Jean Saum Neff

Jean Saum Neff, 74, of Edinburg, Virginia, passed away on October 17, 2011 in Richmond, Virginia surrounded by her children.  She is the daughter of the late John A. Saum and Emma Wagniere Saum.  She was preceded in death by her loving husband, Zane Neff.  She is survived by her daughter, Pamela Neff Hern and her husband Micheal of Richmond, Virginia; her son, Zane S. Neff and his wife Barbara of Bowie, Maryland; her grandchildren, Addison and Emma Hern and Shelby and Kristen Neff; her brother-in-law, Stanley B. Getz and a host of nieces, nephews and extended family.  She was preceded in death by her sister, Ellen Saum Getz and two stillborn infants.

 Jean was born in Cumberland, Maryland on June 4, 1937.  In her early childhood, her father moved the family to Edinburg to assume co-ownership of Hugh Saum Company, the hardware business started by her great-grandfather.  She enjoyed life in the Valley with relatives and friends. Jean loved to play cards and board games and was a cheerleader during her years at Edinburg High School. Jean’s parents were among the first in Edinburg to have a television, so the Saum house was a Saturday night gathering place for friends to enjoy good food, fellowship and televised boxing.

 At sweet sixteen, Jean married Zane Neff on March 25, 1954.  After a short time together as a married couple, Zane was called to serve his country and was stationed in Japan.  Jean supported her husband during his service by writing letters and sending cookies every week.  When he returned, they worked side-by-side at the hardware store while raising their two children, Pam and Zane. Their career in the hardware industry afforded the family the opportunity to travel to national hardware conventions all across the country, and this sparked Jean’s lifelong love of travel. Jean & Zane worked tirelessly at the hardware store until they closed the Shenandoah County landmark in 1989.

 Throughout her adult life, she and Zane were blessed with many true friends.    They loved attending dances and taking Winnebago trips to the Charlestown Racetrack and Casino.  Jean was often behind the wheel driving her girlfriends to the Washington shopping malls. Their weekends were filled with the social antics of the “Gateway to the West Club,” their supper club and domino get-togethers. Most of all, Jean loved being “Gammy” to her four grandchildren–spoiling them with treats, finding them the perfect gifts, and playing her beloved card and board games with them. Her family will remember her for her unconditional love.  She missed Zane, her life partner of 57 years, since his passing in July of this year. Her family takes comfort in knowing that they are together again.

Her family will receive visitors at The Edinburg Christian Church in Edinburg, Virginia from 6:30-8:30 p.m. on Friday, October 21, 2011.  On Saturday, October 22, 2011 following a private graveside service, a Memorial will also be held at The Edinburg Christian Church beginning at 11:00 a.m.  A reception will follow at the Edinburg Fire Hall.

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