Cover photo for Jean Paquette's Obituary
Jean Paquette Profile Photo
1940 Jean 2024

Jean Paquette

September 3, 1940 — March 27, 2024

Jean Paquette of Sisco Street in Westport passed away on Wednesday morning, March 27, 2024. She was 83, and had been a resident at Elderwood of Uihlein at Lake Placid for just over a year.

Jean was born on September 3, 1940 at Elizabethtown Community Hospital, to Bob and Mary Jane (Gerow) Carpenter.

A 1959 graduate of Westport Central School, Jean was the first in her family to have pursued higher education. She graduated from Russell Sage College in Troy, NY in 1963, with a Bachelor of Science degree in Physical Therapy.

Jean married her long-sought-after beau, Russ Paquette, in 1965, and they welcomed their only child, Michelle, in 1967.

After a brief stint working in the Physical Therapy department at CVPH, Jean spent the rest of her career at Elizabethtown Community Hospital, taking early retirement in 1982.

Prior to the roll-out of the Essex County 911 dispatch system, each small town in the area was responsible for calling out their own first responders. A handful of volunteers from Westport and Wadhams had special telephones installed in their homes, from which they received emergency calls. As this was also long before pagers, they would then contact FD or EMS members, and send crews out to help. Jean staffed one of these "red phones," day and night, for nearly 30 years.

The 70s and early 80s were probably the happiest and most active times of Jean's life. Every weekend, holiday, vacation, and many times in between, were spent on-the-go with friends. In the summer, it was camping, fishing and boating - at Lincoln Pond, the Fort at Crown Point, and sometimes even as far away as Vermont or New Hampshire. In the winter it was snowmobiling - trips out to Tommy Brown's in Lewis for pizza, or long trail rides with the "sleds," where everyone just plunked down in a snowbank for a great picnic over a fire. Along with Jean's brother, Bucky, these groups included Jack & Judy and Wayne & Juanita Napper, Paul & Hilda Sausville, Gib & Lena White, Dale & Joyce Moss, Roger & Donna Shambo, and many others.

In 1990, a car on the lakeshore road between Westport and Essex accidentally and unavoidably collided with a family of deer. The doe and one of her fawns were killed. A second fawn suffered a severely broken leg, which subsequently had to be amputated. So young she still had spots, and unable to be returned to the wild, the fawn was alone and needed a caregiver. Under the guidance of veterinarian Dr. Sue Russell, Jean received permission to care for the orphan. She named her new friend "Christmas," and for the next 14 years, every day, twice a day (three times when it was very hot or very cold), Jean and Russ fed, watered, cleaned up after, and socialized with Christmas. They reached out to local farmers, who allowed them to pick fresh greens from their fields to feed her, and orchards that sold them discounted apples. In the spring, when Christmas shed her hair, Jean collected tufts and gave it to fly fisherman who used it to tie deer-hair flies.

In 2002, Jean's brother Bucky suddenly and unexpectedly passed away. They had been very close, and his loss devastated her. She became very withdrawn, and people often commented that they seldom saw her anymore. While she still enjoyed feeding her hummingbirds, playing on her computer, and loved her chubby dachshunds Muffin and Bammie, things were never quite the same after his death.

Jean was pre-deceased by her parents, Bob and Mary Carpenter, her brother James "Bucky" Carpenter, and her husband of 57 years, Russ Paquette. She is survived by her daughter, Michelle Paquette, sister-in-law, Mildred Paquette, (both of Westport), her cousins, Charles Gerow of Burke, NY and Scott Gerow of Taylors, SC (and their families), nieces Wendy Annette and Trudy Perry (and their families), and nephews Greg, Bob and Steve Paquette (and their families).

Those interested in making donations in Jean's memory are encouraged to do so by contributing to the Westport Fire Department, the Westport Emergency Squad, or the North Country SPCA.

Jean's arrangements have been entrusted to Heidrick Funeral Home, 7521 Court Street, Elizabethtown, 518-873-6713. Calling hours will be Wednesday, April 10, from 5-7 p.m. at the funeral home. A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Philip Neri Catholic Church in Westport, at 11:00 am on Thursday, April 11, 2024.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean Paquette, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Wednesday, April 10, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Heidrick Funeral Home - Elizabethtown

7521 Court St, PO Box 188, Elizabethtown, NY 12932

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.

Mass of Christian Burial

Thursday, April 11, 2024

11:00am - 12:00 pm (Eastern time)

St. Philip Neri Catholic Church

6603 Main St., Westport, NY 12993

Enter your phone number above to have directions sent via text. Standard text messaging rates apply.


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