Jean M. (Friend) Van Ornum


Jean M. (Friend) Van Ornum, 96, passed away on December 19, 2020, at Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Healthcare Facility. Born in Burke, NY, on July 23, 1924, she was the daughter of the late Lawrence and Ella May Friend. She was united in marriage to Rev. Carlton G. Van Ornum on March 4, 1944, and they shared a blessed union of 75 years until his passing in March 2019.

She was a member of the First United Methodist Church in Rome, Golden Years and AARP of Rome. She shared a love of basketball and football with her husband and enjoyed many years of being an usher at the Carrier Dome for the Syracuse Orangemen. She was renowned for making her Boomerang cookies. For many years Jean worked at Goldberg’s Department Store in the handbags and hosiery department. She enjoyed taking train trips to NYC to purchase new inventory for her department and to visit Radio City Music Hall and a Broadway play.

Some of Jean’s favorite things were spending summers at her camp at Trenton Assembly Park, peanut butter sundaes, anything chocolate, Tollhouse pie, shoes- especially high heels, vacations to Hawaii and Nashville, grandchildren, sports, prime rib, floating on her air mattress in the pool at camp. She was especially fond of kitties.

Surviving are four daughters, Sharon and Ken Benson of Camillus, Glenda and Mark Jackson of Rome, Joy Van Ornum of Naples, FL, Rosa and Tom Struve of Colorado Springs CO; granddaughters Sandra, Kim, Cindy, Heather, Kelly and Tess; 7 great-grandchildren; one great-great-grandchild; and many nieces and nephews. She was predeceased by a brother, Earl Friend, and two sisters, Eva Ames and Evelyn Smith.

Jean’s family would like to thank all of the wonderful and caring staff at the Rome Memorial Hospital Residential Healthcare Facility.

Due to the current pandemic, there will be no calling hours. A Memorial service to be planned at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, donations in Jean’s memory may be made to the First United Methodist Church in Rome. Arrangements have been entrusted to Nunn and Harper Funeral Home, Inc., 418 N. George St., Rome.

You may light a candle, send a message of sympathy, and read the obituary at


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