Jean Dewey, a well-known New England artist, passed quietly at her home, September 9, looking over the blue mountains that she loved, “where my hands can touch the sky”. She was also a remarkable mother, grandmother, great grandmother, a friend to many and a collectible.
Jean Dewey was born to Burton L. & Dorothy M. Sweet on July 4, 1932, in Hartford, Ct. She grew up in Ellington, Ct. graduating from Rockville High in 1950. She married Elmer Terry Dewey in 1951 and settled in South Windsor, Ct. On the Dewey family farm in Wapping they raised their 3 children. On the farm is where Jean had her first of many antique and retail gift shops; where her first of several “Caprilands” based herb gardens grew and where she developed her unique hand-painted style of decorating rusty tin antiques.
Jean’s original premise was to sell beautiful hand-painted “stuff” that housewives could afford. The artwork that started in the small barn outbuilding continued for over 60 years travelling to far distant lands. Her own shops operated in Connecticut (South and East Windsor, Glastonbury, Avon, Marlborough and Canton) and in Massachusetts (Cape Cod & Charlemont). In Charlemont, her family joined in and Jean Dewey Originals were sold, pre-internet, in nearly every state as well as Canada, Japan, Australia, England and Scandinavia. She painted everything from 1” pillboxes to milk cans; large hutches to miniature furniture; tinware & woodenware; landscape pictures to 40’ murals. Jean Dewey was shocked in recent years when her work began to show up on the internet! Her collectors became life long friends.
Jean Dewey was also a creative cook. Let us not forget her amazing desserts, homefries, soups and culinary additions to the menu at the Charlemont Inn from 1990 – 2011.
She leaves her two daughters, Charlotte & Lois Dewey from Charlemont, Ma., her grandson Jeremiah Randall Dewey, his wife Leah and 2 great grand-children, Jacob Christopher & Savannah Charlotte all from Harwich, Ma.
Jean Dewey lived life to the fullest, even in her final years. She was an inspiration and mentor to many. We will forever miss her smile, her paintbrushes and her everyday happiness even in the face of many challenges. Jean Dewey will live on in the hearts of family, friends, collectors and in every piece of her hand-painted originals.
Plum at 281 Main Street, Greenfield, Ma. was already planning a Jean Dewey display & sale for Greenfield’s Vintage Days and the show will go on! Please visit Plum on September 23,24,25.
Jean Dewey’s Celebration of Life will be held at the Mountain Rose Inn, 151 Smead Hill Rd., Greenfield, Ma. At 3 PM on Sunday, September 25. If you have a favorite Jean Dewey item in your home, please forward a picture to the family at email@example.com
In lieu of flowers, donations can be sent in Jean’s memory to LifePath Inc., 101 Munson St., Greenfield, MA 01301 www.LifePathMA.org