March 15, 2011

We Remember Miss America 1943 Jean Bartel

A beautiful spirit and a beautiful song fill our hearts as we pay tribute to one of our dear Miss Americas, Jean Bartel.  Jean passed away peacefully on Sunday evening and our beloved Miss America has left an enormous impact on the lives she touched, along with the Miss America Program that she loved so dearly.  At Jean’s request there will be no services. She will be cremated and laid to rest next to her parents in California.
 
We are saddened by the news of the passing of our beloved matriarch. As a tribute we have gathered some images that reflect her wonderful legacy and her beautiful spirit. As you click on the below link we hope that you will offer a moment of silence for Jean. She recently said "Love alone is life." Her quote sums up her lasting legacy.  

Click here to view a special photo montage of Jean.
 
Jean was born with a beautiful soprano voice that was Broadway bound.  When she heard that a financial Broadway backer was going to judge The Miss America Pageant, Jean decided to enter. In a whirlwind of events she became Miss California and was off to Atlantic City. Singing Cole Porter's Night and Day - the press described her as a "gifted soprano" and she was named Miss America.

Fondly remembered as the "War-Time" Miss America, Jean embarked on a Bond-selling tour and was honored by the U.S. Treasury Department for having sold the most Series E Bonds that year.  It was on this tour during  a tea sponsored by her college sorority sisters, that Jean's reasoning of a college scholarship to be awarded a Miss America was unveiled. Within two years, what we know of today as the world's largest single source of college scholarships for women was born.
 
After she relinquished the title of Miss America, Jean's remarkable talent enabled her to embark on a singing career which included work on radio and television, two South American tours, the Middle East, Europe, Canada and in every State of the Union but Maine. Ultimately, her dream became a reality when Jean became the first Miss America to star in a Broadway musical Of Thee I Sing, opposite Jack Carson.
 
Her television work included The Red Skelton Show, The Danny Thomas Show, Perry Mason, Robert Montgomery Theatre, The Ed Wynn Show, Stop the Music, The Milton Berle Show and Broadway TV Theatre. She's done additional television work in Paris, Cannes, London, Beirut, Athens, Rio de Janeiro, San Paulo, Hong Kong, Tokyo, and Scandinavia. Jean hosted and starred in It's a Woman's World, which received a special showing at the Montreux International Television Festival in Switzerland and a special showing in Paris. Jean’s television  and feature films included The Rockford Files with James Garner and The Debtors starring Michael Caine.
 
Married to William ("Bill") Hogue for 31 years until his passing in 2001, Jean also operated her own successful international travel company Jean Bartel and Associates which allowed her to travel with some of her closest Miss America sisters, the Follies: Miss America 1948 BeBe Shopp, Miss America 1955 Lee Meriwether, Miss America 1957 Marian McKnight and Miss America 1960 Lynda Mead.
 
Miss America 1943 Jean Bartel was known as the “Grand Dame” amongst her Miss America sisters and will forever be remembered for lighting the way for the Miss America Scholarship Program. Her gifts to us all are immeasurable. Her spirit of giving was evident when she returned to the 90th anniversary celebration of the 2011 Miss America Pageant with nearly fifty of her Miss America sisters but Jean did not have her crown for the official portrait. When asked why she didn’t bring it, she quietly stated that she had donated it to the Smithsonian Museum
 
 Click here to read a beautiful article about Jean in the Los Angeles Times.
 
Below is a note from Jean reflecting on our 90th anniversary that we would like to share with you, demonstrating her inspiring words and wisdom:
 
“I would need to write an entire book before I could possibly relate all the blessings I have received from those early days as the “war baby” MISS AMERICA and I became the first to experience the foundation of so many new ideas that later Miss Americas have added and built upon.  We all have been blessed.
 
The Miss America experience has given me an opportunity to use my talents and hopefully to do some good.  Think each day what you can do for someone else and be grateful to God that you can do it.
Love, Jean
p.s. "Love alone is life. When you are loving, you are living.”

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