Jean Quataert

Obituary of Jean H. Quataert

Jean Helen Quataert (nee Grebler), Distinguished Professor of History, Binghamton University, died May 25, 2021. She was 75 years old. Jean Quataert had a remarkable life and a remarkable career. She was the daughter of German Jews who fled the Holocaust and settled first on the East coast of the United States and later in Los Angeles, California. Jean received a Bachelor's degree from UCLA, a Masters from Columbia, and a PhD in History from UCLA in 1974. During her time at UCLA she met and married the love of her life, Donald Quataert, a fellow historian (who preceded her in death in 2011). Jean wrote and edited numerous books and articles during her career and was co-editor of the Journal of Women's History from 2010-2020. Her work initially focused on European women's history, in which she was one of the pioneers. In the later part of her career she increasingly worked on global history and the history of the international human rights movement. This evolution reflected Jean's commitment to and passion for politics and activism -- passions that came through loud and clear to all that knew her. Throughout her career, Jean was also a dedicated undergraduate and graduate teacher and a mentor to the graduate students that she worked with and to younger scholars that she would meet at talks and meetings. Jean had a dynamic and engaging personality that was inspiring to all who knew her. She loved to talk with friends and family about almost any topic. She was also an avid exerciser who ran 5 miles a day and played competitive tennis until her hips betrayed her. At that point, she took up hiking and walking, again at least 5 miles a day, much of the time around her neighborhood in Vestal. Jean loved to travel and had the good fortune to visit every continent, many of them multiple times; when friends and family were not available to travel with her, she would strike out on her own, making new friends along the way. Jean Quataert is survived by her son Eliot Quataert and his wife Allison Fletcher, and by her many close friends and family. A celebration of Jean's life and accomplishments will be held in the Fall on a date to be determined. The burial will be a private family affair. Donations can be made in Jean's name to Planned Parenthood or to the Don and Jean Quataert Research Grant at Binghamton University through the Binghamton University Foundation, P.O. Box 6005, Binghamton, NY 13902-6005.
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