There are moments in our lives, there are moments in a day, when we seem to see beyond the usual – become clairvoyant. We reach then into reality. Such are the moments of our greatest happiness. Such are the moments of our greatest wisdom. It is in the nature of all people to have these experiences, but in our time and under the conditions of our lives, it is only a rare few who are able to continue in the experience and find expression for it.” -Robert Henri, The Art Spirit. Jean was born in Memphis on September 28, 1932 to a young and feisty ” southern belle,” Hazel (Cohen), and a dashing and determined Benjamin Patur. The family relocated to East Hartford when Jean was 3, where Ben could set up a new dental practice and be paid for his services in cash rather than potatoes. She returned in the summers to Memphis for the remainder of her pre-adult years, making mud pies and playing hide-and-seek in the cornfields with her cousin/sister “Jockey” (Jocelyn), straddling the two worlds of suburban New England and the rural Tennessee farm. She grew up as the daughter of a successful dentist, but also heard stories of post-Civil War hardship and southern poverty. Her maternal grandfather’s family had disowned him for marrying her grandmother, daughter of a Native American mother, and Jean carried his strong belief in racial equality with her always. This duality of worlds, in which she knew truths that others often did not, followed her throughout her 9 decades of life. Jeanie graduated from East Hartford High school in 1949 and left Connecticut College for Women in her dean’s-listed sophomore year to marry Howard Gross. She met him at the family cottage on Amston Lake; he was 9 years her senior and just starting out as an attorney. She was a gifted student, but it was too early for her to know feminism. By the age of 22, she was a housewife and mother of two young daughters, Stephanie and Meg! After moving to a beautiful new home in Bloomfield, she sewed curtains, decorated, made beautifully tailored clothes for us (her daughters), threw cocktail and dinner parties. Jean and Howard enjoyed the culture of Provincetown and the Newport Folk Festival. With her waist-long, deep auburn hair and exotic cheekbones, her family thought she was the most beautiful woman in the world (as did many others, apparently!). She expressed her artistry through fabulous food (fancy canapes, jello molds, sauteed chicken, homemade vegetable beef soup, pies and of course the family rugelach). When we were old enough, she enjoyed teaching us the fundamentals of baking, knitting and sewing, but -more importantly- she encouraged each of us on our own artistic journeys. Stephanie fondly recalls her earliest years sitting beside her mother at the family upright with John Thompson music books, learning to play Beethoven minuets. Meg’s love for dance began at the age of four in modern dance classes accompanied by Jean. In 1966, after the end of her marriage, Jean turned to Hartford Art School, and later Wesleyan University, to study sculpture and painting. Her over 40-year life and career as an artist had begun. Initially she studied with teachers including Wyck Knaus, Roy Superior and Wolfgang Biehl, then with Glo Sessions and Margot Rosenthal. Inspired by Joseph Cornell and Judy Chicago, collage, assemblage and handmade paper became the body of her work, and she became the teacher, showing in invitational juried shows, solo and in groups, galleries, colleges, institutions and museums in New York, Connecticut and the Cape. She often quoted Paul Klee: “Art does not reproduce the visible, but makes visible.” Her work frequently won prizes, including awards from the Connecticut Academy of Fine Arts, Connecticut Women Artists and the New Britain Museum of American Art, was reviewed extensively, and is in many private collections throughout the country. Our favorite gallery, however, was the home that she shared with her husband of 45 years, Ken Roberts. Jean married Ken Roberts in 1970 and the couple moved to Glastonbury to be closer to his business in Norwich. There they built their dream house, with a huge, well and naturally-lit basement studio/classroom for Jean, and a darkroom for Kens’ equally impressive photography. He retired, and the couple’s lifetime immersion in art began, complete with artistically inspiring travels to the Southwestern and Europe, a plethora of wonderful friends and, of course, always a Siamese cat. In 1981, Jean first became a grandmother, and took great joy throughout her life in her relationship with Meg’s daughter, April, supporting her artistic interests and encouraging her quest for adventure. As a special perk, April served as translator during her grandparents trip to Nerja, Spain in the 2000’s. When Ken became ill, and her own health and mobility became compromised, Jean made the difficult and brave decision to move to the Duncaster Retirement Community. There she continued the pursuit of deep philosophical thought, spiritual inquiry,meditation, art…and her ongoing interest in “Ancient Aliens.” Her impressive artwork adorned the walls, and we often saw residents, their families and staff stop by to admire it and ask questions of her. While at Duncaster, she developed new and deeply affectionate friendships with residents and staff, including her beloved “pest,” Evelyn Dvorin. Like so many other artistic visionaries, Jean at times had her struggles. She so valued those upon whom she depended: family and friends who loved, admired and supported her! We are incredibly grateful for her unconditional love and lessons in perseverance, on being strong and independent women, compassion, critical thinking, delving below the surface, and appreciation of irreverent humor. Her lifelong beliefs in social justice, Civil and Native American rights, support of disabled veterans and the responsibility, in our good fortune, to care for others, have been a model for our own values. Jean leaves her daughter, Stephanie Gross, of Brooklyn, NY, daughter and son-in-law, Meg and Tom Northrop, of Huntington, VT, granddaughter and grandson-in-law, April Howard and Benjamin Dangl, of Burlington, VT, and grandchildren, Leon and Eulalia Summers, many cousins, as well as a special cousin, Howard Iger, and his wife Lenore. She also leaves so many intimate friends from the art world, and especially dear are Ilona Levitz and Phyllis Small. She was predeceased by her husband Ken, stepson Eric Roberts and recently by her beloved grandson, Elias Howard. The family wishes to express our gratitude to the staff of Caleb Hitchcock Health Center for the loving care provided to Jean over the last portion of her life. In lieu of a funeral, Jean’s ashes will be scattered in the Southwest at locations of special spiritual significance to her. You are invited to share your memories and messages at the Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/Remembering-Jean-Roberts-1932-2022-105826875560633. Donations may be made in her memory to Connecticut Foodshare, or the environmental or social justice legal defense fund of your choice.