Jeanne Demergian

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MIDDLETON–Jeanne Demergian, nee Betty Jeanne Boeing, passed away peacefully on Sept. 25, 2020 at her home in Middleton, after a lengthy illness bravely borne, with family at her side.

Jeanne was born on July 17, 1929 in Woodstock to Edgar and Alice (Ferguson) Boeing. She grew up on a farm in Richland County, where, as a small girl, she harnessed the big horses that helped work the farm, and where her inseparable playmate was a pony named Chief. While attending Richland Center High School, Jeanne played the French horn and also played piano and sang in a trio. She loved cheerleading, especially at football games, and she became a lifelong Packers fan.

Jeanne graduated from high school in 1947. She promptly moved to Madison, where she enrolled in the Methodist Hospital School of Nursing, passing her nursing boards in 1950, and also meeting a medical student named Vaughn Demergian, who would become her husband in 1951. Jeanne’s training and career involved work as a surgical, private duty, and night nurse at Methodist Hospital, Milwaukee County General Hospital, the Chicago Lying-In at the University of Chicago, UCLA Medical Center and Cedars of Lebanon Hospital in Los Angeles, and the future UW Hospital. 

In 1966, Jeanne took flying lessons and even soloed, but she soon quit flying to spend more time with her old love, horses. She eventually settled into raising, training, and showing American Saddlebreds, including her beloved Belle, Charlie, and Stormy. Jeanne also had a passion for genealogy, loved to travel, welcomed new friends wherever she met them, enjoyed playing games and was the social glue of her neighborhood.

After being widowed in 1987, Jeanne increased her volunteer activity, working in the Methodist Hospital coffee shop and serving on the board of the Friends of the Madison Civic Center. She volunteered for the Red Cross, first at blood drives and eventually as a nurse assisting in disaster relief both locally and nationally. With the Red Cross, she worked over 25 disasters, travelling throughout the US and its territories. She eventually retired from disaster work but continued to volunteer, delivering blood to hospitals all over Wisconsin and bringing blood from rural bloodmobiles back to Madison.

Jeanne was a devoted and beloved wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother. Throughout her life, she was dedicated to getting things done and helping people, always with compassion and a sense of humor, even through difficult times. In addition to her volunteer work, she was a very active and longtime parishioner at Grace Episcopal Church in Madison, serving in the Altar Guild and working tirelessly at estate sales and other church activities. Later in life, she became a member of Saint Dunstan’s Episcopal Church.

Jeanne is survived by two sons, David (Iris Higgs) Demergian of San Diego, CA and Tom (Ronnie) Demergian of Madison. She is also survived by four granddaughters and six great-grandchildren. Jeanne was preceded in death by her husband and by her two brothers, Edgar Boeing and Frank Boeing.

A private interment will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the American Red Cross Southwest Wisconsin Chapter.

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