Jane B. Willoughby

jane willoughby
Jane B. Willoughby died peacefully at home in North Haven on June 19th, 2010. Born in Toledo, Ohio in 1921, she graduated from Miss Hall's School and Smith College with a degree in political science. Her real love was art, and she took classes at The Art Student's League and The New School in New York after her marriage in 1943 to Charles L. Willoughby, and pursued a successful art career for the rest of her life. In 1951, she moved to New Haven with her family and became intensely involved in the art community. In 1975, she was honored with the New Haven Arts Council Award for Leadership in the Arts. She was a member and teacher at The Silvermine Guild of Art and the Viridian Gallery in New York. Her work is in collections worldwide. In spite of her tiny physique, she was a dynamo to all those with whom she had contact. A staunch supporter of just and equitable social principals, she exemplified her beliefs to her friends, family and the community at large. Nimble as a pixie and always challenging conventional wisdom, she looked at life from myriad perspectives, even upside down, and she encouraged intense discusssion and debate at all gatherings. Her fashion sense lit up any event. She and her husband Chuck were well known for their generosity and hospitality. The Willoughbys have a extended family with many adopted and cherished members who adored its matriarch and looked to her for wisdom, guidance and her unique sense of humor. In 1996, she founded Mory's Merry Widows after her husband's death. Jane will be sorely missed by her family and friends. She is predeceased by her husband, Chuck, and her son, Kip, and leaves behind two daughters, Pamela Field and Elizabeth Willoughby, her sons-in-law, and three grandchildren. A private family burial will take place this week, and a memorial service is planned for a later date. In lieu of flowers , please send a donation to the Smith College Club of Greater New Haven Scholarship Fund, 211 River Road, Madison, CT 06443, c/o Josefa Abdelnour, or to the Creative Arts Workshop, 80 Audubon Street, New Haven, CT 06510. Arrangements in care of BEECHER & BENNETT FUNERAL HOME, 2300 Whitney Avenue, Hamden.

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  1. Dear Elizabeth and your entire family, At times like this it is very difficult to say something comforting as comfort comes with time. This is just to let you know that my thoughts and prayers are with you. From the obit, your mother sounds like the type of woman that made the best of wherever she was at the time. I hope she’s in a better and happier place now. Cristina Lipka

  2. Dear Pam and Liss, This makes me so sad to think that Janie, the quintessential pixie, is no longer with us. All of us in the Caplan family adored her effervescent spirit, her joie de vivre, her love of family and her ART. We have delicious memories of Nantucket oh so long ago! She will be dearly missed. Much love to you and your families, Joanna

  3. Dear Willos, The world will never be as bright without Janie. She created a party wherever she went! I remember so many fun Derby Day bashes and all the holidays she brought cheer to so many of us. In particular, I loved how she loved our Matthew–her Kermit toligist! We have the cutest picture of frogs she gave him. I’m making a donation in her honor–her artistic spirt and joy she took in life will be with us forever. with much love Vivian and Ed Harris

  4. My heart felt condolences during this sad time of letting go. Her life was a reflection of a life well lived. Sending love and light. S. Lee Wright

  5. Dear Elizabeth and family, Your mother sounded like a very interesting woman to be around. I am sorry I never met her but feel like I knew her a little through knowing you. Thinking of you and your family and I hope your healing process is one of loving memories. Allow yourself the time you need. E, my friend, if you need anything, please don’t hesitate to let me know. Warm regards, Margaret Cucchiarella

  6. Elizabeth and family, I send my condolences and wishes to you for peace and comfort. Your mother sounds like she was an amazing and positively influential being of a woman upon you and those around her. How fortunate she was and you have been to have shared your time together. Wishing you many more blessings to come and much love to you, Catherine

  7. Elizabeth, Pam and David, I am so sorry for your loss. May your memories remain forever in your hearts and minds. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. Maureen Owen Murtha Cullina LLP

  8. My thoughts and prayers are with you at this sad time. Your mother was a lucky woman to have two dedicated daughters by her side. Her obit gave me a sense that her good qualities are living on in you, my little Mermaid friend. love and light…


  10. Pam We extend our deepest sympathy to you and the family. Jane was a very talented woman and remarkable person. Your loving care meant alot to her.

  11. It was always a delightful time when Jane entered the gathering at her gracious home on Ridge Rd. She was sharp, keen and colorful. What a joy she gave all who were fortunate enough to know her. Her legacy is being passed through her remarkable, sensitive children and grandchildren. My life is richer because of my knowing her daughter, Pam. We celebrate her life by lifting a glass of wine and bringing friendship to fulfillment.

  12. Dear Elizabeth and Family, My deepest sympathy for the loss of your mother. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your dear ones. I hope time will bring comfort and peace to your heart and family. Florica

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