Mrs. Jean Westmoreland Lummus Filgo was born March 22, 1921 and has lived a life full of family and adventure. But at age 33, she thought she was failing to do something she was born to do. So she found some art supplies belonging to her sister in a drawer and that day she began to paint…and the rest is history. With no schooling or training, she began to create beautiful portraits for local and surrounding areas and even one from Canada by request.
Outliving most of her family, relatives and friends, she continues to put her time and energy in her passion – painting. Her only child, Melissa Jean Lummus Lollar, and son-in-law Terry Lollar, are a huge part of her life. They talk about her independence and strength and what a blessing she is in their lives.
Mrs. Filgo’s work has been honored with many exhibits, such as Lee County Library, Brooks Memorial Art Gallery in Memphis and Mississippi Arts Festival in Jackson to mention a few.
She explains that she was self-taught and mostly learned through trial and error. Her morning routine is to get up and start with her coffee. She makes her breakfast and then makes her way to her favorite place, her chair in front of her easel. Then the magic begins again.
Mrs. Filgo is the widow James Howard Lummus. They lived a long, happy life together until he passed of prostate cancer. She dedicated much of her life to other family members, which she says always came first, but painting continued with any time available.
She gained the name Filgo as Mr. Robin Filgo, who was a high school classmate, came home for a class reunion and soon started a relationship with Mrs. Jean. Tragedy soon struck as she was involved in a serious car accident and spent three months in a hospital bed. It was this time that Mrs. Jean and Mr. Filgo were married in a bed-side wedding which made the front page of the Tupelo Daily Journal. They then remodeled the old Westmoreland home and started residing there.
Mr. Filgo passed with Alzheimer’s disease several years ago, but Mrs. Jean still lives in their old home place, continuing to stay independent and painting today.
By Tuesday Ethridge