Jean Montgomery "Mama Jean" Harling passed away at sunrise on Easter morning March 31, 2013, in Laurinburg, following a life of joy and service to others. Born December 30, 1924, in Bryn Mar, Pennsylvania, she grew up in Springfield and Philadelphia. She was the eldest daughter of Samuel Archibald Montgomery and wife Helen.
Jean graduated from Abington Memorial Hospital School of Nursing in 1946, following her discharge from the U.S. Cadet Nurse Corps. As a top graduate, Jean had no shortage of employment options. After being recruited by a local doctor, she chose to join the medical staff at the newly formed Scotland Memorial Hospital, located at the Laurinburg-Maxton Airbase, N.C.
In 1951, Jean was appointed to serve as the Emergency Room Supervisor for the newly constructed Scotland Memorial Hospital. Later, she worked at the Laurinburg Surgical Clinic where she nursed for Dr. James Richardson and Dr. Jim Mitchner, in their new and modern medical office. In 1972, Jean left the nursing profession to establish Jean Harling's Playschool. For eighteen years, she provided outstanding childcare to hundreds of families within the Laurinburg community. At age 65, Jean decided to return to nursing. She became the second-shift nursing supervisor for skilled nursing at Scotia Village, a retirement community of Presbyterian Homes, Inc. In 1995, the North Carolina Association of Non-Profit Homes for the Aging presented Jean with that organization's "Nurse of the Year" award. After ten years, Jean decided it was time to retire, but family and friends never ceased seeking her opinion on medical issues great and small.
Throughout her long life, Jean held many interests, always looking to serve others through love, care, and her skills as a nurse. She was a member of the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, where she served as the infant nursery provider for over two decades. She was an avid supporter of the Church's Boy Scout program and found time to volunteer as a Cub Scout Den Mother. She was especially proud that all three of her sons were Eagle Scouts, as well as three of her grandsons, with a forth grandson well on his way. More recently, she managed the Scotia Village Gift shop and was a past president of the Scotia Village Resident's Association. She enjoyed reading books on her iPad, conversing with friends over a game of cards, and was an avid Duke Basketball fan.
Jean is predeceased by her husband Albert Hammond Harling and special friend Jim Ellis, along with her sister, Jacque Astasauskas. Surviving members of her family include her brother Samuel A. (Joanne) Montgomery, Jr. of Severna Park, M.D.; sons David (Ellen) Harling; Paul (Lee Anne) Harling of Laurinburg, N.C.; Roy (Denyse Rose) Harling of Los Angeles, CA.; and daughter, Beth (Geoff) Rudy of Clemmons, N.C. Jean's grandchildren include Nicholas (Jennifer) Harling, Meredith Harling, Lauren Harling, Hannah Harling, Sara Harling, Jenna Harling, Josh Harling, Clarke Rudy, and Ben Rudy. Jean will also be missed by her loving and devoted friends at Scotia Village.
The family requests that memorials be sent either to the Scotia Village Foundation, 2200 Elm Avenue, Laurinburg, N.C. 28352 or the Laurinburg Presbyterian Church, 600 W. Church Street, Laurinburg, N.C. 28352.
Read Jean Harling's Obituary and Guestbook on www.mcdougald.com.