Jeanette Puryear (aka Mom, Grandma, GG, Nett and Aunt Nett) passed away peacefully, with her loving family by her side, on August 28, 2022. She was born January 20, 1929 in Ely, Nevada to Marguerite Jeanne Espagna and Jean-Joseph Weber. Her French grandmother Louise, who raised her, owned the now historic French Hand Laundry in Ely. Jeanette delivered the laundry on her red bicycle.

In high school, Jeanette began her career at Nevada Bell as a switchboard operator. She retired in 1986 after 41 years of service.

During the winter of 1949, ranches in Ely and throughout northern Nevada were buried in snow. Operation Hay Lift was launched and, as an all-night operator at Ely Jeanette, handled all calls between the ranchers and the emergency services. They even made a movie out of it!


On June 6, 1949, she married James E. “Bud” Puryear in Ely. Soon after, they moved to Reno so Bud could attend UNR. In Reno, they have become part of the community. Together they have built a life full of family outdoor activities. They had three children in whom they instilled honesty, integrity, love and respect for the outdoors while enjoying it while camping, fishing, hunting, water skiing and hiking. snow. They have dedicated their lives to sharing their passion for the outdoors with their children, friends and community. It was about giving. Giving so much has enriched their lives so much.

As a couple, they are committed to creating programs that provide outdoor recreation opportunities for families in the community. Bud led the junior ski program at Sky Tavern for several years and Jeanette, who started as a ticket worker, ended with a passion for skiing and skied over 100 days in one season. They fell in love with waterskiing at Donner Lake and took their children skiing when they were four years old. They were founding members of the Reno Water Ski Club at Pyramid Lake, active members of the Sacramento Water Ski Club, established the Boca Tournament Association at Boca Reservoir, and were integral to the development of Sierra Springs Water Ski Lake and Ski School in Carson. Valley. While Jeanette was often the driver of the boat, she didn’t learn to swim until she was over 70! Many generations of local children have learned to snow ski or water ski. Their lives were filled with forever family and friends who recreated themselves together year round. Whatever the season, there was an activity to do and enjoy.

Jeanette has never met a stranger. She spoke to everyone she met and with her award-winning smile and humor made many lifelong friends…and she could tell a joke with the best of them! She had an open heart, loving arms and would help anyone in need. Jeanette’s love for her children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, nieces and friends was palpable and felt by all. She will be missed by all, but we find it comforting to know that she has reunited with Bud and they are happily dancing and cleaning the dance floor with the jitterbug again.

Jeanette was predeceased by her loving husband, Bud Puryear. She is survived by their children; Jim (Marina), Jerry (Suzi), Judy (Bill) and the loving families of: Marjorie (Mick) Grizzle, Kathy Weber, Debra (Lee) Wilson, Susan Hallahan. grandchildren and their families; Seth (Natalie) Puryear, Kelti (Eric) Puryear Jones, Trevor (Kaytlin) Puryear, Tyler Puryear, Cody Puryear, Nick (Roksi) Knecht and many great-grandchildren.

She will be buried in a private ward.

The last of this engine duo has passed. It is now our turn, as individuals in the community, to continue their legacy of building a strong, vibrant and sustainable outdoor community. Since Sky Tavern was such a big part of his life and close to his heart, there was a celebration of life held there from 9am to 11am on Sunday September 18, 2022 on the Sky Deck tavern. Those who attended shared stories. Light snacks and beverages were provided. For those interested, at 1 p.m. Jerry led a mountain hike to show the Sky Tavern trails, or hiked.

In lieu of flowers, the family is requesting that donations be made to Sky Tavern in their name. Donations will help Sky Tavern maintain its program for generations to come, by helping them get a snowmaking system. If donating by check, make checks payable to Sky Tavern (21130 Mt. Rose Highway, Reno, NV 89511) and put “Snow Making” in the subject line. If you are donating online, go to, select “easy donations” and on the personal information page, select “make snow”. A donation jar was also available at the Celebration of Life Gathering.

About Robert James

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