This obituary originally appeared on Memorial Funeral Home.

Jean Vaas, 89, of Middletown, Rhode Island, passed away on December 27, 2019, at the Wingate Residences in Providence, RI.

Jean was born July 4, 1930, in Newport, RI to Benjamin Goday and Anna (Pomelek) Goday. When she was a child, she thought the July 4th fireworks were all for her birthday. As far as her friends and family were concerned, they were. Every day with her was a celebration. She grew things: plants, cats, geese, and children, as a masterful gardener, talented writer, engaging storyteller, wit, and always-probing, ever-curious intellect. She graduated from the University of RI with a degree in English, achieved her Master’s at Tufts University and went on to teach in Thetford, VT before she married. She was the adored mother to four children, all of whom survive her: Eric Vaas of Middletown, RI; Pauline Vaas of Seffner, FL; Andrew Vaas of North Providence, RI; and Lisa Vaas of Boston, MA. Jean also leaves two granddaughters, Chandra Jean Kjellmark and Kayla Vaas. She was preceded in death by her husband, Alfred Edward Vaas.

Visiting hours will be held on Saturday, January 4, 2020, from 9-11:00 am in the Memorial Funeral Home, 375 Broadway, in Newport. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, Brown’s Lane, in Middletown. En lieu of flowers, Jean’s family welcomes donations to the Alzheimer’s Research & Prevention Foundation.