Jeanne Audrey Cleary Rapp, 92, died peacefully on Wednesday, March 8, 2023, with family and friends by her side. She kept Christ in her heart always.
She was born Sept. 8, 1930, in Washington, D.C. to Hubert Hall Cleary and Edith Grimes Cleary. She spoke of her parents as providing a foundation of love and faith on which she built her life. She grew up in Washington, D.C. and is forever grateful for her high school teacher, Regis “Doc” Boyle who guided her toward George Washington University where she received a full scholarship, a B.A. in Art and was inducted into Phi Beta Kappa academic honor society.
Following college, Jeanne taught second grade. Although her formal career was brief, she was forever a second grade teacher at heart.
Through a mutual friend’s introduction, Jeanne met Raymond (Jack) Edward Rapp Jr., a graduate of George Washington University School of Medicine. In 1954, they married as Jack was finishing his medical residency training. In 1968, after spending fourteen years in Montrose, Pa., Unadilla, N.Y. and Syracuse, N.Y. they pursued a dream and moved to a farm in Weyers Cave, Va. with their six children ranging from fourteen months to thirteen years old.
Jeanne adapted well to living in the country. While Jack continued his medical career at Rockingham Memorial Hospital, Jeanne continued to raise their five sons and one daughter on the farm. This oftentimes presented interesting challenges including nurturing many an orphaned lamb from their large flock of sheep with warm bottles of special ‘lamb formula’ milk. Two vegetable gardens, ‘The House Garden’ and ‘The Big Garden’ provided bountifully for the family and Jeanne never shied away from mountains of produce to process for the winter months. She loved her children dearly and encouraged them through each bend in the road and across each bridge of uncertainty. While consoling an anxious child, Jeanne would often say, “We will cross that bridge when we get to it.”
Her many passions included the arts, particularly the Danish-French Impressionist Camille Pissarro. A hobby which gave her great joy was quilting. All her children have been blessed by her meticulous needlework in these masterpieces.
Jeanne was a member of Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Harrisonburg and as the children grew, she served as a member of the altar guild and assisted in numerous other capacities including the food pantry and cooking countless warm meals for the James Madison University Canterbury Club associated with Emmanuel. She also helped establish and for many years volunteered at the new inpatient hospice unit located at the former Rockingham Memorial Hospital. She somehow found time to volunteer at several area libraries as well.
One daughter-in-law describes Jeanne as, “She was a kind, caring, and loyal friend. She was an encourager with a servant’s heart.”
Jeanne is predeceased by her husband, Jack, her parents, and brother, John.
She is survived by her children, Jonathan and wife, Mojdeh, of Oneonta, N.Y.; Rebecca of Harrisonburg, Va.; Peter of Weyers Cave, Va.; Thomas and his wife, Diana, of Keswick, Va. and their three children, David and his wife, Rachel, of Lansdale, Pa., Rachel and her husband, Brian, of Smoke Rise, Ga., and Andrew residing in Boone, N.C.; James of Waynesboro, Va.; David and his wife, Nancy, of Charlottesville, Va. and their two children, Benjamin and Corban; and sister, Joyce Marie and husband, William Atchison, of Salisbury, Md.
There will be a private memorial service. An open reception will be held in the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Parish Hall in Harrisonburg on Saturday, April 1, at 2:00 p.m.
Memorial donations may be made to the Emmanuel Episcopal Church Endowment Fund or Legacy Hospice.
Lindsey Funeral Home in Weyers Cave is handling arrangements and condolences may be sent to the family by visiting www.lindseyfuneralhomes.com.
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