Laurel Jean (Downing) Longino, 90, died peacefully on Sept. 13, 2013, at home in her residence in Greenville after a brief struggle with lung cancer.
Jean was born July 24, 1923, in Muscatine, Iowa; the daughter of Glen and Ruth Downing.
Jean thoroughly enjoyed rescuing animals, bridge club, attending her grandchildren’s sporting events and shopping. Her favorite Sunday pastime was watching her beloved Dallas Cowboys with a big bowl of popcorn in her lap.
Jean graduated Valedictorian from Muscatine High School in Muscatine, Iowa, and went on to graduate with honors from the University of Iowa. There she stood out academically, graduating Phi Beta Kappa and Summa Cum Laude, and was a member of the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority.
After a career as a Braniff Airlines hostess, which began on Sept. 18, 1944, Jean married the love of her life, Braniff Airlines Captain William A. Longino and remained blissfully married for 59 years until his passing in 2004.
Bill and Jean had two adored sons, Bill and Tom and resided in Dallas, until moving to a ranch outside of Celeste and then after retirement on to Grenville.
In addition to raising their two children, she also enjoyed volunteering at various organizations and hospitals.Jean was a member of Kavanaugh United Methodist Church in Greenville.
Jean is survived by her son Bill and his wife Nancy as well as her son Tom and his wife Deborah; granddaughter Jessica Alese Longino and her husband Craig Johnson of McKinney, along with grandsons William Travis Longino of Dallas and Thomas James Longino of Celeste, as well as many cherished friends.
There will be a service for family and friends at Coker-Mathews Funeral Home chapel in Greenville. Visitation will begin at 2 p.m.today and service will follow at 3 p.m. Rev. Stephen Cotten will officiate. Interment will follow at Memoryland Memorial Park.
Pallbearers will be her grandsons, Billy Longino and Thomas Longino.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations can be sent in her name to Operation Kindness, 3201 Earhart Drive, Carrollton, 75006, or donate online at www.operationkindness.org.
All donations are tax deductible and will help towards saving the lives of the many homeless animals that Jean strived to help in her lifetime.
Online condolences may be made at www.cokermathews.com