Jean Ellen Lusk, a lifelong Douglas resident, died July 27, 2012, at a local nursing home. She was 95.
Miss Lusk was born April 11, 1917, in the back bedroom of the Douglas residence she lived in until her recent illness. She was preceded in death by her mother Janet Sine Lusk, father Harry Wilton Lusk, brother Harry Arnold Lusk, sister Verna Lusk Buell, and niece Barbara Lusk Kovach.
She is survived by nieces and nephews Patricia Lusk of Simi Valley, California; Tom Buell of Mandeville, Louisiana; Duncan Buell of Columbia, South Carolina; Ron Lusk of Roslyn, Pennsylvania; and Connie Buell Hinton of Stamps, Arkansas; along with a number of great nieces and nephews and a great-great niece.
Miss Lusk graduated as valedictorian from Douglas High School where she was active in drama, vocal music, band, and orchestra and served as drum major for the band and the drum corps. She later earned a degree in biology in Tucson, where she continued her love of music and played cello in the orchestra. When her younger sister also graduated, her family became the first family to have all members graduate from the University of Arizona, her mother having graduated in 1911 from the school that was then called the Territorial College of Arizona.
Miss Lusk went on to study at the Michael Reese Medical Center in Chicago before returning to Douglas to work as a self-employed medical technologist for 37 years, assisting doctors at Cochise County Hospital and Phelps Dodge Hospital. One of her duties was to travel to homes in the Douglas community to draw blood samples ordered by local doctors. She also arranged transfusions and at one point tested the Douglas water and milk supplies.
She was a lifelong member of the First Presbyterian Church of Douglas, singing in the choir until recently and serving as choir director for a number of years. For 16 years she baked the communion bread for Sunday services.
For more than 50 years, she was an active member of the Douglas Business and Professional Women’s Club; the Douglas chapter of Beta Sigma Phi International, earning the highest honor of Order of the Rose; and the Douglas Music Club, promoting musical events in the community she loved.