Jean Burgust Juckette passed away at home on January 15, 2022 in the city of Temple Terrace, Florida at the age of 94. She had been struggling with a compression fracture to her T-12 vertebrae the last couple weeks, along with congestive heart failure and A-Fib. Her passing was very peaceful at home in her bedroom with Hospice care at her side.
Jean was born at home in Apopka, Florida on January 8, 1928. She was the middle child of Frank Burgust & Nellie Whitted. She lived in the same house she was born in up until 1948 when she got married. She graduated from Apopka High School in 1945. Ten days after graduation she accepted a position with Florida Power Corporation, and worked for them for 38 years, only taking time off to have her children. She started out in Apopka, and then later was transferred to Orlando and then to Winter Park. She retired from Florida Power in the summer of 1985.
Jean married Granville Kirk Lewis, Jr. in 1948 at the original First Presbyterian Church (which burned down around 1950). They had two children, Granville Kirk Lewis, III and Nancy Ann. They lived in Apopka and after nearly 27 years they grew apart and were divorced shortly before Granville’s death in 1975.
Jean was introduced to her second husband, Harold Juckette, by a mutual friend. It was love at first sight and they were married in 1985 at the First Presbyterian Church of Apopka. Harold owned homes in both Florida and Iowa with his business, and thus traveled back and forth frequently. Harold encouraged Jean to retire at this time. This was the first time that Jean didn’t have to work and so she took the opportunity to learn how to play golf. They enjoyed each other’s company up until Harold’s death in 1994.
Jean’s spiritual walk was evident in how she faithfully served her church and local community through the years. Jean is a life-long member of the First Presbyterian Church of Apopka (FPCA). Jean’s parents, Frank & Nellie Burgust, moved to the area from St. Louis in 1921. FPCA was struggling after losing most of its membership after the 1895 freeze. And so the Burgust family started going to FPCA and were one of the charter members in 1925 when the church was reorganized. Over the years, Jean served as deacon and elder of the church, as well as numerous committee chairs, secretary for Sunday School, Sunday School teacher, Superintendent of the Primary Department, and past president of the Women of the Church. She was also presented with an honorary life membership of the Women of the Church.
Even though Jean suffered several medical setbacks in her adult years, she never skipped a beat in helping to support the Apopka community and her family. One of her favorite places to volunteer was the Apopka Historical Museum, in which she was a past director, and a lifetime member of The Apopka Historical Society. Jean was also the youngest Worthy Matron (presiding officer) in the Order of the Eastern Star in 1952. She is a Past Patron of Eastern Star, Chapter #137 (Apopka), and a current member of the Mount Dora Chapter #103.
Jean was known for her generosity and always had a smile on her face. Her grandchildren lovingly called her “Mo,” a nickname that her son had given her mother when he tried to say “mother” and so the tradition continues. After having a serious medical complication in 2012, she moved in with her daughter and son-in-law in Temple Terrace. This was a tough decision for her as she was very used to her independence. Her children feel blessed to have had her living with them for almost ten years and feel it was a godsend. She never complained or thought of herself first. When asked, the answer was always, “I’m fine.” We should have that etched on her gravestone. And now, she is truly “fine.” She is reunited with so many family members and friends, and all of her earthly troubles are behind her.
Jean is preceded in death by her son, Granville Kirk Lewis III (2006); her two great grandchildren, Katie Ji Hyeon Staley (2013) and Tynan James Cuthrell (2019); her first husband, Granville Kirk Lewis, Jr.(1975), and second husband, Harold Juckette (1994); and her two siblings, Robert Burgust (2010) and Ruth Livingston (2017).
Those left behind to honor Jean and share her legacy include her daughter, Nancy Lewis Staley (Andy) of Temple Terrace, Florida; her grandchildren, Tammy Jeannell Cuthrell (Garren) and Marc Staley (Dawn Royall) all of Colorado and Granville Kirk Lewis IV; great granddaughter, Laney Jannae Cuthrell (Colorado) and great grandson, Bryce Lewis.
In lieu of flowers, donations should be made to the First Presbyterian Church of Apopka (500 S Highland Ave, Apopka, FL 32703); a church that she loved so much.