Jean Evelyn Lee Custis was born in Norfolk, Virginia on March 12, 1921 to Willie G.H. Lee and Dinah Johnson Lee. She attended Norfolk Public School and graduated from Booker T. Washington High School in 1939.
She earned a B.S. degree in business management from Hampton Institute, now Hampton University. She was employed by Norfolk Community Hospital as a clerk in the AdmittingOffice, and by Norfolk State University as a clerk in the Business Office, prior to joining the united States Foreign Service.
Jean was the widow of John Edward "Jack" Custis.
In 1959 Jean was employed by the Department of State, Washington, D.C., in the Foreign Service Division as a disbursing officer and was later promoted to budget and finance officer. She served as a member of the support staff to the American ambassador at United States embassies in Lagos, Nigeria; Belgrade, Yugoslavia; Nairobi, Kenya; Bangui, Central African Republic; Yaounde, Cameroon; Abidjan, Ivory Coast; Rangoon, Burma; Kingston, Jamaica; and Kuwait, Kuwait. She possessed a certificate signed by President Richard Nixon appointing her a Foreign Service Officer. She also possessed a certificate signed by the Director General of the Foreign Service tendering official recognition and appreciation for completion of 20 years of service to the United States government, and a certificate presented to her by the American Ambassador at The Embassy in Kuwait, Kuwait praising her for excellent performance.
In addition, Jean had a certificate from the City of Norfolk, expressing appreciation for six years of outstanding volunteer service at the Barron F. Black Public Library, and a certificate from Queen Street Baptist Church confirming her membership of more than 50 years. She served 10 years as church clerk, and a member of the Finance Committee. She served her country, her city and her church well.
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