Jean Tinney, teacher, church member and great-grandmother

Burlington, VT — Jean Tinney, 90, of South Hero, passed away peacefully October 2, 2021, at University of Vermont Medical Center. She was born August 15, 1931, in Gardner, MA, the daughter of Gardie and Hazel (Ellis) LaBounty.

Jean graduated from Milford High School in 1949, then began her studies at the University of Massachusetts to pursue a career as a surgical nurse but love intervened, and she married Howard Alden Tinney on September 17, 1950.

She began her career in public education as school lunch agent for the Colchester School District in the 1960s. In 1969, she graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Education and went on to earn a Master of Education from UVM in 1978. Mrs. Tinney, as her beloved students would call her, was a teacher of Reading and English Language Arts at Grand Isle Elementary School for 25 years. She always enjoyed the moment when a student would announce, "You had my mom" or "You had my dad." Her dedication to students did not go unnoticed. She was awarded the Outstanding Vermont Teacher Award by the University of Vermont in 1988 for her excellence in teaching and devoted service to the youth of Vermont.

Jean attended the South Hero Congregational Church and could often be found working on church suppers and baking pies for various events. She always enjoyed a game of bridge and made lasting friends around a card table. In her retirement, Jean worked as a substitute teacher in Grand Isle, and spent the winter months in Seminole, Florida, where she volunteered as a tutor in the local elementary school.

She is survived by her two sons, Dr. Roderic Tinney and his wife, Patricia (Foss), of East Jordan, Michigan, and Donald Tinney of South Hero; her grandchildren, Dustin Simmons Tinney and his partner, Megan Marie, of Bend, Oregon, Cayla Jean (Tinney) Zellers and her husband, Shawn Zellers, of Dexter, Michigan, and Morgan Lawrence Tinney and his fiancé, Janine O'Donnell, of Ada, Michigan; and her two great-grandsons, Fen and Cole Zellers.

She is predeceased by her father, Gardie LaBounty; mother, Hazel LaBounty; and her husband Howard, who passed away on November 29, 1996.

Rather than gather for services during the pandemic, the family suggests that friends honor Jean's life with intentional acts of kindness — give a child a new book, bake a batch of cookies for the neighbors, bring a cake to the staff lounge, or take a friend to lunch.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Franklin County Humane Society or to South Hero's Worthen Library

Submitted by:

Minor Funeral Home 
[email protected]