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On May 10, 1937, spring daybreak comes to a small farmhouse on the South Dakota prairie. The sounds breaking the quiet of the prairie are the unmistaken hungry cries of the newborn as God’s Planet Earth welcomes the firstborn child of Raymond and Linda Davidson. For the next eighty years and thirteen days this child, Jean Davidson, will leave her footprints on the sands of the planet and shed light into unlit corners. This is her story.

If a single word can describe the inner character of a person, “determination” would be the life-long label of Jean. When a brother, Roger, was born she became the tomboy older sister and together they tested the abilities of their guardian angel as pre-teenagers by bareback racing their horses across the prairie. Later, when sister Sandra was born, determination led her to develop the love that is unique to sisterhood and a life of sharing her joy of singing.

Jean, like many rural kids of her day, received her elementary education in a one-room schoolhouse with a pot-bellied stove providing both heat for learning and warm lunch. When a combination of prairie blizzards, transportation woes, and finances threatened to interfere with her high school education, determination, as her ally, caused her to move to Bryant, SD, get a full shift job at a restaurant, carry a full load of school activities and music, pay her own expenses, and graduate, in 1955, as Salutatorian.

During this time, Jean met the son of a blacksmith from a neighboring town. Wendell Bossen and Jean Davidson, in January 1956, began the epic journey of 61 years together. Soon, a son, Mark Bossen, now of River Falls, WI was born and several years later Monica Bossen Johnson, now of Atlanta, GA rounded out this happy caste, known as family, for the adventure ahead.

After five years Jean traded jobs from office management to full time mom, determined to give her best to nurturing two young children. It was also the environment that permitted her to share her enthusiasm for singing with church choirs, senior living centers, homeless women centers, and anyone who would listen as she picked up a guitar and smiled. Jean joined an award- winning barbershop chorus of Sweet Adeline’s International in 1986 and eventually enjoyed having sister Sandra Davidson Spain, in Carpentersville, IL, follow in her footsteps. Jean’s most recent favorite joy came with retirement and a move to Hendersonville, NC when she joined Good Shepherd Lutheran’s Praise Band.

Always determined to “see beyond the next hill’, Jean flourished on travel and new friends. Promotional transfers enabled the family to enjoy living in cities from the Pacific to Atlantic, and, as the family prospered, pleasure travel permitted visiting all fifty states and eighty plus countries on all seven continents. Love of singing and love of people created a blend in Jean that made her equally at ease with the Chief of a Masaai village in Kenya or the Mayor of New York.

Somewhere there is singing and Jean Bossen will be there.