ALEXANDREA BARBARA JEANS JANUARY 2, 1978 –FEBRUARY 18, 2023 Loving daughter, sister and friend HARWINTON - HI, everyone, it’s me, Alexandrea. I want to thank everyone that made my life special, joyful and happy, by spending time with me, having fun, loving me and never judging me because I was disabled. I am finally free of the iron legs and rubber shoes of my wheelchair and have replaced them with wings. This has been a difficult journey but you have made my life a blessing. I hope I have disappointed no one. My peace and love go with you always and forever... Now, here is my story…my legacy…told to you by my mom… On, February 18, 2023, at 5:38 P.M., God acquired a new angel and our family lost our hero. Our beautiful daughter and sister lost her battle from complications due to renal disease, which ultimately took her precious life. Alexandrea died in her home, in the loving arms of her twin sister, her mom, Shannon Dionne and her canine brothers, Zigmund and Vladimir. Ziggy and Vlad kept constant vigil by her side for the entire week, until she passed into the arms of Jesus. Alexandrea and her twin sister Jenifer Alex were the first set of twins born in Connecticut on January 2nd in 1978. She was given her name by her dad, which was her mother’s name backwards. Mom always referred to her twins as her “surprise package”, which over the years, would prove very true. Alexandrea is survived by her mother, Andrea Alex Jeans and step-dad Gunnar who she loved very much, her father Fred R. Jeans and step-mom, Mama Colleen who always made her feel special, her twin sister, Jenifer Alex, her best friend and strongest advocate, and Justin her fiancé, along with their pet, Nicodemus. She also leaves her four-legged companions Ziggy and Vlad who were insistent in joining her outside when the LARC van came to pick her up for her beloved daily program. Alexandrea also leaves her oldest and dearest friend Kevin Braddock who attended school with her for more than 20 years in Harwinton and Burlington and then with her in their LARC DSO program. Kevin will forever remain dear to her heart and the love of her life. Alexandrea was the granddaughter of Anthony and Wanda Alex of Middlebury and Fred and Violet Jeans of Old Greenwich and the loving great niece of Helen Majewski of Waterbury. Alexandrea also leaves her brothers, Christopher Alex and spouse Melissa, of West Cornwall, niece Olivia and nephew Evan, brother Brett Alex and spouse Laura of Switzerland and niece Marlow who was Alexandrea’s Goddaughter and nephew Oscar. She also leaves behind her loving Godmother Dorothy and her husband Byron Pierce of Middlebury, her uncle Donald Paris and dearest to her heart her cousin Candace Majewski, her devoted cheerleader, for her daily visits and who remained by her side until her passing. Many special people came into her life, Audrey Holmes, Laurie Dionne, Shannon Dionne, Samantha Hartwell Pope, Janice Polomski, Carrie Miklos, Kim Bados, Holly Laplante, Cynthia Berch, Sharon Flynn, and Laura Crane, her DDS friend and case manager, and all the home health care personnel, especially, Angelica and Rose. To the devoted ICU staff at Charlotte Hungerford Hospital who consistently treated Alexandrea with dignity and respect, a special thank you. Her devoted physicians, Dr. George Sunny and his staff and Dr. Terrance Ryan and his staff, with their constant love, stellar and attentive medical care, and patience were a Godsend to Alexandrea and her family. The Hospice team will always be remembered in helping not only Alexandrea but her mom in keeping everything together even in those stressful days leading to Alexandrea’s passing. Twenty-one and where to go…to DSO! Not to be forgotten is the ENTIRE LARC staff team, her friends at LARC in Torrington, and DSO program, which she lived for and where she thrived until she was too weak to attend. Many thanks are extended to the DSO for their loving and support especially during the last six months of Alexandrea’s struggle. Attending DSO was her passion and she waited in patience every day for her van ride. In spite of her profound physical limitations, Alexandrea led a full life. When she couldn’t go out in the snow to play as a baby, her three siblings brought the snow into the house, into her room in a plastic dishpan. We often had a mess, made by Miss Alexandrea herself, but we all loved it! Alexandrea attended Easter Seals in Waterbury several times a week for physical and occupational therapy the first several years of her life and participated in infant stimulation classes at home through the Board of Education and Services for the Blind until she started her formal school program. When she was 6 years old, Alexandrea participated and was featured in one of the earliest Easter Seals Telethon television broadcasts in Waterbury. She earned a first place ribbon at the Harwinton Fair for a painting her family submitted. This painting would be many years later featured in the ART FEST 2020 calendar, ‘‘Expressions of Summer’’ published by LARC, where she earned a ribbon as Most Funky for the month of February. Not bad for someone who was paralyzed, with her only mobility, the use of her left hand, in which she created her finest work! Alexandrea loved music and attended her first live rock concert, at 8, sitting in her wheelchair in the front row with her twin sister, to see Kool and the Gang and waited patiently for autographs at the end of the concert. She loved when Gunnar played his guitar and sang to her, ‘’Over the Rainbow”, her favorite song, and Alexandrea would laugh, and add a note or two of her own. She had a beautiful garden growing right in her bedroom with various plants, flowers, (which for