Falling Waters Camp, Chatham, New York
We Remember Jean

Jean with Andie Rice, Sara Linnie, and Molly

This page collects memories of Jean as sent in by various ex-Campers directly to Jim Wheaton, or taken from the Message Board. I'm going to put the latest ones first.

From Vicky (sedan70@juno.com) received 10-20-02:

My name is Vicky Gutierrez. My maiden name was Mahoney. My parents Bill and Margaret Mahoney managed the Pheasant Farm (Austerlitz Hunt Club) where I grew up from 1963 to 1972. The pheasant farm was at the top of Dugway Road. I am not good at measuring distances but I think it was maybe 4 miles from Falling Waters. I spent several hours nearly every summer day at Falling Waters taking riding lessons. I belonged to the Woodland Trails Riding Association that Jeanie was a part of. She was the reason I was included in both the riding lessons and the trail riding.

I have wonderful childhood memories of Jean and Punky. Jean was such a kind and giving person. She treated me and all the other kids like we were all her own children. I was always in awe of her vitality and wonderful laugh. Since I was a couple of years younger than Punky, I looked up to her. I wanted to be just like her.

I have attached a couple of photographs my father took of me and my younger sister, Valerie, participating in the horse show. I would say this was about 1967 or so. I am the one with the white shirt. I think that behind me is one of the Spicer girls, the other photo is my sister Valerie getting a ribbon. I wish these were clearer but Dad had made these digital images out of transparencies so the image is not as sharp. [NOTE: go to the photo page to see these photos.]

I currently live in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. I am married and have a 16 year old son.

From Jean M. Hellyar (jhellyar@aol.com), June 26, 2002 (from Message Board):

What a great idea this website is and there isn't anyone who doesn't have wonderful memories of Falling Waters camp and family. I am both camper and family. I participated in camp when I was probably 5 or 6..slept with the campers, sang the "It's Falling Waters" song with gusto and rode old Peggy with my feet in the strap. I remember Slopey Knickerbocker and Joyce Hilborne, two campers from long ago.

I'm also a family member. My Mom was Elizabeth, the oldest, and Punky is my beloved cousin. Aunt Jeannie was my favorite of all aunts and we had such fun each summer at the Beach Family Reunion here. My daughter, Tracy. is getting married this weekend and I'd hoped she would be there. I'll miss her always.

Cynthia Valerio (theatregirl_5@hotmail) said, via the Message Board:

Hi Everyone! What incredible times we had at camp! If it wasn't for my bestest girl pal in the universe, Claudia (Puddles, Claudhopper), I wouldn't have gotten to meet Jeanie & Margeret & be a camper!I was there from 1961-63 & remember acting Shakespeare in the barn, riding Tanya (my favorite) in the horse show, bareback riding, Miss Muffet standing on my foot, camping out, riding in the old truck to town to Delsen's & swimming in the falls & porpoise pond! Jeanie's twinkling eyes, smile, stamina, love, & wholesome, down to earth nature inspired, sheltered me, yielded a love for the Berkshires. Jeanie brought out the best in everyone, challenge us to reach for the stars & gave me, in particular, courage to live.

Claudia & I are still best friends & I'll be coming to the Berkshires with my family in 2 weeks! I live in beautiful, though currently smoky & hot from all the fires surrounding us, Taos, New Mexico. I am a therapist specializing in children,& still a singer & actress. I wrote/directed my first play last year with a teen cast & am married to a high school teacher; Paul. We have two beautiful, fascinating & amazing kids; Alexandra 15 in Aug. & David 12 in Sept.!

Jeanie & Margaret came to our house 1 year in their camper en route to Texas when Alexandra was a baby & what fun we had! That was the last time I saw Jeanie! Bless you Jeanie up in heaven having a roaring good time laughing with Carl & riding horses through the cloudscapes. Love forever, "Tinker"

Molly Fleischner (mollyf24@juno.com) said:

I first attended Falling Waters in 1954 & was a camper for 5 years & a counselor for another 5 years. Jean was the most special person I have ever known, & I was extremely fortunate to be able to visit her through the years & stay in contact with her until shortly before she died. She taught me about unconditional love, something my own parents had never experienced & were unable to express. If it were not for the genuine love, support, caring, acceptance, & encouragement that I received from Jean in my childhood, and in later life as well, the world would have been a much bleaker place for me. She had an extraordinary ability to understand what people needed & give it to them. As with many of us who continued to return to camp year after year, Jean felt like a "2nd mom" to me, as well as a treasured friend. Jean's ability to make friends with people of all ages never ceased to impress me. She felt like a contemporary, no matter what the difference in years might be, & this seemed to be true for everyone who came in contact with her. Each time I visited her, I came away feeling "full." We could spend days together without ever running out of things to talk about. Her positive outlook & indomitable spirit touched me deeply. I will always miss Jean's love, laughter & spirit, but she will remain in my heart forever.

Andie Rice (andierice@webtv.net) sent the following:

I was a camper and counselor at Falling Waters from approximately 1955 to1960. Sara Linnie's statement about how important Jean was to her goes for me as well. I was (to put it mildly) less than a happy teenager and I credit Jean with helping me through those times with patience, acceptance, guidance and love. I don't know where I would be today without her during those very troubled times. Now that she is gone I wish I had been in touch with her more frequently and hope that this web site will help some of us, that Jean and Falling Waters meant so much to, get in touch again. The site looks great and I love having the Nutcracker there. Margaret worked so hard to keep us all in touch with each other."

Here's what Sara Linnie Brownell (dbbrownell@aol.com) said in an email on June 20, 2002:

Jim--Hello. My name is Sara Linnie Brownell. I live in San Francisco, and I was a camper from 1957 to 1963, then a counsellor for some years after that. My wedding reception was held at Falling Waters, and my daughter is named Jean. I've continued to visit Jean over the years--not as often as I wished I could. this should give you some idea how much Jean meant to me--she was my honorary mother #2 and I think she kept me whole and reasonable sane when I was a teenager, which was not an easy job. She was a remarkable woman in so many ways.

How about leaving a message for others to see and to respond to on the Message Board?

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Go to Falling Waters Fotographs.

Page updated on June 29, 2002