Jeanne Closuit Long, 89, died peacefully on Monday, August 19, 2019, in Houston, Texas. Jeanne was born in San Antonio, Texas to Ernest Maurice Closuit and Laura Murchison Closuit on May 15, 1930. Jeanne grew up in San Antonio and attended Alamo Heights High School. She graduated from The University of Texas in 1952, with a BFA in Communications and Radio Broadcasting. Jeanne was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and was a member of the Junior League of Houston.
Jeanne loved classical music and was an accomplished pianist. At one point, she had a harpsichord built in her living room so she could have her lessons at home. She would practice piano late at night, with an audience of several cats. Jeanne shared her love for radio broadcasting with her children, and would listen to comedy broadcasts on the radio with them at night. She enjoyed re-enacting some of the scary radio shows she had written in college, and being adept at imitating the sound of a creaky door, opening very slowly, made sure her children mastered that skill. Jeanne loved words, and enjoyed studying the meanings of words and even creating new words. She had a bright and mischievous sense of humor, entertained her children and grandchildren endlessly, and was a devoted friend and parent.
In the late 1960s, Jeanne taught English to students at Fonville Middle School and Patrick Henry Middle School. She was a dedicated teacher, and employed creative teaching practices to encourage her students to enjoy learning. Jeanne brought joy, compassion and generosity to everyone in her life.
Jeanne enjoyed studying and collecting fine arts, including American art and Asian antiquities and porcelain. She would spend hours discussing art, antiques, and world and national economics with her parents. Jeanne fulfilled her dream of opening an art gallery when she moved to Denver in the late 1970s. There, she opened her gallery, Defayes on Lafayette, named after her great-grandmother Eugenie Buchard Defayes, from Martigny, Switzerland, the Closuit ancestral home. Jeanne was an adept business woman and eventually took over the management of her father’s oil business.
Jeanne was a loving, fun, and generous mother to her children and their families: Ernest Meredith “Bo” Long, and his wife Dorothy; Jenny Long Murphy, and her husband Edwin; Gretchen Long Jameson and her husband Peter; her beloved grandchildren: Meredith Taylor Long and his wife Jenny; Molly Crispin Long; Laura Catherine Murphy, John Meredith “Jack” Long Murphy, Caroline Rose Murphy; Kelly Grace Jameson; her dear great-granddaughter, Penelope Dyer Long. Jeanne leaves her sister in law, Susan Deanovich Closuit, and nephews, Fred, Paul and Phillip Closuit, and their families in Fort Worth, Texas; and her cousin, Leonard Closuit, and his family, in Martigny, Switzerland. Jeanne was preceded in death by her parents, and her beloved siblings, Catherine “Kay” Closuit, and E.M. “Buck” Closuit, Jr.
Jeanne’s family wishes to extend special thanks to her diligent care team who lovingly cared for her in her final years: caregivers, Joyce Carter and Mary Mendez and her nurse, Janet Pinner; her personal assistant and care manager Elizabeth West, and her financial manager, Lynn Rizzo. We could not have done it without each of you. You made Mom’s life and ours so much easier. We also wish to thank Houston Hospice, for helping Mom to remain in her home during her last days. We are grateful to you all.
The family will conduct a private service at Greenwood Cemetery in Fort Worth, Texas.
In lieu of flowers, donations in Jeanne’s memory may be given to The Alzheimer’s Association, Houston & Southeast Texas Chapter, 6055 South Loop East, Houston, TX 77087-1005; www.alz.org.
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