Cover photo for Jean G Mader's Obituary
Jean G Mader Profile Photo
1926 Jean 2023

Jean G Mader

October 10, 1926 — March 2, 2023

Elma Jean Davenport was born in Pampa, Texas on October 10, 1926, to Owen and Marie Davenport. She was the middle child. Older sister Helen and little brother Denny completed the family. Her dad worked the oilfields and the family moved often during the "dirty 30s." Mom's frugality was legendary, influenced no doubt by the Depression. Her folks separated during her childhood.


As a teenager living in Lincoln, Nebraska, she worked as a live-in nanny to lighten the financial burden on her mom. She dropped the name Elma and became Jean. After high school she found a job as a carhop and then in a factory building airplane parts. She married Harold Gies, a veteran of WW2, in the late 40s. He died a year later of war injuries.


The young heartbroken widow was invited to a Bible conference. The speaker showed how current events, specifically Israel becoming a nation in 1948, were an astonishing fulfillment of biblical prophecy. Jean placed her trust in the Lord Jesus Christ and decided to attend Bible school to learn more about God's Word. She moved from darkness and despair to hope and purpose.


Arizona Bible Institute became her new home. On a mission trip to San Diego she met Jim Mader, a young veteran with a big heart for servicemen and Jewish people. Their wedding and her graduation took place on May 30, 1952.


Jean was a determined, enthusiastic partner to Jim. They were both heavily involved in the San Diego Hebrew Mission and Mission Valley Community Chapel.


Detail-oriented, organized, disciplined, bright, and focused, Jean was an excellent co-worker in the work of the Gospel. 


Three daughters, Becky, Lydia, and Adena, arrived in the 50s. Jean's life was full but she developed and pursued her love for God's Word, His Church, hospitality, evangelism, visitation, prayer, and Christian education of kids and youth. Jean was involved in hospitality with the “Home Hour” where new Jewish contacts were invited to a meal and conversation. She had the soul of an archivist and faithfully chronicled church events and family travels. She also kept careful financial records for the SDHM.  Her immediate and extended family were dear to her heart. 


She loved traveling and visited Indonesia, Liberia, Alaska, and Israel. Adaptable and unflappable, she was an adventurer! She was also a keen member of the Christian Writers Guild.


After Jim graduated to glory in 2012, Jean expanded her horizons even farther. She crisscrossed North America to attend her grandchildren’s weddings. She edited articles. She loved eating out with friends and family. She was a devoted caregiver and friend, always looking for ways to help others. She gave of her time unstintingly and was a good listener. Until the last few weeks of her life she never missed Sunday services or Wednesday night prayer meetings. And oh did she pray! Her children and grandchildren, missionaries around the world, 

nephews and nieces, those who had not met Jesus, the hurting -  all were on her prayer list.


Thanks to the devoted work of dear friends, caregivers, and family, she was able to remain in her own home up until she fractured 4 ribs.This necessitated a short hospital stay and then hospice care for a few days before the Lord called her to His home in glory, to the place He had prepared for her. “...Absent from the body…present with the Lord.” 2 Corinthians 5:8 

King James Version


Jean is survived by her daughters Becky (Loren) Warkentin, Lydia (Scott) Raymo, Adena (Randy) Wildman, her brother Denny, grand-children and great-grandson, nieces and nephews.


A celebration of Jean’s life will be held on Saturday, May 20, 2023 in San Diego.

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jean G Mader, please visit our flower store.


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