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Jean Norris Scales

June 9, 1930 October 12, 2019
Jean Norris Scales
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Obituary for Jean Norris Scales

Jean Kennedy Norris Scales, age 89, peacefully transitioned to the spiritual world on Saturday, October 12, 2019 in Durham, North Carolina. One of two children, she was born June 9, 1930 to Dr. Ernest M. Norris and Amallia R. Poole in Frankfort, Kentucky.

A childhood friend, Mary Helen Mickens (Brown) introduced Jean to the Baha’i Faith; she declared her belief in Baha’u’llah (Glory of God) on March 20, 1960. Reflecting on her sixty year friendship with Jean, Mrs. Brown stated, “She was easy to love.”

Dr. Scales’ passion in life was promoting the oneness of humanity, the core teaching of the Baha’i Faith. She served the Faith in many capacities, which she considered a labor of love. Accompanied by her beloved husband (Jay Scales), Jean traveled near and far in her many elected and appointed roles within the Faith.

Jean became a member of the faculty at North Carolina College at Durham (North Carolina Central University) in 1959. Dr. Scales taught in the Department of English and often crossed paths with her former students who thanked her profusely for challenging them to do their best and embrace academic excellence. Her scholarship was a defining attribute.

Dr. Scales was preceded in death by her beloved husband of 49 years, Jay H. Scales, and a brother, Ernest Norris. She is survived by a host of loved ones to include Dr. Harvey McMurray, Mrs. Mahtaj James, Ms. Sharon Becker, Christopher Norris (nephew), the Mostaghimi family, nieces and nephews and a host of beloved friends, local and throughout the international community.

Among Jean’s favorite passages of the Faith, that she loved so dearly, was, “..we must realize that everything which happens is due to some wisdom and that nothing happens without a reason (Baha’i Sacred Writing).”

A memorial service to celebrate Jean’s life will be held on Saturday, November 2, 2019 at 2:00 p.m., Eno River Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, 4907 Garrett Road, Durham, North Carolina 27707. All are welcomed!

The family is being assisted by Clements Funeral & Cremation Services, Inc. in Durham. Online condolences may be sent to

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Previous Events

Graveside Service




11:00 AM 10/15/2019 11:00:00 AM
Maplewood Cemetery

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701

Maplewood Cemetery
1621 Duke University Road Durham 27701 NC
United States

Cemetery Details


Maplewood Cemetery Final Resting Place

1621 Duke University Road
Durham, NC 27701

1621 Duke University Road Durham 27701 NC
United States

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