Jean S. Karver

April 22, 2021

Jean Karver

Jean Karver (nee Klippel) passed away in Evanston, IL on April 22, 2021 at the age of 97. Born in Gary, IN to the late Sophie and George Klippel on March 13, 1924 and the adoring sister to George Klippel (Ilabel), she lived 91 years of her life in Gary and Portage until moving to Three Crowns Park Retirement Community in Evanston, IL in 2015 to live closer to her only child, John Karver. Jean was preceded in death by her husband, Robert Karver, in 1958, and raised John as a Single Mother, whom she adored until she died.

Jean was well known and loved by many in Northwest, IN. She grew up in the Brunswick neighborhood as the daughter of a Gary Fire Department Captain and carpenter and she attended and graduated from Edison High School. Following in her Mother’s, Father’s and Brother’s footsteps, Jean’s curiosity, sincerity and vibrant personality blossomed and served her well in both her career and her personal life. Most of all, Jean loved “people” and it showed in the vast number of lifelong friendships she developed and maintained.

Over a career that lasted until she turned 90 years old, Jean worked as a rental agent/clerk as well as working parttime at 12/20 Bowling Alley in Miller Beach. Over the years, in addition to homes in Brunswick, Glen Park and Miller Beach where Jean and her “Mother and Best Friend” Sophie raised John, she lived and worked at Woodlake Village in Miller Beach and then Swanson Court in Portage. She cherished all those people she worked for and alongside during her career and never hesitated to lend a hand. She set an example for all those who came to embrace her, offering sincerity and integrity in what she said and did.

Jean’s thirst for meeting new people and helping others was also an important part of her social life. She volunteered at both St Francis parish in Lake Station and St Mary’s Hospital in Hobart as one of the Auxiliary. She captured the hearts of many of the Doctor’s by baking holiday cookies and delivering them personally to their offices. In fact, Jean’s holiday cookie deliveries were a treat for all Jean’s family and many close friends. Jean never hesitated to be the first to introduce herself in any venue and believed that every new acquaintance would develop into a new friendship. Everything she did came from the heart.

Jean was a lifelong Catholic who prayed and attended mass regularly but she embraced all religions through the many friendships that she developed and maintained over the years. Whenever possible she volunteered to assist in parish life and made sure that she had an opportunity, after each mass, to greet the Priest.

Jean loved sports, basketball in particular. She often recalled the frustrating days of playing “girls” high school basketball where she was either placed on offensive or defensive sides of the court. As she grew older, she would regularly watch college basketball games that involved IU, Northwestern and/or Wisconsin, because John attended IU and then adopted Northwestern when he moved to Evanston and her grandson Robbie attended Wisconsin.

Jean loved “shopping”. Whether it be for groceries, clothes or simply “going to Menards”, she thrived in getting “something for nothing”, a clear reflection of growing up during the Great Depression. It was not unusual for John to visit Jean in IN and return to Evanston with bags of groceries, clothes, hardware, linens, toys and even tooth paste and toothbrushes. As for clothes, when someone said how nice her outfit looked, she would volunteer she got it on sale! In fact, even after she moved to Evanston, an outing she most enjoyed with John was “Going to Menards”!

Jean’s final years were filled with new friendships that she developed when she moved into Three Crowns Park. She immediately became friends with as many residents as possible and participated in all the programs offered. The weekly Bingo event was high on her agenda as were bus outings, musical performances and sing-alongs. She never hesitated to dress-up, including shoes with “heels” even though by then, she was using a walker! Her late friendship with Mary and their many adventures around the retirement complex will likely be legendary. Most important, she loved and respected the staff. No one was taken for granted and, as she came to require their assistance more and more, “Thank You” and “I’m Sorry” became the most used words in her vocabulary.

Home though, was always Northwest Indiana. If it was not for her son living in Evanston, she would have remained a lifelong resident. To Jean, HOME was defined as “friendships/family”. Lifelong friendships that developed as a little girl growing up in Brunswick; friendships that came with marriage to Bob, particularly with her brother and sister in laws and nephews and nieces and each of their children; friendships that developed as Jean recovered from the death of her husband Bob and her need to remain social; friendships that developed with parents of young John’s friends and others who she sought out to mentor her only child that had lost both his Father and Grandfather far too early in John’s life; friendships that developed through working as a rental agent with co-workers and residents of the apartment complexes where she both worked and resided; friendships that developed during the time she spent with her beloved companion Jack, who became her “rock”, particularly after her Mother died; and friendships that developed while volunteering at St Mary’s hospital, fellow Auxiliary members, doctors and patients alike.

Above all, Jean loved her family.

As she grew older, a phone call or visit with a niece or nephew was worth its weight in gold.

Jean cherished every moment she spent with her grandchildren, from playing boardgames, to tea parties, to watching them plays sports or dance (Marina). Jean was particularly proud of her grandchildren’s accomplishments and would never hesitate to share her pride with anyone who would listen. She was keen on seeing her step-grandson George on the Golf Channel and never hesitated to remind her granddaughter Marina, after she moved to LA, to get on “Wheel of Fortune or Jeopardy” two of her favorite TV shows. She never did quite understand what either Robbie or Jonathan did, but that did not discourage her from singing their “career praises”.

Jean loved her only child - John. To anyone who knew her, enough said.

Jean spent the final years of her life weighted and ravished by a devastating disease, Dementia. Finally, TODAY, her SPIRIT roams free of the disease to watch over those she loves. She is now “Back Home”. Don’t be surprised if her Spirit finds a way to reach out to all those whom she touched. She may be physically gone, but her LOVE is forever.

In addition to her son John and his wife Betsy, she is survived by her grandchildren Robert Karver (Giselle), Jonathan Karver (Tahilin), Marina Wishengrad (Brandon), great grandchildren Benjamin and Lila Sophia, step grandson George Savaricas, and she is remained cherished as “Aunt Jean” to many nieces and nephews and their children and grandchildren.

As Jean’s “only child”, it was not hard for me to share a few reflections on my Mom. Her life was full with friendships and as such, she imagined that was the “wealthiest person in the world”. I thank all of you for being part of her life and I believe that whenever you remember her, it is that memory that will keep her spirit alive.

All things considered, her greatest accomplishment was teaching me to respect others, to respect life. I will undoubtedly “physically” miss her but I know her spirit is alive and “My Mom” will continue to watch over me. I only hope that I can continue to follow her example. I will do my best!



Private mass for immediate family, Friends are invited to attend the graveside committal service on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at Calumet Park Cemetery  (2305 W. 73rd Ave. Merrillville IN 46410).  Eta 12:30 pm. For further information please call 219-980-1141

In lieu of flowers, and recognition and support for the staff at Three Crowns Park who provided such loving and exceptional care for Jean, memorial gifts are appreciated.  Memorial gifts can be written to Three Crowns Foundation, 2323 McDaniel Avenue, Evanston, IL 60201.  Gifts can be made on line at

Graveside Service

Tuesday, April 27, 2021
ETA 12:30pm
Burial Calumet Park Cemetery

Private mass for immediate family, Friends are invited to attend the graveside committal service on Tuesday, April 27, 2021 at Calumet Park Cemetery  (2305 W 73rd. Ave. Merrillville IN 46410).  Eta 12:30 pm. For further information please call 219-980-1141