June 30, 1929 ~ May 28, 2019
Born in: Washington, DC
Resided in: Lakewood, Colorado
Jean Elizabeth Waite passed away Tuesday May 28th in her home.
Jean was born to Reese John Applewhite and Pearl Beatrice Carrick Applewhite on June 30th 1929 in Washington DC. Jean had one older brother, Jack, whom she adored. They remained very close until his death in 2004. Jean grew up in Seat Pleasant, Maryland. Her father, Reese, was a cable car operator and her mother, Pearl, worked for the Federal Government. In her early 20’s she married Daniel (Pete) Colaiannia and soon moved to Denver, Colorado where they would start a family. Jean loved being a stay-at-home mom raising her children. Housework and chores could always wait, playing with her children was much more important. She always said that when Mike and Debbie were little that was the happiest time of her life.
After 25 years of marriage Jean & Pete divorced and she once again went to work for the Federal Government for the National Park Service located at the Federal Center in Lakewood Colorado. Having wanted to return to Maryland, Jean briefly moved back East but found that it had changed so much that Colorado was where she belonged Moving back, she purchased her townhome, went to work for the Department of the Interior, and lived a full life as a very strong and independent woman.
Jean loved clothes, shoes, and jewelry. She carried a fashion sense with her throughout her life. She always looked “Perfect”! No one would be surprised to learn that she was voted “Best Dressed” in high school. She loved listening to the music of the big band era, Andy Williams, and Tom Jones.
While attending her 50th high school class reunion, she rekindled a romance with her high school sweetheart, Don Waite. Shortly thereafter, Don moved to Colorado and they were married. Jean and Don enjoyed a wonderful life together, although it was cut much too short when Don was diagnosed with Alzheimer. Eventually, it became necessary for Don to move back to Maryland where his children would take care of him until his death in 2011. Don’s passing left Jean with a broken heart and she would tell anyone and everyone that would listen that Don was the love of her life.
Jean had many friends. The friendships she forged while working at the Federal Center became lifelong friends after retirement. The longest friendship was with her best friend from kindergarten, Edna Jean. She tried to go back home every year to visit Edna Jean, her brother Jack and, of course go to the beach. Up until just a few years ago, when travel became too difficult she was forced to forgo her visits back East to visit family & friends.
Jean kept up her social life, continued driving, and remained fiercely independent until April of this year when a flu bug knocked her down. Even after recovering from a previous fall that left her with a brain bleed and broken neck, we were hopeful she would still be able to regain her strength and come back. We hoped she would have enough fight left in her but it was not meant to be — God had another plan.
Jean entered the Kingdom of God on May 28th 2019, just one month shy of her 90th birthday. She will be forever missed by her family & many friends.
Jean is survived by her two children, Michael Colaiannia (Kimberly) & Deborah McGuire. Five grandchildren, Loni Wuertz (Josh), Lance Colaiannia, Jennifer Duren (Mike), Reed McGuire, and Alyssa McGuire. Six great-grandchildren, Grace, Sophie, Nicolas, Samantha, Michaela and Drew, sister in-law, Agnes Applewhite and niece Jeanne Applewhite
Jean will be going home to be laid to rest alongside her parents at Washington National Cemetery in Suitland Maryland.