Jean Ann Gafner

PALMETTO, Fla. — Jean Ann Gafner, age 83 of Palmetto, Fla. (formerly of Lake Bluff), passed away peacefully on November 18, 2020 at home surrounded by family after a long battle with dementia. She was born on September 21, 1937 in Charlevoix, Mich., the daughter of Clarence and Doris (Trimble) Arnold. The former Jean Ann Arnold married Thomas “Tom” Gafner on May 19, 1956 in Detroit. Together, the couple shared 64 years of marriage. Jean was a kind, humble, and soft-spoken Angel who welcomed everyone she met. Her selfless acts of kindness, generosity, and compassion helped many of those in need. As a long-time member, Jean loved volunteering with the Central United Methodist Church Women’s Group where she worked on many projects including quilting and making pasties. She also volunteered her time with the food pantry at her church in Florida. Jean had a passion for sewing and made many beautiful dresses for all of her granddaughters. She was a loving wife, mother, grandmother, sister, and friend who will be missed by all who were fortunate to know her.

Jean Ann Gafner is survived by her husband, Tom Gafner of Palmetto, Fla.; sons, Tim (Linda) Gafner of Escanaba, Mich., and Scott (Donna) Gafner of Apollo Beach, Fla.; daughter, Laura Gafner of Palmetto, Fla.; grandchildren, Angie Gafner, Natalie Gafner, Krissa Gafner, Alyssa Gafner, Curtis (Brittany) Knauf, Abby (Cohl) Stewart, Blake Knauf, and Logan Gafner; great-grandchildren, Sheridan and Waylon Stewart; brothers, Jerry (Elaine) Arnold of Sterling Heights, MI, and Tracy (Yvonne) Arnold of Shelby Twp., MI; sister, Barbara Gentile of Shelby Twp., MI; and numerous nieces and nephews.

In addition to her parents, Jean was preceded in death by her brother-in-law, Michael Gentile. Also deceased is her son, Glenn Gafner; and daughter-in-law, Bonnie Gafner.

Visitation will be held from 3 to 4 p.m., Wednesday, May 19, at Central United Methodist Church in Escanaba. Funeral services celebrating the life of Jean will follow at 4 p.m. Wednesday with Rev. Elise Low Edwardson officiating.

A reception will be held following the funeral services. Entombment will take place in the Gardens of Rest Mausoleum. The Anderson Funeral Homes are assisting the Gafner family and online remembrances can be shared at www.andersonfuneralhomes.net.