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Jean Wiggs Bolinder died peacefully on December 18, 2018 at Covenant Village of the Great Lakes surrounded by family. Jean’s only comfort in life and death was that she was not her own, but belonged body and soul, to her faithful Savior Jesus Christ. She now continues for eternity to enjoy life with God.

Jean was born in Elberton, GA, the youngest of five siblings, and enjoyed the legacy of a faith-filled family. In her early teens, with her parents already in declining health, the family moved to Wheaton, IL to live with her grandmother, the widow of R.A. Torrey. Jean attended and graduated from Wheaton Academy in 1942. She then enrolled in Columbia Bible College where she met Robert G. Bolinder during Thanksgiving 1943, just prior to his leaving for Europe to serve in WWII. In the fall of 1944, she transferred to Wheaton College.

Shortly after the war in 1946, Jean married Bob and they lived in Wheaton, IL where they both completed their college degrees at Wheaton College. After early years marked by too many moves, including several in the south, due to Bob being recalled into the Air Force to train pilots for the Korean War, they eventually settled back in Wheaton where they raised their family.

Jean’s life exuded a love for people fueled by her love and devotion for Jesus Christ who she followed from her early childhood days. She was a teacher by degree, active in her local church and known for her warm gifts of hospitality and caring for those often forgotten or overlooked. Everyone loved her “southern charm,” kind heart, and keen sense of the “other.” The home she managed was a haven of peaceful warmth and joy where extended family and guests were always welcomed for a few days or some even for a season.

Jean will also be remembered for her deep love and devotion to God and her family beginning with her husband of 66 years, Bob, who preceded her in death in December 2012. In addition to her sister, Blanche Wiggs Carper, she is survived by son Garth (Dixie) Bolinder; son Scott (Jill) Bolinder; daughter, Robin (Charles) Pinches; 9 grandchildren (and 5 spouses) and 14 great-grandchildren. Jean’s entire family gives thanks to God for her wonderful life of service and faithfulness. Peace to her memory and to God be the glory.

A memorial service will take place on Saturday, January 5 at 10:30am at First Evangelical Covenant Church, 1933 Tremont Blvd. NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504. In lieu of flowers, gifts may be made to First Evangelical Covenant Church designated to the work of the missions committee which was dear to Jean’s heart.


To send a message of sympathy to the family, sign Jean’s online guestbook or to share a favorite memory, please visit:


Arrangements are entrusted to Michigan Cremation & Funeral Care, Grand Rapids. 


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1 Condolence

  1. Dan and Nancy Sharp on January 7, 2019 at 3:23 pm

    I was named after Aunt Jean! I was always proud of my name sake. Once my mother became disabled and could not travel anymore, Uncle Bob and Aunt Jean traveled to CA at least once a year to see her, and they stayed with us which was always a blessing to our family! Our families were always close growing up!

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