After graduating from Shortridge High School, she attended Butler University where she met her husband, Robert E. Wildman. They were married Dec. 23, 1943. World War II interrupted their college years and they moved to Georgia, where Bob was stationed for Army training. Once Bob shipped out to the Pacific, Jean returned to Indianapolis and worked at the Indianapolis Star until he returned. Over the years, Jean supported Bob in their many business interests, including Burger Chef Systems, Roundhill Development and a standardbred horse business.
Jean and Bob were very involved with Butler University. They supported the university in several ways and attended many sporting events, especially proud to be long-time basketball season ticket holders. Jean continued that tradition after Bob passed away in 2008. She was recognized at a Butler basketball game as one of their oldest fans. Jean and Bob established two scholarships supporting both business and athletics. They were co-recipients of the Butler Mortar Award and were inducted into the Butler Athletic Hall of Fame. In 2015, Butler awarded Jean an honorary doctorate degree.
Jean was an active volunteer for many years with the Indianapolis Boys and Girls Clubs and was a long-time member of Latreian and Second Presbyterian Church. Jean was an avid reader; she always had a book or two with her. It had to be a book as an e-reader would never do. Monthly visits to the bookstore assured there was a ready supply.
As dedicated as she was to her causes and ventures, Jean’s main focus was always her family. She loved nothing more than to spend long summer days at Lake Wawasee, as well as holidays and special occasions with her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren and friends and neighbors.
Jean is survived by her son, Robert T. (Jane) Wildman; daughter, Susan (Bob) Rush; grandchildren, Melissa Rush (Doug Hogberg), Stephanie (Dean) Ramsamooj, Ross Wildman and Kelley Wildman (Marc Hinen); and great-grandchildren, Christian and Matthew Ramsamooj and Leo and Fisher Hinen.
Our family wants to extend a special thanks to the wonderful caregivers from Senior Home Companions.
A visitation will be held from 9-11 a.m. Thursday, Oct. 27, at Second Presbyterian Church, 7700 N. Meridian St., Indianapolis, with a private service following. Please join the family for a reception from 4:30 to 6:30 p.m. at Woodstock Club, 1301 38th St., Indianapolis.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Indianapolis Boys and Girls Clubs or to Butler University.