Jeananne Inez “Jean” (Walker-Hill) Poythress, 87, passed away peacefully surrounded by family on Monday, September 6th, 2021, after a long battle with Alzheimer’s disease. Services will be held for Jean on Monday, September 20th, 2021, with a viewing at 10am, funeral at 11am, followed by a graveside burial. A potluck reception will take place after, at The 511 Center at 511 Central Ave, in Great Falls. Arrangements have been entrusted to Croxford’s Funeral Home.
Jean was born on March 27th, 1934, in Needham, MA, to parents Dorothy (Anderson) and Ralph Walker. She was raised primarily in her early years by her grandmother, Annie (Fennwick) Walker. After Annie passed away, Jean was then raised by her uncle and aunt, and grew up with her “sister”, Phyllis. Jean grew up in Needham, MA, started dancing at a young age, and later studied ballet at The Boston Conservatory. She married her first husband, James Hill II, in 1952 and they started their family soon after when their first son James III was born. After that, the Air Force took them to Anchorage, AK, where daughters Laura and Patricka were born. From there, they went on to Preschile, ME, where Joseph was born, then Baton Rouge, LA, and Lompoc, CA, before settling in Great Falls, MT. Sadly, James passed away in September 1981.
Jean later married her second husband, William “Bill” Poythress, in 1984. Jean and Bill joined their families together, and shared 10 children, 16 grandchildren, and 17 “Great-Grands”, who they adored. They were married for 31 years, before Bill passed away in December 2015.
Jean worked for Martin Marietta, General Dynamics, and General Electric, in the missile field, for 12 years, but for most of her life (36 years), she was a dance instructor, eventually opening the Rainbow Hill Dance Studio, and she loved all her “dance kids”! At the studio, she had a scholarship program in place, to reach more kids in the community, and held summer camps, in addition to the numerous performances held and competitions attended throughout the years. While traveling to many of the competitions, Jean would tell her stories to the kids, which later resulted in her children’s book- Tales of the Cinnamon Dragon. Jean loved spending time with her family and fur-babies, enjoyed sewing, working with ceramics and porcelain dolls, including repairing them, and each year she would collect toys to repair, and give to the Children’s Receiving Home at Christmas time.
She is preceded in death by her first husband- James Hill II, second husband- Bill Poythress, parents- Dorothy (Anderson) and Ralph Walker, Grandmother Annie (Fennwick) Walker, her “sister” Phyllis (Walker) Crumbaker, and grandson Bobby. Jean is survived by her children- James Hill III, Laura Hill, Patricka Hill-Poythress, Joseph Hill, William Poythress Jr, Joseph Poythress, John Raymond Poythress, Mary Hughes, Richard (Elizabeth) Poythress, and David (Tracey) Poythress; Grandchildren- Sarena Hill, Marcia Poythress, Samantha Poythress, Jenna (Chad) Hayes, Kendra Hill, Lacey Hill, Nicole Downs, Mathew Padden, Lindsey Hughes, Ronald Hughes, Bethany Poythress, Montgomery Poythress, Ceci Poythress, Eva Poythress, Elana Poythress; and her “Great Grands”- Madison Fuller, Brendan Downs, Sarenaty Guthmiller, Thomas Fuller, Wyatt Guthmiller, Aspen Fuller, Troy Fuller, Lucas Hayes, Makaiya Guthmiller, Isaac Fuller, Layla Hayes, Ryder Guthmiller, Kailey Rush, Aiden Hill, Taylynn Hill, Carmella Padden, and Nathaniel Padden.
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