If anyone asked the late Jean Endicott where she was from, she would proudly say she was born and raised in Washington, D.C., and would quickly correct people if they asked if she lived in the D.C. area.
“She was very proud of where she was from,” said her husband, Jim Endicott, a retired colonel, well-known attorney and past chairman of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce.
Jean Endicott, 74, a longtime Harker Heights resident and community advocate, died Sept. 29 at Seton Medical Center Harker Heights.
“If you told me my wife was going to be dead tomorrow, I wouldn’t have believed you,” Jim Endicott said. “I saw her on Saturday and she appeared just fine.”
He was eating breakfast at the American Legion that Sunday morning when he got the call that his wife had taken a turn for the worst and her prognosis wasn’t promising.
“I’m thankful she didn’t have a long-term illness and that she ended up passing rather quickly,” he said. “Reality is starting to settle in now. When I look at her clothes, I know life isn’t going to be the same without her.”
Jim Endicott first laid eyes on his wife when she was 25 and a CIA intelligence analyst. He was a company commander for the Old Guard.
“When I saw her the first time I thought to myself, ‘That’s someone I’d like to meet,’” he said. “I didn’t talk to her that night, but when I saw her again at another party, I made sure to ask her out.”
Their first date, however, didn’t go as planned because Jean Endicott came down with chicken pox and had to cancel. But the rest is history. A little more than a year later, in 1965, the couple wed.
“She loved people, her cats and she was always involved in something,” Jim Endicott said. “If a cat came to our door, it had a home, and if a soldier needed a mother figure, he got one.”
Jean Endicott was an active woman, frequenting local restaurants and making the drive to Austin to shop. But everything changed when she fell and broke her hip in March.
She recovered from hip surgery and was improving and regaining strength every day with physical therapy.
“She had some mobility issues and had a hard time putting pressure on her leg, but she was making progress,” Jim Endicott said. “We always talked about her coming home and never expected her not to come home.”
After two separate stints in area nursing homes, the second after she reinjured her hip and developed swelling, she died of a suspected infection that her body could not defend against. “The injury took a toll on her and, coupled with her age, she couldn’t shake the infection,” Jim Endicott said.
Jean Endicott was involved in several community organizations, including many that help veterans.
“She did an awful lot for our chamber and they were both good chamber members,” said Bill Kozlik, president of the Harker Heights Chamber of Commerce. “Jim and Jean were very active on Fort Hood and she will be missed by a lot of people.”
Jean Endicott is survived by her husband and their son, James Endicott III.