Suwannee Democrat

Suwannee Democrat

January 20, 2009

Jean Cornett, bluegrass & country matriarch, turns 80

She’s neither a singer nor a musician, but this Kentucky self-made woman and her husband had a dream that has touched the lives of millions of music lovers nationwide

She dreaded Jan. 14, 2009 for a while, knowing she would turn 80. But Jean Carrithers Cornett, known to the bluegrass and country music world as Miss Jean, says she’s just beginning to get into high gear. With a love for putting on festivals that cater to keeping the guests happy and bringing all types of music and events to folks in Kentucky and Florida each year, she really doesn’t have time to celebrate. However, she is taking time out to enjoy an annual family reunion this weekend with more than 50 family members.

A wife for nearly 60 years, mother of six sons, real estate developer, entrepreneur, dreamer, planner, picker-upper behind husband Bob ... a reference to her carrying out his visions throughout their marriage, financial whiz, a businesswoman who has run a successful business at a time when women only became teachers and nurses, crafts lover, jack-of-all-trades, friend to thousands of musicians hoping to hit the big time, decision maker, driver of hard bargains, chance taker, much loved matriarch of the Cornett family and music world and a lover of gospel and bluegrass music is just the beginning of trying to describe Miss Jean. She’s broken bread with the mighty and the ordinary, enjoyed friendships with people from all walks of life, found friendships with people who volunteered to help her build her dream park and festivals and done about every job available at her businesses and home. These days she gets to put her feet up a spell...but not for long. There’s just too much to do!

SOSMP employees will discreetly tell you they’re serving on Miss Jean’s Dream Team when she’s in town! That’s what Jean Cornett has been about all of her life, dreaming of climbing to impossible mountain heights, then going out and making those dreams happen with the help of others.

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