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Jane Mack

jane mack
Jane Mack age 85 of New Hampton,IA, formerly of Lexington, Massachusetts, died Friday, May 11, 2012, at her home. Friends may greet the family 4:00 - 7:00 p.m. Saturday, June 2, at Hugeback - Johnson Funeral Home in New Hampton. A Memorial Reflection will be held at 6:30 p.m. at the funeral home on Saturday. Private family inurnment will take place in France. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to the Odyssey of the Mind c/o New Hampton Community School. Jane Cridland Mack was born November 23, 1926, In Philadelphia, PA, the daughter of George and Estelle (Heyland) Cridland. She was the youngest of three children and took on the role of jokester and gofer. She grew up in the Philadelphia area and graduated in a class of 520 from Upper Darby High School in 1944. She attended the University of Minnesota then transferred to the University of Pennsylvania where she obtained a BSN (Nursing) in 1949. She worked at the University Of Pennsylvania Hospital where she taught nursing and met Charles L. Mack, a graduate student in physics. They married on June 10, 1950. On April 25, 1951, they had twin girls. Charles obtained employment as a physicist at Lincoln Lab for Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Boston in 1953. Another daughter was born August 2, 1954 followed by a son on September 6, 1956. In 1957, she and her family moved to Paris, France because Chuck was working on an MIT project for NATO there. She returned to the Boston area in 1959 and worked at area hospitals as an RN. She became interested in early childhood devcelopment and took further training at Dickinson College in Pennsylvania in early childhood education. In 1963, she founded the Lexington Montessori School with a few interested parents and served as its headmistress through 1991. Under her leadership the school expanded to 200 students from age 1 through sixth grade. The school built a lower elementary building in 1990 and named it in her honor. On the 25th anniversary of the school she was recognized by then Governor Michael Dukakis for her “outstanding contribution to the field of child development”. She was published in a number of professional journals and served as national chairperson of the teachers in the American Montessori Society from 1972-1976. Jane had time for sports after her children left home and developed into a competitive tennis player. She ran and completed the Boston Marathon at the age of 58. In the summer of 1995, she assisted with the Belamerica Day Camp held in New Hampton. She appeared in the ‘Who’s Who’ in American Education in 1996 and 1997. She retired as a teacher of the toddler class of Lexington Montessori School in 2000. Jane loved to travel and took extensive trips with Overseas Adventures to Russia, China, Tibet and India. She became the volunteer director of admissions for a small nursing home, tutored elementary students and substitute taught in before moving to Iowa in the summer of 2006. She initially lived in Iowa City before settling in New Hampton. In the 2007-2008 school year she informally volunteered with Mrs. Nobisch’s kindergarten class where she became known as ‘Grandma Jane’. She was a foster grandparent volunteer at New Hampton Elementary School for 4th grade in 2009-2010 and kindergarten in 2010-2011. In this time span, she visited her daughters safari camp north of Nairobi, and traveled to France, Ukraine, Italy and a number of U.S. states including Alaska. She loved spending time with her family with a special focus of course on the great-grandbabies and toddlers. Jane is survived by one son, David (Amy) Mack of San Francisco; three daughters, Judy (Kit) O’Donohoe of New Hampton, Jacqueline (J.F.) Damon of Nairobi, Kenya; Nancy (Paul) Millice of Iowa City; nine grandchildren, Jennifer (Eyal) O’Donohoe of Salt Lake City, UT, Lisa Damon of Paris, France; Val (Stephane) Damon-Perrier of Nairobi, Kenya, Emily (Russ) O’Donohoe of San Francisco, B.J. McDuffie of Washington, D.C. Warren (Adriane) McDuffie of Iowa City, Brian Mack, Daniel Mack, both of San Francisco, Masha (Leo) Simmons of Minneapolis; eight great-grandchildren, Niko Simmons, Hugo Perrier, Alex McDuffie, Cayden McDuffie, Lillian Bainer, Ethan Shafran, Lea Perrier and Chloe Perrier. She was preceded in death by her husband, Charles Lawrence Mack; one brother, Charles Cridland; one sister, Ruth Tuppeny.

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  1. To Jane’s Family… my daughter was so fortunate to have had Jane in the toddler room of Lexington Montessori School. She set the foundation for a love of learning and confident independence; we will forever be grateful. The universe has lost a very special soul.

  2. Dear Nancy, Paul and Family, It was a privilege to meet your mother and get to know her. After reading her obituary, all I can say is ‘What an amazing woman!’. My sympathies to you and your family, Marva Abel

  3. Dear Ones: She was an exceptionally gifted and skilled human being who lived an extraordinary life. What a delightful person to know and example to replicate. We celebrate her uniqueness with you all.

  4. My deepest sympathies to your family. I know how much she inspired everyone in her life – family, friends, peers, and all of us who knew her. Wishing you all peace and comfort at this difficult time. – Tiffany (B.J.’s friend in Iowa)

  5. Dear Judy and Kit: Sorry to read of your mother’s passing, Judy. It sounds like she lead a full life traveling the world before settling down in NH. I’m sure you will miss her and we morn your loss. Dan and Kathy Feuling

  6. Kit and Judy and family, We are sorry for your loss.It’s very hard to lose someone you love. May she rest in peace and we wish you the comfort of knowing she’s in a better place.

  7. Our deepest sympthay to all the family. I especially will miss Jane alot. The years that I worked for her were great. She never complained about anything. And had a great sense of humor. I will always remember her wittyness and charm.

  8. Sorry for the loss of your Mother she was an awesome lady. I know it’s hard but try and think of all the good times that you had with her and that you were able to spend time with her.

  9. Kit & Judy so sorry to hear of the passing of your mom. I enjoyed her mom and getting to know her. I will miss her.

  10. Dear Judy and Kit. We were so sorry to hear of the passing of dear sweet Jane. Our hearts go out to you and your family in your time of sorrow. It was a pleasure to have met Jane and to have shared some time with her. She was quite a remarkable lady blessed with a truly remarkable daughter and son-in-law. May your memories give you strength and may you take comfort in knowing an angel is watching over you.

  11. Kit and Judy – so sorry to hear about the death of Judy’s mother! Cris and I will keep all your family in our prayers.

  12. Judy, Kit, and family,we feel very privileged to have gotten to know Jane. She was such a special lady and always ready for a laugh – what a good sport. She will be missed by many.

  13. We were sorry to hear of your mother’s death. She was a remarkable lady and I know that you have many good memories of her that will help you and your family get through the days ahead. We want you to know that we are thinking of you and that you are in our prayers.

  14. Our thoughts and prayer are with you. Your mom was a neat women. She will always have a special place in my heart. God Bless you all.

  15. Dear Judy and family, my sympathy to you and all at this most difficult time but Jane is at peace now. God bless, Kris

  16. So sorry Judy, Kit & family. We are so happy to have met your very sweet Mother and spend time with her. She was truly remarkable. You are in our thoughts and we pray for comfort for all of you at this very tough time. Judy you are a wonderful daughter. God Bless!

  17. Judy, sorry to hear of your mothers passing. She was a lovely lady. You and all of your family are in my thoughts.

  18. Judy and Kit: Saddened to read of your mom’s death. She was an extraordinary lady and I’ll always have great memories of our trip to Ukraine and especially the Alaskan trip that she and I took. I learned a lot about her during that week and she truly was most remarkable.


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