Jeanne’s Story

Site created on March 18, 2018

Hello All.  A wise friend/counselor suggested this site as an easy way to keep you all updated on Mom's progress while I re-enter Boise life and Mom fights the good fight to return to better physical health and mental clarity.  Mom is a trooper who has trooped through a lot in the past, so we should all feel encouraged that she is up for this journey too.  To recap that past 3 months:  

Mom was doing quite well in January, managing her usual knee pain (that can be quite vicious), but using walking sticks successfully and out-pacing most Beaumont residents as she clicked through the halls, streets and nature paths with her sticks.  February ushered in the need for a walker, and we assumed the knee pain was the issue. With balance not as strong, the walker was a good solution.  It allowed her to get where she wanted to get!  We noticed confusion was increasing a bit as of late January and February, and by early March we worried about her being alone in her wonderful new apartment.  I took the opportunity to fly east on March 6th for a few days with Mom when I knew her best friend, Nancy Harris, and Bob and Carole would be away.  That turned out to be a good decision as the decline Mom had been experiencing got quite steep that week and I took her to the hospital Saturday May 11th where she was admitted until Wed. March 15th.  She had dangerously high hypertension and had completely lost her ability to walk when she was admitted.  They performed may tests and could not determine a cause for the decline.  They ruled out stroke and any other "events" or skeletal issues that could account for the decline.  The eventual conclusion was that aging (body and mind) and extreme hypertension combined to create a rapid decline, which we are hoping will reverse somewhat now that the hypertension seems to be under control.  

Mom is currently residing in Beaumont's health care center where she has full nursing support as needed.  She is receiving occupational therapy and physical therapy to help her achieve maximum independence and return to her apartment.  She will likely need some caregiver support which we have lined up in part already with some lovely Irish ladies who adore mom!  Thanks to Nancy Harris for finding them for us!  Beaumont has been wonderful in assisting us in finding additional resources that will be available as needed.  So, Mom is in a good place with good supports.  We are fortunate that she and Dad made this great choice for their later years.  

Steve and Ann Marie have been with me each step of the way, and Keith has managed our Boise life wonderfully - not always an easy task!  I have returned to Boise today

Mom is so gracious in her current circumstances.  She is frustrated that she does not have the clarity she would like, and that communication can be challenging.  Trying to find the right words is hard right now but I hope that will improve soon.  Each day of PT and OT should make a difference in re-establishing the body-brain connections.  I know she will bring her best effort to that, and hopefully it will pay off for her like it did in 2015-2016 when she had to fight her way back from total immobility post back surgery/staph infection.  Send her your prayers and healing thoughts.  She will need some time to receive phone calls, but she is well aware of who everyone is and knows your are thinking about her and supporting her.  She looks forward to future conversations with you!  She is unable to mange her cell phone or computer currently.  I left her iPad near by and I think she might try using that a bit soon, but I do not know how successful she will be.  please post messages on this site and I can share them with her. 

I will keep this site updated and you will get an email message when there is a new post if you register with the site.  Many thanks for your support and mostly for your love of mom.  Steve's family will be with her for Easter, and I will return shortly after that if all continue to trend in a good direction,  Love to all,


Newest Update

Journal entry by Ruth York

Hi All.  I'm providing Mom's obituary to you below, and I will post a version online at the link below that will be a better way to share it. I am also going to put a brief Death Notice into the Philadelphia, Nashville and Jackson Hole papers. 

Please share with anyone you feel would be interested:

Will you please respond to this post with a comment ("Got it" will do) so I know how many of you are receiving this information. Thanks!

Jeanne Morgan Cortner

Jeanne “Jeannie” Morgan Cortner, age 86, passed away at her home surrounded by children on June 3rd, 2018. She was born on May 16, 1932 in Nashville, Tennessee to Dr. Hugh Jackson Morgan and “Bobby” Porter Morgan. Known to many as “Bug”, Jeanne attended the Madeira School in Washington DC and Vanderbilt University in Nashville. She married Dr. Jean Alexander Cortner, a protégé of her father’s at the Vanderbilt Medical School. “He Jean and She Jeanne” Cortner, as they came to be known, had a wonderful life together. Jean’s medical career took them to New York City, Paris, Buffalo, NY and Philadelphia over time where they made wonderful memories and life long friends.

Jeanne’s southern hospitality and warm, generous spirit attracted people throughout her lifetime. She impacted the lives of many family members and friends. She had special friends from many different areas of her life, including The American Board of Pediatrics, “The Buffalo Chips”, her Philadelphia-area tennis group, Jackson Hole walking friends, Madeira Alumni, and several book clubs to name a few.

Jean was a social worker in her early adult years and was a champion for the underserved throughout her life. She focused many years raising her 3 children, John Alexander Cortner (1958-1987), Ruth Morgan Cortner York (b. 1960) and Stephen Lee Cortner (b. 1963). In 1976, she brought her impressive organizational talents, and zest for travel, to Rosenbluth Travel, where she specialized in arranging travel for Philadelphia-area physicians for many years. She brought her talents to many organizations as a volunteer throughout her life as well.

A wonderful compliment to “The Jeans’” lives in the East was their time at their family ranch in Jackson, Wyoming where horseback riding, fishing, and restoring old log cabins provided wonderful times with family and friends. They spent a few wonderful years at their ranch after Jean’s retirement before settling at Beaumont Retirement Community in Bryn Mawr, PA in 2002.

Jeanne was a devoted grandmother to 5 grandchildren. In her later years she had an amazing canine companion, Lily, who helped her spread good cheer throughout the grounds and hallways of Beaumont until Lily passed in 2017. Significant others in Jeanne’s life include her younger brother and sister-in-law, Bob and Carole Morgan, her older brother and sister-in-law, Hugh and Ann Morgan, and her dear friend Nancy Harris. She was preceded in death by her cherished sister Caroline Graham, beloved husband Jean, and adored son John.

A Memorial Service will be held on June 23rd, 2018 at 3 pm at Beaumont Retirement Community. The family will greet friends after the service until 5:00 pm. Jeanne’s ashes will eventually be scattered on the banks of the Snake River on her ranch in Jackson Hole, Wyoming, like her husband’s and son’s before her.


In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made in Jeanne’s name to:
The Jean Cortner Endowed Chair of Pediatric Gastroenterology
The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia Foundation
P.O. Box 781352
Philadelphia, PA 19178-1352

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