April 22, 2015 by Doug Webster
Jane’s sister, Anne Wardwell Resnick has been making preparations for a Remembrance Service and Celebration of Life for Jane. A date has now been set to hold that event in Jane’s hometown of Fitzwilliam, NH on Saturday, June 6th from 11AM-2PM at the Fitzwilliam Inn.
Plans are to keep the speaking portion of the program (starting at 11:30 AM) fairly brief, with selected individuals talking about various phases of her long and very rich life, followed by extensive time for those gathered to socialize and share more memories afterward.
A number of Otter alumni have already expressed an interest in attending. Those who cannot attend, but would like to send a note or card to Anne, can do so at:
83 Pennington Court
Delanco NJ 08075
Anne reports that many of Jane’s circle of friends (who have been helping her with planning for the Remembrance Service), have been visiting this website and learning more about her connections to Camp Otter. And as you read Jane’s full obituary below, I know you will realize there was a lot more to Jane than many of us knew in terms of her active life of sharing and helping others…especially young people.
I was very moved by the postings on the Camp Otter website after the death of my sister, Jane Roberts. Camp Otter was a very important part of her life and, in particular, attending last year’s reunion meant a great deal to her.
She had lots of advice that she shouldn’t go as it was too long a drive, but it’s good she didn’t listen. When she got back home she said to me, “I showed them!!” It really buoyed her spirits.
She was a wonderful big sister and friend and I miss her a lot. I look forward to meeting those of you who are able come to her Celebration of Life on June 6th.
Anne Wardwell Resnick
The full text of Jane’s official obituary follows:
Jane Wardwell Roberts, 90 of Keene, formerly of Fitzwilliam, died February 10, 2015 in her home at Bentley Commons after a brief illness. She was born in Stamford, CT, to Schuyler Day Wardwell and Mabel (Pneuman)Wardwell. She graduated from Milford High School in Milford CT in 1942 and worked for three years as a linotype operator to save money for college.
In the fall of 1945, Jane enrolled in Russell Sage College, an institution that she loved and supported throughout her life. During her years in college, she lived at the YWCA and supported herself by working as many as three jobs in order to earn her degree in 1950. She spent her summers working in camps teaching swimming and crafts.
After graduation in 1950, Jane moved to New York City and worked as a group leader in a settlement house in the Hell’s Kitchen area of the city. She then spent a year in New Jersey as director of a Girl Scout Camp and was Waterfront Director for a YWCA camp in New York. She then moved to the south side of Chicago Where she was a group worker at Jane Addams’ Hull House, which provided social and educational opportunities for children of recent immigrants.
In 1961, Jane wrote and illustrated a book, 10 Cent Crafts for Kids, which was a resource for parents, teachers, and children. It was published by Association Press of New York and was reprinted several times.
In 1963, following two years of study, Jane was awarded a Masters in Education from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst, She continued to teach English and History in middle and high schools in Massachusetts and Connecticut and was a gifted and beloved teacher.
In 1965, she married Kenneth DeWitt Roberts. In 1970, they moved permanently to Fitzwilliam NH and she created her 19th century print shop, where she collected and used antique printing presses and type, a lifelong interest of hers.
A highlight of Jane’s life were the summers she spent from 1956 through 1970 at Camp Otter in Ontario. Here she variously served as craft counselor, organized and provisioned canoe trips and served as part of the management team. Camp Otter was one of those camps where everyone became like family. They continue to have reunions and in 2014 Jane, at age 89, drove from Keene to Buffalo to participate in the most recent reunion; it meant a lot to her.
Jane was deeply committed to the Fitzwilliam community. She served in various roles over the years from 1970 to 2013, particularly on the Monadnock Regional School District Budget Committee, the Fitzwilliam Newsletter, and the Zoning Board of Adjustment, for many years as its Chairman.
She is survived by her sister, Anne W. Resnick of New Jersey and Florida, her nephew David Resnick and his two sons, as well as many devoted friends.
A Celebration of the Life of Jane Wardwell Roberts will be held on Saturday, June 6th, 2015 from 11 AM to 2 PM at the Fitzwilliam Inn in Fitzwilliam, NH. A brief program will begin at 11:30 AM.