Lois Jean Ley (Reynolds), 75, passed away peacefully among her family on a perfect grey Pacific Northwest morning in Wayne, Nebraska, on Wednesday, Sept. 27, 2023.
Per Jean’s wishes, no public memorial is planned. Various private family memorials have and will be held, and her ashes will be spread in two of her favorite places, Yellowstone and the Oregon Coast.
Arrangements are with Hasemann Funeral Home in Wayne.
Jean Ley was born on Dec. 28, 1947 in Livingston, Montana, to Harvey and Lois (Drewett) Reynolds. As part of a National Park Service family, she moved around for most of her young life, living in parks such as Yellowstone (Wyoming), Theodore Roosevelt (North Dakota), Pipestone (Minnesota) and regional offices. She ended her high school career at Omaha Benson. From there, she went to the University of Nebraska-Lincoln where she received a degree in Psychology and met David R. Ley. They were married in 1969 for six years and had one son, Matthew H. Ley.
Jean then moved to Kansas City, and from there to Portland, Oregon to be closer to her parents. She lived in the Pacific Northwest most of her adult life, with an adventurous detour to Shanghai, China for two years teaching English, following the steps of her Great Aunt Vi who lived there in the 1930s.
Jean was a trailblazer in child therapy, especially with sandbox/sand tray therapy. She always gravitated toward the children most in need and worked with the most troubled youth in the Pacific Northwest. She had the best toy collection and loved it when her grandchildren spent hours of free time playing with her toy dragons, animals and puzzles.
Jean moved back to Wayne from the Astoria, Oregon area in 2014 following a stroke. She truly enjoyed being in Wayne again and appreciated the people and care she received here in town.
The joys in Jean’s life were many and changed with the seasons of her life. At the end, they certainly included her grandchildren, reading and – as throughout her life – her cats. Jean was a compassionate, loving, intelligent, adventurous and funny woman who taught her son the value in everyone, and her grandchildren a love of the Oregon Coast, playtime, cats (and snakes).
She is survived by her son, Matthew (Sandra Brown) Ley; grandchildren, Mason and Josie Ley; and brothers, John (Bobbie) Reynolds and Robert (Barbara) Reynolds.
She was preceded in death by her father, Harvey Reynolds, and mother, Lois Reynolds.