some reason would only bloom off season and in her room). Alexandrea even had a live tree growing there, decorated all year with various pictures, cards and ornaments that she received from family and friends. Everything bloomed, no season restriction here, again and it was pure magic. When Jenifer created and became the founder and first Chairwoman for the first National Hydrocephalus Chapter in Connecticut in September 2011, in which Jenifer, in anticipation, wanted to bring awareness for those afflicted with this orphan disease, affilicting her twin. Alexandrea led the march in Middlebury leading the way with her step dad and her poodle Beauie, along with hundreds of participants for the 2 mile walk. This event was featured in the Waterbury Republican newspaper and on television. The Chapter to this day is still ongoing, having to pause for Covid, which changed everything. Alexandrea was the first graduate of the Region 10 STARS Program, where again she thrived and her contagious smile and laugh, positive and upbeat attitude, and magnetic personality made us laugh. Her classroom teachers once told me that Alexandrea made everyone feel most important and special in spite of those having a bad day. She was again featured in the newspaper with her grandmother, Babcie Wanda, handing Alexandrea her high school diploma. Her teacher remarked that when someone spoke to her, she was focused solely on them, taking in every word, making them feel on top of the world. The principal awarded Alexandrea with a world globe necklace and told the audience that ‘’Alexandrea meant the world to them, always making those around her feel like they were on top of the world, so they were giving the world back to her.’’ Not bad for a young woman who only had less than, a five word spoken vocabulary. Alexandrea loved sports, especially football and waited patiently watching, through dozens of Super Bowl games, laughing and giggling when ‘’her team’’ scored points. She loved life and loved people. Alexandrea was never made to feel less of a person because of her profound physical limitations so she gave that gift back to all that knew her. She brought endless joy to everyone who knew her and took the time to know her. So loved by her family, Alexandrea’s passing will leave an indelible void in our lives. Her spirit was endless, and blessed by the people who surrounded her. She knew no prejudice and saw you only through your heart, taking every person on face value, an attribute, lacking in many people today. Alexandrea’s favorite word was ‘’no’’, and she was an incurable tease with a mischievous streak. She had the propensity to be a wild child given the chance, and would have most certainly fulfilled her mom’s predictions if given that chance. She loved fashion and the color purple. Alexandrea never complained even during the last challenging and arduous 6 months of her life, most of which was spent in the hospital, although it was obvious she didn’t want those around her to know her suffering. Every day was a battle, but few knew it. She led a miraculous life surviving hundreds of neurosurgeries for shunt revision and infections, several orthopedic and abdominal surgeries, again facing each and every challenge, with her positive attitude and incredible resilience. When she contracted a rare infection, hemolytic uremic syndrome at 8 years of age while on holiday at Nags Head beach, her renal specialist told the family that 9% of the population will acquire this, 7% will not survive and the remaining 2% will survive with progressive renal failure for the rest of their lives. Alexandrea was the fortunate 2%. Her entire being was contagious, and blessed with a pure heart, which made her passing so difficult. Alexandrea was again, pure magic! Alexandrea was able to live at home with her family, because of the wonderful support of three special devoting, caring and loving women who came daily to help her and mom with personal care, as well as emotional support, Shannon, Samantha and Laurie. She loved them all dearly. Before and now, more than ever, with Alexandrea’s passing, mom gained 2 daughters and a sister and will forever be grateful for all they contributed to Alexandrea’s life, happiness and most importantly, their stellar care. Our girl was truly our rock star. Our thanks to the many, many people, and those not mentioned specifically, who came into and made an impact on Alexandrea’s life and hopefully, she made your life better. She was a warrior and a fighter until the end, never giving up until she lost the battle and could fight no more. She died in peace and dignity, so much of what this special, silent woman was all about. Our hero, our warrior daughter, sister and friend who left us on her terms, is finally free! Our lives will never be the same and will forever remain empty because she was such a part of everything around us. She will forever be missed and never forgotten. We can only pass on the lessons she left behind because she would have wanted just that, her lessons ...now, our lessons to cherish. A Celebratory Mass of Alexandrea’s life will be held on March 29, 2023 in Harwinton, Connecticut at Our Lady of Hope Church. Viewing will be held at 10:30 AM, followed by mass commencing at 11:30 AM. Since purple/lavender was her favorite color, please wear something of that color, even a ribbon. In lieu of flowers, please make donations in memory of Alexandrea B. Jeans to LARC’s DSO Program. Arc of Litchfield County, 314 Main Street, Torrington, Connecticut, 06790 Online donation: www.litchfieldarc.org, then click: Make a Donation
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Alexandrea Barbara Jeans, please visit our floral store.