Wilma “Jean” Church Reynolds – Past WGS President and Director

On a somber Wednesday, February 28, 2024, the serene town of Boomer bid farewell to one of its cherished residents, Jean Reynolds, at the tender age of 81.

The tranquil corridors of Amorem Hospice in Hudson, North Carolina cradled her final moments, marking the end of a life that left an indelible imprint on the hearts of all who knew her.

Jean’s story unfolded on September 13, 1942, in the embrace of Wilkes County, the daughter of Bill and Imogene Pardue Church. From the early days of her journey, she exuded a warmth that endeared her to those around her.

Her path in life led her to become a devoted Teacher’s Assistant at North Wilkesboro Elementary School, where she became a guiding light for numerous young minds, fostering a love for learning that would endure throughout their lives.

Her roots ran deep in the soil of faith, as she not only held membership at Pleasant Grove Baptist Church but also regularly graced the pews of Zion Hill Baptist Church in Boomer. These spiritual homes were where she found solace, community, and a sense of purpose.

Jean’s heart beat with a profound love for genealogy, a passion that transcended personal interest. She dedicated herself to helping countless individuals, scattered across the globe, trace their ancestral roots back to Wilkes County. Her altruistic spirit manifested in her role as President/Director of the Genealogy Society, where she tirelessly worked to connect people with their heritage, stitching together the stories of generations long past.

Beyond her scholarly pursuits, Jean reveled in the joy of exploration. She traveled with an open heart and curious spirit, collecting memories that formed the mosaic of her well-lived life. Her nimble fingers found purpose in the gentle art of sewing, creating garments imbued with care and craftsmanship.

Yet, her true passion lay in the realm of education. Jean adored teaching children, and her impact extended far beyond the classroom walls. Her genuine interest in each child’s growth and development left an enduring mark, shaping the future of the community she held dear.

As the final chapter of Jean’s life unfolded, she joined those who had gone before her—a beloved son, Ronald James “Sonny” Reynolds, Jr., and a brother, William Church. The halls of North Wilkesboro Elementary School may feel emptier, and the pews of Zion Hill Baptist Church may echo a bit softer, but the legacy Jean leaves behind is a testament to a life well-lived—a life woven with threads of knowledge, compassion, and an unyielding love for the intricate tapestry of family history.

She will sorely be missed by the Wilkes Genealogical Society. Her spirit, ever curious and undeniably caring, will continue to inspire those in the Society who will carry on her torch of preserving and sharing of family history that she so dearly loved.