Jean C. Fariss

July 30, 1925 - March 24, 2019
Jean C. Fariss


Jean Anne Colby Fariss, 93, of Wilmington, NC, passed away on March 24, 2019 after a short illness. Her family was by her side, and she is now being held in the loving arms of her daughter Sue.

Jean was born July 30, 1925 in Chicago, IL. She was married to Frederic Fariss for 33 years. Jean was a nurse for more than 70 years. Prior to moving to Wilmington, she lived in Rockford, IL for more than 50 years and Gainesville, FL for 10 years.

She was a wonderful, courageous, funny and beautiful soul. She was a loving mother to 4; grandmother (Grandma, GJ, or Gram) to 7; and great-grandma to 9. She was a caring friend to so many people over the 93 years of her life. She never met a stranger, was kind to everyone she met and was always there to lend a helping hand. She had a wonderful group of friends at Plantation Village, including Jenny Minshew and Peggy Clapham. Jean had a great sense of humor and an adventurous spirit.

She traveled the world, most often on biking or hiking trips. She visited Nepal, India, Turkey, Africa, Peru, Australia, New Zealand, Thailand, and most of Europe. She achieved a lifelong dream of getting her pilot’s license in her 50s. She was a generous philanthropist – supporting women’s rights, animal rescue, veteran’s groups, and other organizations that were trying to improve the world. She was a proud supporter of Planned Parenthood. She was never shy about sharing her thoughts about social issues and politics.

She was a guardian and loving caregiver to many dogs throughout her life – most recently her beloved Daisy. She was the epitome of the strong, independent woman who carved her own path through life and we will miss her dearly.

She is survived by 3 of her children, Ron (Peggy) Fariss, Carol (Mike) Bernardi, and Barbara (John) Lutz, her 7 grandchildren, Kyle Jordan, Kyrk (Jennifer) Jordan, Alissa Bernardi (Andrew) Palko, Christopher Fariss, Elizabeth McGrath (Matt) Scherling, Ross (Samantha) Bernardi, and Ryan Fariss; and 9 great-grandchildren. She was predeceased by her daughter Susan (Thomas) McGrath. Rest in peace our dear, sweet, wonderful mom and grandma. Give hugs to Susie from all of us.

A Celebration of Her Life and reception will be held at Plantation Village on May 2, 2019 from 1:30 to 4. In lieu of flowers, please consider donations in her honor to Planned Parenthood, Habitat for Humanity, the Pender County Animal Shelter, or a charity of your choice.

Please share memories and condolences with the family by clicking on the “Post a Condolence” tab below.

Wilmington Funeral & Cremation, 16076 US Hwy17N, Hampstead, NC 28443. 910-821-1713.


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  • July 09, 2019
    Marj and Ward Crago says:
    Fond memories of seeing Jean biking around Haile daily, picking up second day WSJ at our door and playing bridge with the Haile community group. She was a wonderful inspiration hearing about her travels, her biking goals of biking 100 miles a month, etc. She is missed