Jean E. Koons, 91, banker, job adviser

April 19, 2006

Jean Elizabeth Koons, a retired banker who began a second career as a job counselor with the Baltimore County Department of Aging, died in her sleep Saturday at Manor Care Ruxton.

The former Timonium resident was 91.

Miss Koons was born in Baltimore and raised in Forest Park. She dropped out of Forest Park High School after the ninth grade to go to work to help support her family.

"It was because of the Depression," said niece Nancy C. Berry of Timonium.

In 1943, Miss Koons began her career at Union Trust Co., working in the bank's proof department.

After World War II, she transferred to the bookkeeping department as a clerk.

Through the years, Miss Koons worked her way up to assistant treasurer and then assistant vice president, becoming responsible for 144 employees.

At the time of her retirement in 1977, she was a bank vice president.

"She opened the door for a lot of women back then," Mrs. Berry said. "She was a driven person who loved to work. It was unbelievable; she'd be busy working at the bank at 1 or 2 in the morning."

After retiring from the bank, Miss Koons wanted to remain active, so she went to work for the Baltimore County Department of Aging, helping senior citizens find jobs.

She enjoyed visiting employers, using the information from the visits to explain jobs in detail to potential applicants.

"She finally retired in 1992," her niece said.

Miss Koons remained busy. She drove across the country, flew to Alaska and rode a donkey to the bottom of the Grand Canyon and back out.

She traveled overseas and enjoyed visiting Disney World in Florida.

She also liked entertaining family and friends.

"She loved to cook, and on Christmas morning always served stewed chicken over English muffins with hominy. And her pot roast was always served with a dark brown gravy," her niece said. "Whatever she cooked, it was unbelievable."

She was a member and former president of the American Bank Women's Association in Baltimore.

Miss Koons was a longtime member of Towson United Methodist Church, 501 Hampton Lane, where services will be held at 2:30 p.m. today.

Also surviving are another niece; and three nephews.

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