Jean McCoy Coon was educated in the Syracuse New York area. A graduate of Syracuse University, cum laude 1951, she continued her education at Syracuse Law School, graduating magna cum laude in 1953.
Jean’s legal career began as Legal Counsel for Municipal Affairs in the New York State Comptroller’s Office. Returning to the Syracuse area when her father was ill, Jean served for a year as Deputy Clerk to the Children’s Court of Onondaga County. After her father’s death, she returned to the Albany area and, in 1956, joined the N.Y. S. Assembly staff as a Research Counsel. In 1957, Jean became an Assistant Attorney General in the N.Y.S. Department of Law. In 1971 she became Assistant Solicitor General for New York State. She ended her career as Deputy Counsel for the N.Y.S. Education Department.
Jean argued many precedent setting cases in the New York State Court of Appeals and her reputation among the bar and the judiciary was unparalleled.
Jean joined the Zonta Club of Saratoga County in 1962, transferring from the Zonta Club of Syracuse. She served as the Governor of District II and was Parliamentarian of the Zonta International Board from 1979-1980. She served as Chairman of the Zonta International By-Law Committee.
An active member of her Ballston Spa community, her humanitarian efforts were always with a small “h” and never self-serving. Good things just happened and most people never knew that Jean was the impetus behind the results.
In 1982, Jean died at age 52. Shortly thereafter, District II established the District II Jean M. Coon Humanitarian Award to honor her many achievements.
Each Zonta Club in District II solicits applications from high school juniors and seniors in its area. In the spring, each club selects a club award winner. Each club winner becomes a District finalist. The Award is announced in May and presented at the District II Conference or Seminar in October of every year.
Application forms are mailed to local school guidance counselors in the late fall. You may also contact your local Zonta Club.