Jean C. Carusi
May 4, 1926 – March 25, 2022
Preceded in death by husband, Edward Carusi. Survived by daughter, Gina Carusi; sons, Paul E. Carusi and James Hayes (Ana Quintanilla); grandchildren: Daniel, Owen, and Olivia.
TIME OF SHARING: Wednesday, March 30th at 10am at the West Center Chapel, followed by VISITATION with the family.
To view a live broadcast of the Time of Sharing, please go to www.heafeyheafey.com and click the “View Live Cast” button on the home page.
Jean and her twin sister were born on May 4, 1926, in Dekalb, Illinois, the youngest of five siblings. Their father died during the Depression when Jean was young, so times were difficult. Nonetheless, they enjoyed school, and all worked hard in support of the family. Jean loved being a twin and their bond was close all through their years. When they were together, they immediately drew attention wherever they went and fun and laughter always ensued. Jean learned to fly airplanes in her late teens, with hopes of joining the WASPs during WWII, but they were disbanded before Jean could join. She married William Hayes after the end of the war, and soon after welcomed the birth of their son, James Hayes, on October 16, 1946. Jean and William divorced not long after.
In the 1950s Jean moved, along with her young son, Jim, from her home state of Illinois to California in search of a new life and stronger professional opportunities. Jean settled in Los Angles where she started her own businesses and worked as a secretary, research assistant, and stenographer. Among her most notable clients were world renowned violinist Jascha Heifetz and David Selznick at 20th Century Fox. Eventually Jean went to work at UCLA Medical School where she met her eventual husband of 63 years, Edward, who at the time was studying for his doctorate in biochemistry. The two were married on April 12, 1957 and moved to La Canada. Edward did his post-doctoral work at Cal Tech and Jean started another business and, for fun, sang with a local choral group, The Skylarks.
The couple welcomed the birth of their daughter, Gina, on April 2, 1962, and then a son, Paul, on October 16, 1964. Jean became a full-time mother as the couple moved from California to St Louis, Missouri where Edward taught biochemistry at St Louis University before eventually moving to Omaha in 1968 and teaching biochemistry at Creighton Medical School.
Once in Omaha, Jean settled into her new community and worked in the home raising Gina and Paul. Jean was a loving and devoted mother all while becoming a marvelous chef creating delicious and gourmet meals daily. She enjoyed painting, drawing, pottery, and singing. Jean became very interested in the works of Picasso and Matisse, often recreating their most famous works. Jean volunteered at the Omaha Community Playhouse creating and designing the horses for a production of Equus, among working on other productions. Jean and Ed had many magical vacations in Black Lake, Colorado with lifelong friends, Web and Sandy Hanson, from their days in California, and often traveled back to California with the kids to visit family.
After Gina and Paul were self-sufficient in the early ‘80s, Jean began her second and most rewarding career as a Real Estate Agent. Jean worked mostly at Ambassador Real Estate during her 20-plus year career of selling homes in Omaha. Jean enjoyed great success as one of the top sellers in her company consistently throughout the years. Jean also enjoyed many great relationships born out of her time selling real estate, relationships that lasted through her lifetime. Jean often said, “If I could sell real estate eight days a week, I would.” Both she and Ed enjoyed traveling throughout the United States, Mexico, and Europe.
Later in life Jean’s interests focused still around singing. Jean loved the piano bar and met many wonderful friends through the years as they all sat around the piano and shared the mic with one another, each singing their favorite songs. Jean also became an avid and skilled bridge player, obtaining a bridge master level. Once during a tournament Jean had the privilege of playing alongside Warren Buffet and Bill Gates.
Jean became grandmother to Daniel, Owen and Olivia Carusi and after her real estate career was over, volunteered again, this time at the Boys Town Museum.
Jean is survived by her children: James Hayes, Gina Carusi, and Paul Carusi; and her grandchildren: Daniel, Owen and Olivia Carusi.