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"If you see something that needs to be done just do it."
How many times we heard that maxim from our mother! But she believes it and has lived it all her life - and it typifies the giving, unselfish, and modest person she is.
Jean Elizabeth Havens was born on a farm in Sac County in 1915. She was the third child of Lucian and Ella Bowles Havens. When she was four years old, the family moved into Sac City, where her father went into the farm implement business. She graduated from Sac City High School.
Her goal after high school was a college education. These were the Depression years of the early thirties, however, and funds were very scarce. She taught in a one-room country school and attended Iowa State as money permitted. In 1940, she left school to marry Allen Packer, then a graduate student and instructor in Veterinary Medicine at Iowa State.
Our family was a "traditional" family in many ways due to the strong influence of both our parents, but especially our mother. The primary virtues were hard work, integrity, and self sufficiency. Self-esteem was not a part of the popular vocabulary then, but we all learned by taking responsibility and following through with small tasks as well as larger projects. All of us were expected to share the work of the household and we had regularly assigned "duties."
This brick is in honor of a very special woman and mother - truly a "brick," a solid base - in the lives of so many people in addition to her family. She has shown her devotion and support for Iowa State University for over 50 years through Faculty Women's Club, the Veterinary Auxiliary, Home Ec Club, and Faculty Wives. She lovingly raised five children who all attended ISU.
Her contributions also extend to the Ames community. She served as a leader and assistant leader in a local 4-H club, served on countless PTA and school committees and volunteered at the hospital. Her church and her PEO chapter have also been a very important part of her life - again with unselfish and true Christian spirit she has brought comfort and "done what needed to be done" to help many, many people in need.
We are proud to be the family of such a woman. Though she has chosen to eschew the limelight in her many activities, we welcome the opportunity to pay tribute to Jean H. Packer and to Carrie Chapman Catt and the values for which both stand.
Ellen Packer Kelley
Juliann Packer McWilliams
Sara Packer Van Horne
James A. Packer
John P. Packer
Submitted on 12/21/94