The Life of Jean DeVoe Wilson

Jean Ann DeVoe Wilson, 87, of Mertztown, passed away on Thursday, January 18, 2018 in Lehigh Valley Hospital, Salisbury Township. Born in Corning, New York, Jean was the only child of the late John DeVoe and Mabel (O'Dell) DeVoe. She was a graduate of Corning Free Academy, Corning ,NY, where she was an outstanding athlete. Jean was the New York State leading high school basketball scorer for two consecutive years, and a part of the State Championship team.

Jean was also a great dancer, and met her future husband, John D. "Jack" Wilson also from Corning, and a Yale graduate, at local a dance. The couple married on December 5, 1953 in a rectory of an Episcopalian church in Corning, NY. Early in Jean's career, she worked at Corning Glass Works, nearby her home. She was also a Y.M.C.A swimming coordinator for many years in the mid 1960's. In 1961, Jack and Jean purchased a 100 acre farm in Mertztown, after having leased a farm in East Texas for three years.

She helped her husband in the founding of the company ABEC INC., starting it at their farm in Mertztown, PA, in 1974. ABEC INC is an international award winning biotech manufacturing and services company, with 600 plus employees, headquartered in Bethlehem, PA. Her husband, Jack, Founder and Chairman, was inducted into the Lehigh Valley Business Hall of Fame in 2014. Jean worked alongside of Jack and was actively involved in the company. Jean served as the company's secretary and office manager for many years.

Jean was a very generous woman with her time and money. She loved working with rescue dogs and supporting the Animal Rescue League of Reading. She also donated to various veteran's charities and organizations, the Lehigh Valley Community Foundation and Meals on Wheels Association of America. She served as the Executive Producer on a Sundance film entitled "The Painting Race Horse" - The Documentary. Jean loved to Dance was a good at it! She also loved geese and deer and didn't want anyone to hunt them. 

Jean is survived by her husband of 64 years, Jack; her children, Terri Ann Wilson, and her husband, Gary, Mesa, AZ, Steve DeVoe Wilson, and his wife, Shawnee, of Kutztown, PA, Julie Lynn Wilson, and her husband, David, of Stroudsburg, PA, Paula Jean Wilson, of Mertztown, PA, and Susan Lee Wilson, and her husband, Thad, Austin, TX; her five grandchildren, Nicole, Tala, Renee, Issac and Nathaniel; and her cousin, Sherrill Johnston, and her husband, Mike and their sons, Chris and Scott. She will also be sorely missed by her Jack Russell, Max, short for Machu.

Services for Jean will be private.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests contributions be made in Jean's memory to The Lehigh Valley Foundation, c/o Jack and Jean Wilson Fund, 840 West Hamilton Street, Suite 310, Allentown, PA 18101 or online at or Wild Lands Conservancy, 3701 Orchid Place, Emmaus, PA 18049 or online at

Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc., Kutztown, is in charge of arrangements. Memories and  condolences may be shared at

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She had large, doe like eyes. She was kind, funny, and welcoming. It was an honor to know her. I am so sorry for your loss.
Posted by Mel B on 1/21/2018


I have many fond memories of swimming in the mine hole, riding the horses and snow mobiling at the Wilson farm. Jeans,family always made you feel welcomed. God bless all of you. Roxann Kern Jarrett
Posted by Roxann J on 1/28/2018