Surrounded by her loving family, Jean Marie Dammann passed away on May 25 in Spokane.
Born Jean Dawson on April 13, 1925, in Omak, she attended Omak schools for 11 years before moving with her family to nearby Winthrop where she graduated from high school in 1943.
Jean attended the A.A. Peterson School of Business in Seattle while working at the Port of Embarkation, and then continued her education at Washington State College in Pullman during the 1944-45 school year. Back in Seattle in 1945, while working for Boeing Aircraft and the Veterans Administration, Jean married Henry K. (Hank) Dammann, and they moved home to Winthrop in 1946.
Over the next five decades, Jean and Hank owned and operated several businesses in the Methow Valley, including the State Liquor Agency, The Winthrop Pool Hall (Now Three Fingered Jack’s Saloon), and an outfitting business that had them leading pack trips into the back country. Jean was known for her cooking, which made Dammann’s Bed & Breakfast a regular destination for visitors for nearly 20 years.
Jean also cooked for large groups, including the state highway crews who removed snow each spring to open the North Cascades Highway. For 23 years, she and her best friend prepared all the meals at the North Cascades Smoke Jumper Base in Winthrop. The well-fed crews dubbed them “Mean” Jean Dammann and “Cranky” Frankie Waller.
Jean was preceded in death by her parents John and Trudie Dawson, her son Steve in 1990, and her husband, Hank, in 1993. She is survived by daughter Toni K. Dammann of Spokane, son Chris M. Dammann of Winthrop, and four grandsons.
Those who knew and loved Jean will miss her incredible baked goods, her regular reports on the Seattle Mariners, and especially the wit and humor that were revealed in all of the fabulous stories she told.
A graveside service will be held at Winthrop’s Sullivan Cemetery at a later date. Donations may be made in Jean’s name to the Winthrop Auditorium Association P.O. Box 241, Winthrop, WA 98862.