Jean Sanderson Boardman

Peacham, Vt. — Jean Sanderson Boardman died peacefully on Monday, January 14, 2013, in her beloved home in Peacham, Vermont.

Born April 15, 1920 in Lawrence, Kan., to Lucille Harris Sanderson and Ross Warren Sanderson, Sr., Jean grew up in Wichita, Kan., White Plains, N.Y., and Baltimore, Md., where she graduated from Forest Park High School in 1937. She graduated from Oberlin College in 1941 and then attended Chicago Theological Seminary.

Jean married Howard F. Boardman, an Oberlin classmate, in June 1942. Together they served churches in Windham, Maine; Rutland, N.Y., North Amherst and North Hadley, Mass., Newton, Iowa, Summit, N.J., and Strafford, Vt.

While they lived in Newton Centre, Mass., (1959-1973), Jean was Administrative Assistant to the Metropolitan Boston Association, of the United Church of Christ, and on moving to New Jersey she served in a similar capacity in New Jersey area offices of the United Church’s Central Atlantic Conference.

Jean was a spirited activist, working throughout her life for peace, civil rights, women’s rights, and justice for the politically, socially, and economically oppressed, both near at hand and in far away places. Her faith and resolve took her to Central America; to Selma, Ala., to Washington, D.C., to New York City; and to many other places where she believed she could positively effect change.

As a wife, mother, grandmother, great-grandmother and friend, she was generous with her time, her attention, her patience, her humor, and her wisdom. And despite the many provocations of her husband and children, among others, she responded with equanimity and a twinkle in her eye.

Jean was predeceased by her husband, Howard, and by her mother, her father, her brother Ross and her sister Mary Alice. She is survived by three daughters; Barbara Hoffman of Cuttingsville, Vt., Elizabeth “Betsy” Smith of Peacham, and Niagra on the Lake, Ontario, and Rebecca “Becky” Boardman of West Barnet, Vt., sons-in-law; Jack Hoffman, Julian Smith, and Dennis Kauppila, grandchildren Tristan Smith, Adam Smith, Dylan Smith Jesse Kauppila, Lincoln Smith Liza Hoffman, Rachel Kauppila and Luke Hoffman, great grandchildren Elliot Smith, Jasper Smith, and Conrad Smith, nieces and nephews and their families

There will be no visiting hours.

A service in celebration of her life will be held at 3 p.m., Saturday, May 4, 2013 at North Congregational Church, St. Johnsbury, Vermont. Jean rarely wore black. We will celebrate her life wearing the bright colors she enjoyed so much.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to: North Congregational Church, 72 Main Street, St. Johnsbury, Vt. 05819 ; Caledonia Home Health, 161 Sherman Drive, St. Johnsbury, Vt. 05819; or to Oberlin College at

Ricker Funeral Home of Woodsville, N.H., is in charge of arrangements. For further information on Jean’s life, please go to: