Marion Jane (Jack) Dann

CONCORD, N.H. – The spirit world received a joyful burst of loving energy with the passing of Jane Dann on Oct. 6, 2021.”People take vitamins, vitamins take Jane Dann” Dr. Lonnie Lauer said of his employee when she worked for him in her 60s. He wasn’t the first to experience her exuberance. Jane’s lifelong adventure of brightening the paths of all she encountered began with her birth on Dec. 23, 1928 in Uniontown, Pa. to William F. and Marion Price Jack.Jane, or “Jackie” as she was nicknamed, enjoyed a loving household in Niagara Falls, N.Y. until the death of her mother, six years later. Three months before her mother’s death, Jackie and her sister, Patty, were chosen by Eleanor Roosevelt to represent all the children participating in the 1935 Easter egg roll on the White House lawn. Pictures were taken, film was shot, and their images appeared in newspapers nationwide and on newsreels decked out in their finest Easter attire.Life changed dramatically for Jackie when her father remarried less than two years later. Her golden locks were shorn, her clothes became drab, and she felt more like the hired help in the presence of her stepmother than a family member.Though challenged, Jackie never let that extinguish the deep goodness and sense of value she held within her. Even in her youth, she believed God has no hands on earth but ours, and that’s how she lived her life. Told at the age of 17 that she could not come home again without an invitation, Jackie left, changed her name to Jane, and in 1947 received her certificate from Katherine Gibbs Secretarial School in Rhode Island. She excelled as a secretary working for the associate librarian at Yale University. After graduating first in her class from the Yale-New Haven Hospital Licensed Practical Nursing Program in 1950, Jane combined her talents to become the nurse secretary to the Chief of Surgery at Yale-New Haven Hospital. It was during this time that she met the love of her life, Robert Treat Dann. Less than a year later they were married, and shortly thereafter, started a family.Their union brought four children, three boys, and a girl. Jane took the love she experienced the first six years of her life, and used it as a model for raising her own children. Nourishing each with unconditional love, support, humor, faith, and-as a gifted cook-delicious and plentiful food. Over the course of their marriage, they moved well over a dozen times, covering seven states. Jane’s boundless energy, positive attitude, and ceaseless interest in others allowed her to make lifelong friends with each move. She immersed herself in each community without hesitation, volunteering wherever the needs were most, and instantly becoming an active member of the local Episcopal church.In the late 1960s, Jane was able to raise $100,000 “placing the right people, at the right places, at the right time” to aide a school for dropouts in Chicago. Actively involved in civil rights, LGBTQ rights, and the quest for peace, Jane attended a rally with Martin Luther King Jr. in the ’60s, demonstrated against the war in Vietnam in the ’70s, and more recently, stood vigil every Saturday for a year with the Women in Black for peace.She was the first woman to serve on the vestry at St. Andrews Church in Marblehead Mass. She helped displaced Vietnamese families, in both Massachusetts and Philadelphia, establish homes and jobs in America. As the friendly town chairperson in Winnetka Ill., she offered her home to provide summer respite for underprivileged youth, and convinced others to do the same. She served on the board of the Massachusetts’ North Shore Homemaker Health Aids, and actively volunteered delivering Meals on Wheels weekly.She always made time for her children’s activities, including being both a Cub Scout and Girl Scout leader. In the late ’70s, she brushed off her secretarial skills and joined husband, Robert, working at his company Pharmatech in Fort Washington, Pa. Later, after moving to New Jersey, she became the secretary to the President, Paul Hardin, of Drew University. When they retired to Harrison, Jane worked for Dr. Lauer at Stevens Memorial Hospital, while also serving on the Lakes Environmental Association board, and becoming actively involved with Christ Church, Norway.A self proclaimed “pollution nut”, Jane brought her own bags to the supermarket decades before it was popular, recycled everything possible, and assisted in passing a rule to ban smoking at Harrison’s Crystal Lake where the beach had become littered with cigarette butts.If not making her own pickles, pies, or preserves, any free moment was spent knitting, sewing, or creating a quilt to be enjoyed for generations. You didn’t have to be a close friend or family member to experience the love, sincere caring, and infectious laughter of Jane Dann. Simply being lucky enough to cross her path guaranteed you’d leave a better person with a fuller heart and a good chuckle.Predeceased by her husband, Jane’s love radiates and lives on through her son, David Dann and his partner Laurie Knoop, son and daughter-in-love Paul and Patti Dann, son and daughter-in-love Tim and Angela Dann, daughter and son-in-love Elizabeth Dann and Joe Quinn; as well as seven grandchildren; and 10 great-grand “babies” all of whom she cherished and adored. Jane also leaves her beloved stepbrother, Richard Jack, and is predeceased by her sister, Patrica Jack Coyle.Services will be held outdoors Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. at Grace Episcopal Church, 30 Eastman St., Concord, NH 03301. The Dann family would like to thank the amazing staff at Havenwood for the excellent care they took of Jane, especially during the pandemic. Arrangements have been entrusted by Bennett Funeral Home of Concord, N.H.In lieu of flowers, please make a donation toGrace Episcopal Church in Concord, NH, orChrist Episcopal Church35 Paris St.Norway, ME 04268in Jane’s memory.

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