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Thursday, November 9, 2023
11:00am - 1:00pm (Mountain time)
Jean Choquette, age 90, passed peacefully on September 22, 2023, in Longmont, Colorado. Jean Marie (Henry) Choquette was born in Monticello, New York in 1933, the eldest daughter of Juanita (Tiffany) and Oscar Henry. Jean grew up in Liberty, New York with four siblings. She graduated from Liberty High School in 1951, then attended the State University of New York, Albany, from which she earned a bachelor’s degree in French and Business in 1955. She was a Fulbright Scholar in Paris in 1958. Proving her tenacity and love of learning, during many of her working years Jean took classes at Colgate University, Syracuse University, Denver University, and the University of Northern Colorado, from which she earned a master’s degree (magna cum laude) in 1980.
Jean met her husband Philip Wheeler Choquette in the late 1950s through Phil’s father, who was a professor of French at Colgate University. Jean and Phil married in Liberty, New York on July 4, 1959. Soon after, they relocated to Littleton, Colorado. During their more than sixty years of marriage, they raised their two children and enjoyed extended family, five grandchildren, two great-grandchildren, and many friends and colleagues. They relocated to Longmont in 2017, and Phil passed there in 2019.
Jean taught French at Cherry Creek High School (CCHS) in Englewood, Colorado for 32 years. She was an exceptional educator, a true teacher’s teacher. She was a scholar of all things France and loved French literature (especially Antoine de Saint-Exupéry’s Le Petit Prince). She taught all levels of French, including Advanced Placement (AP) courses, and led students on summer immersion trips to France. Jean was a member and leader of school and professional organizations advancing the teaching of French and foreign languages. She served as faculty sponsor of the CCHS French Club, leading students on mountain retreats, French restaurant outings, and the construction of homecoming floats. She received accolades for her work including both a Creativity in Teaching Award and the Genevieve Overman Memorial Award for Service to the Profession from the Colorado Congress of Foreign Language Teachers, a Golden Apple Teaching Award from CCHS, and a Colorado Teacher Award.
Jean was a longtime volunteer teacher of English as a Second Language (ESL) in Denver, helping dozens of mostly adult students improve their English. Following retirement from CCHS, she taught French at a Denver-area preschool as a volunteer, and taught French part-time at Front Range Christian School in Littleton while some of her grandchildren attended there.
Jean was a person of faith. She was a longtime member of Grace Presbyterian and First Presbyterian Churches in Littleton, and more recently CENTRALongmont Presbyterian Church. She taught Bible studies and classes on the writings of Christian author C.S. Lewis in Presbyterian women’s circles, Community Bible Study courses, and Sunday school. She went to Mexico and Native American lands on mission trips.
For many of her students (youth and adults alike), Jean was far more than just a teacher. She was a mentor, friend, confidante, cheerleader, prayer warrior, financial supporter, and sometimes even stand-in mother. Over the years, she and Phil welcomed four young women into their home for extended stays, giving them love, support, and fresh starts. Jean delighted in hosting and serving as tour guide to teachers and friends from many countries, states, and walks of life and regularly spent time in northern New Mexico learning about Native American cultures and arts. She became a capable French chef. She was a firm believer in eating dessert.
Jean is survived by her son Steven Choquette and his wife Toni Ozeroff, her daughter Janine (Choquette) Ledingham and Janine’s husband Jerry Ledingham, her granddaughter Anne Choquette, Anne’s children (her great grandchildren) Persephanie and Azriel Blake, her grandsons Gregory and Sean Ledingham, her grandson Jordan Choquette and his wife Dana (Meeker) Choquette, and her grandson Nathan Choquette. She is also survived by her brothers Albert and Arthur Henry, her sister Linda (Henry) Mills, and nieces and nephews Julie Bradshaw, Jess Bradshaw, Donna (Henry) Schultes, Kyle Henry, Diana (Henry) D’Agati, Ross Mousseau, Anne (Dubief) Green, and Marc Dubief. She loved and adored them all, as well as their spouses, significant others, children, and grandchildren.
A "Celebration of Jean’s Life" will be held at 11 a.m. MST on Thursday, November 9, 2023, at CENTRALongmont Presbyterian Church, 402 Kimbark Street, Longmont, Colorado 80501. The church will livestream the celebration for any who cannot attend in-person. There will be a reception at the church immediately following the celebration. Donations in memory of Jean may be made to the Alliance Française of Denver's scholarship fund, CENTRALongmont Presbyterian Church, or the Archdiocese of Denver Centro San Juan Diego ESL Program using the following links: