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Jean Burgess

Mother of Harvard resident, art teacher, ceramicist

Jean Burgess. (Courtesy photo)

Jean Caroline (Mueller) Burgess, 94, died Saturday, April 3, 2021, in Sterling. She was born January 21, 1927, in New Haven, Connecticut, to Alice F. Mueller and William G. Mueller. Jean graduated from Wellesley High School in 1944; she received her Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College for Women in 1948.

Jean taught art in Concord’s Middle School. She received her master’s degree in fine arts at Assumption University in Worcester. She had a ceramic studio in Billerica where she created free-form stoneware pots, dishes, and garden sculptures, which she exhibited at juried craft shows and markets. She was also a talented painter in both acrylics and watercolors.

Jean and her husband, James T. Burgess, resided in North Kingstown, Rhode Island, for many years. Jean was a devout Catholic who sang in her parish choirs. She enjoyed landscape design and gardening and loved dogs and traveling. She spent her summers on Prince Edward Island, Canada; winters she visited Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, where she continued her watercolor painting and worked to perfect her command of Spanish. Jean was an avid walker, which she enjoyed well into her 80s.

Jean is survived by her brother, William F. Mueller, of Bradenton, Florida; her daughters, Leslie Ann (Bernard) Paul, of Henniker, New Hampshire, Lisa Jean (Bernard) Robinson, of Harvard, Helene “Nina” (Bernard) Schumann, of Miami Beach, Florida, and Nancy Ellen Bernard, of Milwaukie, Oregon; her granddaughters, Sage Risteen and Emily Chandler of Rockland, Maine, Stephanie Simpson of Jujuy, Argentina, Faith Kenyon of Miami, Florida; and five great-grandchildren.

The family is grateful to Lisa and Doug Robinson of Harvard for their unfailing devotion that assured Jean of the best possible care and dignity as she endured the devastation of vascular dementia. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests making a donation to the Alzheimer’s Society of Rhode Island. A memorial service will be held in June at St. John the Evangelist Church in Wellesley, at a day and time to be announced. Burial will follow at Woodlawn Cemetery in Wellesley.

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