Jere Lin Zell Crissman
Jere Lin Zell Crissman passed away peacefully on Sept. 7, 2020, at The Gatehouse, Williamsport, with family present at her bedside after a long illness.
Jere was born on July 14, 1937, in Lock Haven, to Walter Dale and Gladys Weaver Zell. After her mother’s passing when Jere was a child, she went to live with her paternal grandparents, Charles and Violet Zell.
A 1955 graduate of Lock Haven High School, Jere then attended Lock Haven Teacher’s College, from where she earned her bachelor’s of science degree in secondary education in history and English in the spring of 1959.
A highly respected and much-loved social studies teacher at her alma matter, Lock Haven High School, Jere taught both sophomores and juniors for 36 years from 1959 until her retirement in 1995. Those students who were fortunate enough to have been in her class will fondly remember “the Dig,” an archaeological class project in which her classes competed against one another.
Jere also served as sophomore class advisor for many years and later junior and senior class advisor for a short time. Jere also became the history department head.
In the late 1980s Jere chose to further her education by attending Penn State University where she earned her master’s of education degree.
In August 1959 Jere married Robert George Crissman. They had two children, Elizabeth (Beth) Crissman and Robert (Robby) George Crissman II. A devoted mother and grandmother, Jere loved spending time with her beloved grandchildren, Alexis Nedurian (Mathew Johnson), Taylor Nedurian (Nick Dwyer), Austin Crissman (Caitlin Klinefelter), and Cole Matter; great-grandson Conner Crissman and honorary daughter, Jena Seybold.
Jere also loved her time spent with her former Lock Haven High School coworkers, often referred to as the “Purple Sister Hood,” a reference to the former Lock Haven High School’s colors of purple and white. Jere will especially be missed by her best friend, also a former student, Sharon Maggs Seybold.
A highly intelligent woman, Jere loved to read, so much that she memorized her Ross Library card number so that when she pulled a book off the shelf, she could check the card in the back to see if she had already read it. If someone asked Jere to recommend a book or an author, she could recite the titles of every book she had read by the author and give a detailed synopsis of each of the books.
Jere was also a uniquely skilled card player, mahjong player, and trivial pursuit expert. In her earlier years she also enjoyed cross-country skiing, playing tennis, and golfing, a game in which she excelled. She also enjoyed crafts, especially macrame, ceramics and creating special ornaments with her friend, Sharon.
Jere thoroughly enjoyed traveling the world, often visiting places of which she taught. She traveled to England, France, Spain, Italy and Mexico. In 1992 she took a group of students to Russia. After her retirement, she traveled to Egypt and later enjoyed a cruise to the Greek Islands. One of the highlights of her traveling was a special trip to Mount Rushmore for her 80th birthday with her daughter and granddaughters.
Jere was predeceased by her parents, grandparents, stepmother, Rose, her ex-husband, Robert George Crissman, her ex-fiance,È Luther Page, and her younger brother, Larry Zell. She leaves behind her daughter, Elizabeth Crissman (James Snyder); her son, Robert Crissman II (Alfreda Crissman); her grandchildren and great-grandchild; her two sisters, Judy Smith and Jan Scerbo; and many nieces and nephews.
She chose to leave her body to science. Those who wish to honor Jere may do so by making a donation in her name to the Annie Hallabank Ross Library, West Main St., Lock Haven.