Jean B. Priestap

Jean B. Priestap passed away peacefully in the early hours of Monday, May 4, 2020, with loved ones by her side, at 91 years old.

She was born to Carl and Lucile (Lipp) Leonard on April 26, 1929 in Blissfield, Mich.  Jean spent most of her childhood and adult life in Tecumseh, where she raised her three daughters, Vickie, Linda, and Rita. Jean was predeceased by Rita, who passed in 1995 and was always deeply missed by her mother. 

For 25 years, Jean worked at King Engineering in Ann Arbor.  It was in Ann Arbor that she attended Parents Without Partners, eventually becoming the city’s chapter president (1979-1981). It was at those meetings that she also met Kenneth Priestap, whom she married in 1981. The two were happily married, separated only by Ken’s passing in 2015. In the years that followed, Jean spoke often about how much she looked forward to seeing him again. 

In the last five years of her life, Jean moved from West Bloomfield to Big Rapids, where she was cared for lovingly by her two remaining daughters and their husbands, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, and the staff at The Brook Retirement Community. She enjoyed sewing, knitting, reading and crafting.  Family members have cherished items made with love by Grandma. She loved to watch the hummingbirds from her window and proudly shared the photo albums of her family with all who had a moment to spare. 

Jean was active in her church, no matter where she lived. At different times in her life, she served on the Altar Guild at St. Philip’s Lutheran Church in Ypsilanti and Antioch Lutheran Church in Farmington Hills.  Speaking of the loved ones who went ahead of her, Jean left these words of her own behind: “Ken and our angels, Rita and Jeffrey, are in Heaven, and I go to join them.”

Jean is survived, and missed, by her daughters, Vickie Pace Vogel (Tim) and Linda Pace Calvin (Richard); stepsons David Priestap (Motavi), Douglas Priestap, Patrick Priestap (Shirley), and Michael Priestap (Susan); grandchildren Lisa, Elizabeth, Andy, Kristen, Ryan, Janie, Laurel, and Jennifer; great-grandchildren Ashley, Lilly, Owen, Kaden, and Elynn. She is also survived by her brother, Carl Leonard.

Jean will be laid to rest at Brookside Cemetery in Tecumseh. A memorial service will be planned for a later date.

Memorial contributions may be made in Jean’s name to Immanuel Lutheran Church, 726 Fuller Avenue, Big Rapids, MI 49307 or Spectrum Health Hospice, 100 Michigan Street NE, Grand Rapids, MI 49503.

Cremation and care entrusted to the Daggett-Gilbert Funeral Home in Big Rapids.

Due to the pandemic and no public services being allowed, now more than ever it is important to take the time to share a memory or leave a condolence for the family by clicking the guestbook tab at


Tecumseh Herald


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Tecumseh, MI 49286

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