Visitation at Church 1hour Prior to Funeral Mass
Jean Baptiste Malenfant, of Topsfield, died peacefully on September 11, 2016 at home in the presence of his loving family including his wife of nearly 61 years, Jeanne. He was 83 years old. He died from complications following a valiant struggle with Parkinson's disease which he endured with dignity and grace.
Jean was born and raised in Lynn. He graduated from St, Mary's High School in 1951 and began his 42 year career at General Electric. He graduated from GE’s Apprentice Training Program as a Machinist, and while working full-time, he went on to receive an engineering degree from Boston University and an MBA from Boston College. He and Jeanne married in 1955 and began their life together in Peabody. They moved to Topsfield in 1971 and lived there for the rest of his life.
Jean spent the majority of his career working as a Systems Engineer in the jet-engine division of GE, which was fitting because he had dreamed of being a military pilot before his less-than-perfect vision and congenital heart murmur prevented him from serving.
After retiring, he and Jeanne enjoyed numerous vacations, including spending time at their time share in St. Maarten, and more than 20 cruises in the Caribbean, South America and Alaska. They also made many happy memories on family vacations in Cape May, NJ; Cape Cod; and Walt Disney World, Florida with their children, spouses and grandchildren.
Jean was an avid reader. He enjoyed growing hybrid roses and tending to his vegetable gardens and fruit trees. He could build or fix just about anything and spent his free time tinkering around his house and yard. He single-handedly built a new deck on the family home the first summer he was retired. He also enjoyed golden-era television and movies, and musical performances. His children have fond memories of family outings to the beach, the White Mountains, amusement parks, and sailing his Sailfish on Hood’s Pond. As a special treat for his children, and to give his wife some free time, Jean would often take his young children to climb the rocks at Red Rock Park in Lynn on Sunday mornings, and then a secret stop at the “Popcorn Man” in Salem Common before Sunday dinner.
Anyone who knew Jean knew he was a man of few words. But that didn't stop him from being a kind, very generous man. He donated regularly to too many organizations to list. Always putting his family first, he made sure his children had the education they needed to live a productive life.
Jean was preceded in death by his parents, John and Olive (Martin) Malenfant. He is survived by his wife Jeanne (Julien) and his children, John Malenfant (Brenda) of Hull; Linda Malenfant (Sherman Homan) of Wayland; Julie Waite (Jim) of Richmond, VT; and Nicole Brode (Jeff) of Ambler, PA. He is also survived by his five grandchildren, Oliver, Teddy and Eliza Waite and Jeffrey and Charlotte Brode; his sisters-in-law, brothers-in law; and many nieces and nephews.
The family gratefully acknowledges the compassionate care provided by Visiting Angels of Danvers, and by the Visiting Nurses Association Middlesex East.
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