Jean "Sunny" Schiffmann (1924 - 2020)

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September 11, 1924 ˜ March 1,

Jean “Sunny” Schiffmann, beloved wife, mother, friend and aviator, was born September 11, 1924 in River Falls, WI and died March 1, 2020 in Vancouver, WA.
Nicknamed for her “Sunny” disposition, Jean was a source of unconditional love, praise and positive affirmation for her four sons Karl, Erich, Jan and Franz.
Sunny’s honesty, integrity, strength and pioneering career interests made her a role model for both women and men.
Sunny had a relentless passion for aviation, which she shared with her husband Charles (“Pat”). She told hair-raising tales of her service as an “Aircraft Communicator” under the Civil Aeronautics Administration during World War II. She took her first flight in 1944, received her Private Pilot’s Certificate in 1950, and went on to hold various ratings (including multi-engine and seaplane) and a commercial certificate, before receiving the prestigious FAA Wright Brothers Master Pilot Award. In addition to cross-country air racing, her favorite aviation activity was flight instruction. She was adored by her students, many of whom subsequently became family friends.
She flew her own airplane until age 87, and was a flight instructor until age 91. Sunny started playing tennis in her 60’s and played until age 93! She participated in tournaments at Club Green Meadows, VTC, Wyoming USTA Old Fossils and even a national tournament in her 90s. Sunny attended Living Hope Church for 15 years and Orchards United Methodist Church for 2 years, both in Vancouver.
Sunny is survived by her sister, Margery Cheaney; her four sons; her grandchildren, Alyssa, Nikolaus and Ryan; and great-grandchildren, Scarlett Grace and Grayson, all of whom miss her dearly.
A celebration of life memorial is being planned.
An online site is available where you can record your memories. It is at and
Published in The Columbian on Mar. 22, 2020
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