July 17, 2003



Jean Shields Inman
Jean Shields Inman died in her sleep just before dawn on Friday, July 11, in Port Townsend, Wash.

She was the daughter of Ida and Guy Shields. Raised in Chicago by her mother and two aunts after the death of her father, she learned to drive at an early age. She drove her aunt and sister to Brownsville, Texas, and enjoyed cross-country trips ever since.

She graduated from Antioch College, where she met and married Irwin Inman. Together they had three children, Lee Inman Feinstein, Richard Inman and Kate Inman.

Jean studied science at Antioch College and spent the years of World War II working at Vernay Laboratories and then for Leland Clark at the Fels Research Institute.

While raising her young children, she developed an interest in art and took drawing and ceramics classes at Antioch. She went on to teach art at the Antioch School and also at Farm and Wilderness Camps in Vermont, where she worked to pay for her children’s camp fees. She so enjoyed the summers in Vermont that she continued her association with the camps long after her children outgrew them. She tried her hand at watercolor painting as a medium for children’s films and audited film courses at Ohio State University and San Francisco State College. She produced one short animated film and worked on another before her death. She became involved with children’s theater, where she collaborated with Kitty Holyoke Jensen and the late Phyllis Cannon of Yellow Springs.

Jean loved singing and the outdoors. She sang with the Antioch Chorus and the Yellow Springs Community Chorus for several years, as well as with a small ensemble led by Kitty Jensen and, later, with a chorus in Port Townsend, Wash.

She walked everyday in Glen Helen or John Bryan State Park. She assisted Barbara Case of Yellow Springs with a wildflower survey in the Glen and loved to look up new species she had never noticed before. She enjoyed bird watching and spent many of her last hours watching birds at the feeders outside the window of her little house next door to her son Richard in Port Townsend.

She is survived by her three children, her former husband, Irwin, her sisters, Mirriel Bedell and Guyeda Cole, and many nieces and nephews. She will be cremated and her ashes divided between her children to distribute in the places she loved the most. A memorial service is pending.