Bonner's Ferry, Idaho - Beginning when she was a little girl, Jean Bevins followed her curiosity. She read books on how lightening worked and pursued a career in electricity after taking home study courses in electricity and electronics.
Born Imogene Frieda Rhoades on May 25, 1913, she was raised by her grandparents in Ohio. They influenced her life greatly.
She followed her grandmother’s advice of “you are what you eat” long before it was a slogan.
On May 25th, 2013 she celebrated her 100th birthday with a sharp, curious mind surrounded by friends and family.
Ms Bevins attributes her long life to eating pure foods and trusting the Lord to direct her. “The Lord was with me and directing me in the right direction to do his will” said Bevins. “A very active, very interesting life and I’m so grateful for the blessings I’ve had.” Bevins life had many ups and downs but her curiosity was always with her.
After finishing only eighth grade, she worked for Howard Hughes when he started an electrical company. When she worked the night shift she caught pneumonia twice.
She did electrical work and was always being asked questions on how to solve electrical problems.
“I told them I didn’t know if I could solve then until I tried,” and Bevins, who was often placed in a glass room to be observed while she worked.
Only later when another electrical company asked if she would work for them did she find out what all those questions were about.
“They explained to me that I had done outstanding work and I didn’t realize it,” said Bevins. I was working on famous things for the company and I didn’t know. They told me I was a certified member of the NASA program. I was so stunned.”
Bevins stunned others after she broke her back and walked, when they told her she wasn’t supposed to walk again.“I fooled them,” said Bevins. “I worked on myself and I did it.” Though some events were disastrous, they were blessings in disguise she said.
She enjoyed fixing and taking things apart including watches and vacuum cleaners.“I always wanted to help people when I could,” said Bevins, who knitted hats and made lap robes for those in need. “We are supposed to help each other.”
Bevins married three times, living in Ohio, California and moving to Bonners Ferry in 2002 to be closer to family. She lived in her own house until recently. She has a daughter and son, six grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
“I always had help, all the way through. What I did, I did for Him,” said Bevins.
NOTE: Jean Bevins recently celebrated her 101st birthday on May 25, 2014, and is still going strong.