monday October 5, 2020 at the church.
Burial will follow at Memorial Park Cemetery.
Memorials have been suggested to the New Life United Brethren Church, Jean Clements memorial fund and can be left with or mailed to the funeral Home.
Family has asked that face coverings be worn for visitation and funeral service.
Services are under the guidance of Wickham Family Funeral Home 821 West Main St. Chanute, KS.