And seize the day she did. It was bright and early on the beautiful morning of August 26, 2021 that Jean said “Toot-a-loo” (but not Goodbye!) to all of us who loved her. One journey ends, while another begins. So, how does one write the story of a very special person? It seems one can only outline the larger story with facts in an obituary, but the larger story is comprised of many smaller stories that colored her life --- that we will carry with us what we know in our hearts and will remember. The gravity and strength of the love for her is written in the spaces between the words and sentences bringing us peace. “Jeannie” was a strong woman as a daughter, wife, mother, grandmother, great grandmother, aunt and friend.
Jean was born the oldest of 3 children, daughter to William and Cecelia (Haba) Kruzshak on April 6, 1928, in Bridgeport, Connecticut. She grew up on the farm and in the house her father built on James Street in Fairfield at a time when there were fields all the way to the water of the Sound. Many stories garnered the family life during the Depression and WWII while she attended Saint Thomas School and Roger Ludlowe High School (Class of 1946). She was sister to Nancy and Bill (both predeceased).
Jean married the love of her life, Milton E. Forstrom (son of Rose and Enok Forstrom) on May 28, 1949. She often referred to that day as the happiest day of her life. They raised a family in the house that Milton built with the help of his father and father in-law. Jean was mother to Susan, Milton and Stuart. Her time as mother to baby Gary was all too brief. Affectionately called “Lightning” by her husband (who became known as “the Geeze”); their house became their lifelong home like a heart that blends all of life’s ups and downs. This home offered strength and provided the sanctuary of place during some difficult times years later, including the tragic death of her son Milton II (1989) and her husband of 64 years (2015). There were holidays celebrated, picnics at Sasco Beach and school days at Saint Emery's. There were motorcycles and a raccoon, a snapping turtle named Leroy and a mouse that ate the curtains. Jean somehow kept all this ruckus in check. Being mother to three very different children probably earned her sainthood.
Years passed and Susan married Michael, Stuart married Nancy, and Milton married Debbie and later Donna. Jean loved being “Grandma Jean” to Maritess and Leon, Emma and Jay, Jenna and Kirk and Kelsey. She became Great Grandma to Ella, Leon IV, Michael, Levi, Tayla and Siva Rynn. She was Aunt Jean to Billy, Holly, Joy, Ivy & Dean and to Noel & Chas and Ann.
Jean's professional career began in 1961 at Fairfield University as secretary in the Science Department, then as Administrative Assistant to the Provost, Dr. John Barone and finally as Budget Auditor until her retirement in 1995. While there she furthered her education and notably wrote a paper on “The Indians of Fairfield” now archived in the permanent collection at the Pequot Library in Southport. Further, she was instrumental in the creation of the Fairfield University Employees Credit Union and she remained active with the Fairfield University’s Retirement Association.
Jean was proud of her Hungarian heritage and was very active in the Scandinavian Club in Fairfield. She loved her trips to Sweden, Oregon, Alaska and the Cape often to visit relatives, in-laws or grandkids. Every Sunday she tackled and conquered the New York Times crossword puzzle. She was a Brownie and Girl Scout Leader. She loved making delicious soups. She was best friend to her daughter Susan and a cherished friend of many others. She overcame many obstacles with aplomb. Jean was blessed with amazing caregivers: Lena, Shernet and Glyda. A grateful and sincere thank you to Dr. John Paul Ayala whose wisdom and care guided her to the very end. Thank you to Constellation Health Services for their excellent care in her final months and days.
Jean left this world peaceably after 93 years. We love her and we will miss her.
“Imagine the beauty of it
the moment when the soul
returns to the heavens,
familiar and loving voices
I remember you …”
Friends and family are invited for a Memorial Service on Friday, September 24, 2021 at 11:00am at the Spear-Miller Funeral Home; 39 South Benson Road, Fairfield. Interment will directly follow the service at Mountain Grove Cemetery; 2675 North Avenue, Bridgeport. Memorial contributions may be made to: The Community Soup Kitchen of Torrington, P.O. Box 852, Torrington, CT 06790.
To sign an online register, please visit www.SpearMillerFuneralHome.com
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jean C. Forstrom, please visit our floral store.
The Community Soup Kitchen of Torrington
P.O. Box 852, Torrington CT 06790