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Jean Haley

Submitted photoJean Haley
ALL | GrassValleyArchive

Memorial services for Jean Haley of Nevada City will be conducted at 3 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, at Trinity Episcopal Church, 201 Nevada St. in Nevada City.

Mrs. Haley died Wednesday, Sept. 29, in Grass Valley. She was 96.

She was born Margery Jean Piercy on Oct. 29, 1907, in Mare Island, the fourth and youngest child of James and Jessie Bruce Piercy.



She attended school in Vallejo and graduated from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1929. She earned a teaching certificate. She taught high school in Mendocino and in Quincy, where she met Charles Scott Haley, a mining engineer. They married in 1935 and then they settled in Berkeley.

In 1945, they moved to Nevada City. In 1948, she returned to teaching, beginning with the seventh grade and working her way down through the other levels until she reached the first grade.




There she developed her successful phonics method that released her full creativity. She taught at the Nevada City Elementary School for 24 years. She visited Europe, first with her sister and friend in 1961 and again in 1964 with her eldest son. She retired in 1972 and traveled to France, to the U.K. and to Austria. Her final trip, a tour of Scottish castles and gardens, was undertaken with her oldest granddaughter when she was 92. In the late 1950s, she discovered a talent for appraising antiques and this hobby, together with her work as consultant to schools wanting to adopt the phonics method, kept her busy after she retired from teaching. She enjoyed conversation, gardening, playing bridge, and discussing a new book.

She is survived by her daughters Janet and Marcia; sons David, Allan, and Brian; 17 grandchildren; and 14 great-grandchildren.

She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles; and daughter, Kathleen.

Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity Episcopal Church, memo “Uganda Fund” (to support the work of Scott and Carol Kellermann in Uganda), or to South Yuba River Citizens League (216 Main St., Nevada City 95959), memo “Laura Wilcox Scholarship Fund.”


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