Spunky. Spirited. Determined. People have often used these words to describe Jean Domingues, and they all seem to fit – for good reason.
“I’m the oldest of 16 children,” Jean explained while sitting in her Sterling Court apartment. “You had to be strong-willed.”
Jean grew up on her family’s farm in Minnesota, but she had a bigger dream in mind: working for the airlines. She decided she wanted to move to California to make her dream happen. When her mother asked her why she thought she’d be able to get a job with an airline so easily, Jean displayed a dose of her trademark determination, telling her mother, “I don’t think I will—I know I will,” Jean said with a smile.
Her “go-get-it” attitude served her well in pursuit of her dream. United Airlines wanted to hire her, but insisted she move to Atlanta to work. Jean refused, more than once. “I’d been to Atlanta and didn’t enjoy it,” she said, “I wanted to come to California.”
United eventually relented, and Jean began working in the airline’s dispatch office at SFO. Although she left her job with United just a few years later, Jean had the good fortune of meeting her husband Julian (or “Gus” as everyone called him) while working there. He stayed with United and made a career for himself, while Jean pursued different career paths, including selling Mary Kay cosmetics for many years. “I like to be interested in what I’m doing, and I enjoy the challenge.”
Jean and Gus made the Peninsula their home, living in Burlingame and San Bruno. Together they had five children, and over the years several grandchildren. “I’m not sure how many!” Jean joked, laughing. “I think my parents had about 88 grandchildren. I know I have less than that!”
Gus passed away years ago, and since then, Jean has been staying active and keeping busy. She was a regular mass attendee at St. Robert’s Church in San Bruno, and on her first day at Sterling Court, she encountered one of her neighbors who was a fellow parishioner. “We both looked at each other and said, ‘What are you doing here?’” Each replied, ‘Well, I live here!’
Jean has remained active since moving to Sterling Court last August, taking full advantage of the transportation afforded to residents. “I take the bus everywhere… I like going out and staying busy.” She finds time to enjoy many of the activities that are offered, counting the exercise classes and Wii bowling as her favorites. She’s also made many new friends since moving here, including more people who attended the same church.
Still determined, still spirited, and still spunky – Jean Domingues’ address may have changed, but her personality remains the same. It’s clear that she’s found a home at Sterling Court. “Everybody here has been super nice,” Jean said, reflecting on her time here. “It’s just been unbelievable.
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