Carol Jean (Ripley) Wence
Aug. 10, 1945 – April 23, 2022
May 11, 2022
Jean Wence of Hilo, Hawaii, passed away on April 23, 2022, at her daughter's home in Phoenix, Ariz. Born Aug. 10, 1945 in Kansas City, Mo., and raised in Sweet Home, she graduated from high school in 1963. She then attended Monmouth College and Oregon State University, where she graduated with a degree in education.
While taking a canoeing class at OSU, she met her future husband, Eddie, who was from Hilo, Hawaii. After teaching for her first year in McMinnville, she married Eddie in 1968 and moved to Hilo.
Jean taught in the Hawaii public school system for over 30 years. She first taught at Chiefess Kapiolani Elementary School and then at Hilo Union School. She retired but returned to substitute for many years at E.B. De Silva and Kayumana Elementary schools.
She received a master's degree in education in 1990 from Heritage College.
Jean was a talented artist, an avid line dancer and actively involved in Toastmasters. She loved raising monarch butterflies, which she released in her back yard. Not a mundane life, she was cherished by all the children she taught and her family; Jean will be dearly missed.
Jean was preceded in her death by her parents, Del and Mary Ripley, husband Edward William Wence, her grandson, Grayson "Tola" Andaya and her granddaughter Valerie "V.V." Andaya.
She is survived by her longtime partner Wayne Wagatsuma, her sisters Marilyn (Terry) Mumey and Elaine (Gary) Bliss, and her daughters Mary (Richard Pono) Andaya and Leslie (Michael) Harrington. She is also survived by her granddaughters, Cypress (Justin Darlington) Andaya, Cyrene (Taylor Feato) Andaya, and Iceley (Kim) Andaya.
Private services were held. Condolences can be mailed c/o Mary Andaya, P.O. Box 1655, Kamuela, HI 96743.
The family will be making a donation to children's art non-profit organization, to be determined at a later date.