Jean Marie Pierik, whose back-to-back wins in recent years over two killer diseases added a final flourish to a life of public service, family love, and strong personal spirit, died suddenly on March 6 in Warwick, RI. She was 66.
Jean was a strong character who spent her life putting that strength to work for others. She served publicly and privately; family, friends, and strangers. As a graduate of Cranston West High School and later Saint Joseph’s Nursing School, Jean became a highly specialized surgical nurse. In the 1980s Jean spent 3 years working at the King Faisal Hospital in Saudi Arabia. Primarily her career began and ended at Rhode Island Hospital, where she worked for nearly four decades. For the majority of those years, Jean was an operating room nurse as part of the open-heart surgical team. The last years of her career were spent in the Rhode Island Hospital’s Ambulatory Surgical Center.
Jean loved the ocean and adored her Ocean State. When Jean wasn’t working, she pursued an active outdoor life as an equestrian and skilled kayaker. She was a four-season beachcomber at East Matunuck State Beach. She loved to garden and decorate her home. Jean was a devoted woman of faith and an active member of the Catholic Church. In recent years, she served as a Eucharistic minister bringing Holy Communion to people unable to come to Mass. She continued that work even during the hardest days of her cancer treatment.
Jean Marie Pierik was born on April 23, 1955, the first of the five children of John and Ann Pierik of Cranston. She is survived by all four of John and Ann’s other children: Joe Pierik of Middletown, RI; Beth McEnery of Sonoma County, California, Maryann Briggs of N. Kingstown, RI, and Tom Pierik of Riverside, California as well as an older half-brother, Michael Arnold, of Dubai, UAE. Cousins, brothers- and sisters-in-law, nephews, and nieces abound.
A funeral mass will be held Tuesday, March 22nd at 10:00 am at Holy Apostles Church in Cranston.
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