Jane Alice Wachsmuth, 90, of Mendham, NJ passed away on Sunday, December 30, 2018 at Morris View Healthcare Center. Jane was born on June 25, 1928 in Youngstown, OH to Ronald Eugene Glavin and Margaret (Pedrotty) Glavin. Jane attended high school in Bristol, Tennessee, where she began a career in radio and hosted her own show. She was crowned Miss Television 1949 in a national competition and was awarded three college scholarships as prizes. In the 1950s, Jane moved with her family to Hoylake, England for several years, where she studied theatre, music, and dance at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.
Jane met her husband Ernst in New York City. After moving to Mendham in 1972 and raising her children there, Jane worked for the C.M. Offray Ribbon Co. in Chester, NJ for twenty years before her retirement at the age of 78, and simultaneously worked part-time in women's clothing at Epstein's Department Store in Morristown, NJ. She was beloved by her Offray colleagues for her enthusiasm and devotion to the company's beautiful, colorful ribbons and artwork, and her strong work ethic that kept her working long hours.
Jane's life was illuminated by her love of the arts and music. She loved to sing, and was a soprano in the First Presbyterian Church Choir in Mendham and many other church choirs throughout her life. She was a devoted member of the Masterwork Chorus, singing Handel's Messiah in Carnegie Hall and other New York City venues throughout many holiday seasons. Jane provided a tireless, uncritical audience, delighting in listening to others play or sing. She was a member of The Metropolitan Museum of Art for more than fifty years, and read The New York Times every day, especially the Arts section.
Jane's incredible generosity touched many people throughout her life. She took immense joy in sharing other people's experiences, both their triumphs and their sadness. She encouraged all to follow their dreams, to overcome fear to reach the highest goals they felt were unattainable. Jane's empathy for others knew no bounds—people from every walk of life and every country were drawn to her. They sensed her great depth and confided their most prized secrets, and were rewarded by her understanding and comforting words. She often gave away worldly possessions to strangers without a second thought.
Jane's empathy was also expressed throughout her life in her support of the needy and less fortunate. In recent years she was proud to have given small contributions to the construction of both the National Museum of African American History and Culture and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., as well as to numerous other charities for veterans, the blind, and the disabled. She loved birds and faithfully maintained two birdbaths in her yard daily into her late eighties.
She is survived by her two devoted children, Karen Wachsmuth, and Ernst Eugen Wachsmuth; his wife Jackie; two cherished grandsons, Ernst Eugen Wachsmuth III, and Maxwell Heinrich Wachsmuth; and by many other loving family and friends. She was predeceased by her beloved husband of 30 years, Ernst Eugen Wachsmuth, in 1986.
In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to the National Museum of African American History or the National Museum of American Indian in Washington, DC (Please click the Museum Name for a link to their website).
Jane's Life Celebration will be held privately by her family on Saturday, January 19. Please contact the family for more information.