Paul McKibben reports:
Born at a time when few women had careers, Jean Kieffer worked for decades at General Electric Aviation and immersed herself in women’s rights.
Mrs. Kieffer, 77, of Deerfield Township died Sunday at Bethesda North Hospital in Montgomery.
“She was the first feminist I ever knew,” said her daughter Nina Kieffer of Loveland. “She was very much involved in women’s equality issues.”
The third of 10 children, Mrs. Kieffer was raised in Norwood. She graduated from the former St. Mary’s High School in Hyde Park. (It later became Purcell Marian High School.)
She and her husband, Jack Kieffer, lived across from each other on Forest Avenue in Norwood. An engineer for General Motors, Kieffer died in 2005.
Married for 51 years, the Kieffers had six children, including sons Joe and Jud Kieffer who are deceased.
Mrs. Kieffer worked at GE Aviation in Evendale and Springdale for 31 years. Her son John Kieffer of Deerfield Township said his mother started in clerical and worked her way up to an administrative position, where she dealt with employees overseas, their compensation and moving them around the world. With GE, she traveled across the world.
“She met a lot of good friends, lifetime-long friends,” her daughter said.
Mrs. Kieffer was president of the GE retirees’ association. Outside of work, she served on the Loveland Board of Education (1976-79) and all of the Kieffer children graduated from Loveland High School. She served as the media representative of the National Organization for Women’s Cincinnati chapter and worked on the group’s equal rights amendment countdown campaign team. For several years, she was the director of Southern Ohio Women’s Equity Action League.
The Zonta Club of Cincinnati, a women’s service organization, invited Mrs. Kieffer to join in 1987. She held leadership positions in the local Zonta group and regional posts in Zonta International. She went to Zonta International conventions in Paris, Hong Kong, Detroit and St. Louis.
Mrs. Kieffer also was involved in parent teacher associations, the Loveland Youth Organization and scouting. She was a director and a coach for girls and women’s softball leagues and teams.
In addition to her daughter and son, survivors include two others daughters, Sissi Kieffer of Deerfield Township and Kitty Kieffer Schweikert of Goshen; seven grandchildren; and four great-grandchildren.
Visitation is 1 p.m. Oct. 20 at Tufts Schildmeyer Family Funeral Homes & Cremation Center, 1668 Ohio 28, Goshen Township. A celebration follows at 2 p.m.
Memorials: Zonta Club of Cincinnati, P.O. Box 428546, Cincinnati, OH 45242.
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