Merle Jean Young age 93 of Osawatomie, KS died peacefully Tuesday, March 26, 2019, at Olathe Hospice House.
Jean was born May 19, 1925 in Kansas City, KS. She was the second of four children born to Edwin Arthur and Faye Easter (Flint) Vest. Jean grew up in Osawatomie and graduated with Osawatomie High School class of 1943.
After high school, Jean and Allen J. “Buster” Young were married on October 23, 1943 in Paola, KS. Together they had two children Nancy and Jeff. They lived in Kansas City where Jean worked as a clerk in a department store. The family then moved to Osawatomie. After the children started school, Jean worked in several retail businesses. Buster and Jean owned the Flamingo Drive-In located in Osawatomie. She worked for 15 years or so for the Osawatomie State Hospital in various positions. Buster passed in 1975.
In 1982, Jean married William G. Smith. Shortly after they were married Jean retired from the State Hospital. She owned and managed rental properties with Bill. The marriage later ended in divorce.
Jean loved singing. She sang with the Amazing Grace Choir at the state hospital. She led and sang with the choir at the 1st Baptist Church. Jean enjoyed fishing, gardening and sewing. She was devoted to her children, grandchildren and great grandchildren. For over 80 years, Jean was an active member of the 1st Baptist Church of Osawatomie. Jean taught and was the superintendent of the Sunday School. She was one of the founding members of the MERA class and for several years she served with the kitchen ladies. Jean was a member of Delta Epsilon and a Past Worthy Matron of the Eastern Star. Jean was a cancer survivor two times. She helped the Miami County Cancer Foundation by transporting patients and mentoring them. Jean had a love for dogs. When she was young she would pick up stray dogs and take them home and bathe them.
She was preceded in death by her husband Buster, her parents and siblings Edwin A. Vest Jr and twins Marion J. Vest and Mary J. Beades.
Survivors include Jeffrey (Dee Slayman) Young of Osawatomie, KS, Nancy (John) Snyder of Osawatomie, KS. Grandchildren Jason (Pam) Young, Johanna R. Snyder, Nathan (Danielle) Young and Jeananne (Patrick) Brown, five great grandchildren Alex, Garrison, Caleb, Parker and Bella and one great granddaughter Zelma on the way, along with her beloved dog Jazzy, many other family and friends.