Obituary: Jean A. Behan (1929-2023)

Jean Arlene McCauliffe Behan passed away surrounded by loving family on Saturday March 18 at Newport Hospital. She was 93-years-old.

Jean was born April 16, 1929, in Newport, RI to Wilma Larson and George McCauliffe. She was among the first staff at Newport Creamery, formerly called The Milk Bar.

She was a member of Salve Regina University’s first class in 1947 before transferring to Forsyth Training School at Tufts University in Boston.

Jean was a dental hygienist for many local Newporter’s until 2000, and enjoyed working for Dr. John Costello for many years, as well as the late Dr. Tisdale. Her favorite part of the job was all the people she was able to meet and talk to, and that they couldn’t talk back.

Jean was the wife of the late James “Bud” Behan Jr. She also joins both of her brothers, James and Michael, and her beloved sister, Wilma Perry.

Jean is survived by her four children: James Kane Behan III and his wife Karen Behan of Indialantic, FL, Kimberly Ann Behan of Middletown, RI, Timothy Michael Behan and his wife Christine Behan of Melbourne FL, and Kevin Edward Behan and his wife Elizabeth Coffey-Behan of Middletown, RI. She is also survived by her ten grandchildren: Tara, Edward, Austen, Kathryn, Dalton, Christian, Nicholas, Emerson, Brendan, and Daniel. She also leaves behind nine great grandchildren, and many extended family members, including the Perry family.

Jean is also survived by many dear friends, including her companion Paul McGinnis, her college friend Dorothy “Dodo” Bergeron, her loving neighbors, and of course her second family at Gary’s Handy Lunch.

The secret to Jean’s long and happy life is a daily tuna melt from The Handy, water aerobics, and an unparalleled intake of chocolate candy.

Visiting hours will be held Tuesday, March 21 from 4-7pm in the O’Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring St, Newport. A Mass of Christian burial will be celebrated Wednesday, March 22, St. Mary’s Church, Newport at 10 am. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown’s Ln, Middletown.

In lieu of flowers, please make a gift in honor of Jean to Newport Public Education Foundation, 320 Thames St, #1237 Newport, RI or Ladies Ancient Order of Hibernians, PO Box 573, Newport, RI 02840.




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