Jane T. Gillett

Jane T. Gillett, 88, of Thousand Island Park, NY, passed away peacefully on March 30, 2024, in St. Petersburg, FL, surrounded by her beloved children, their spouses, and two of her grandchildren. She was a loving mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother who put family first and touched many lives in the North Country.

Jane was born on December 30, 1935, in Pasadena, CA, the daughter of Dr. Kenneth W. and Alice R. Taber. Her father was an Army officer attached to the Surgeon General’s staff during WWII, so Jane grew up moving frequently between various Army bases in CA, OR, and WA. After the war, the family split their time between California and Maryland. Jane graduated from Orange High School, Pasadena, CA. She received her B.S. from Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, where she met her husband, Dr. Roger E. Gillett. After their wedding in 1955, they lived briefly in Ithaca, Pulaski, and Redwood, NY, before settling in Theresa, NY to raise their four children.

Jane had a giving heart and the energy to wear many hats. Within the nuclear family and solo veterinary practice, she was a wife, mother, housekeeper, veterinary assistant, practice administrator, receptionist, and bookkeeper. Jane gave to the community as a long-serving Indian River Central School District board member with a number of years as President of the school board, as well as President of the Jefferson County School Boards Association, a  speaker at the New York State School Boards Association annual meeting, and a representative to the National School Boards Association convention. She also served as a vestry member, diocesan convention representative, and treasurer of St. James Episcopal Church, Theresa, NY. She is a past President of Literacy Volunteers of Watertown, NY, and was the Director of the Thousand Island Textile Museum and Craft School (now the Thousand Islands Arts Center) in Clayton, NY for five years. On an individual level, Jane took the time to mentor many young people. She was also the leader of several active Girl Scout Troops and was the Director of the Indian River Girl Scout Day Camp. 

Jane loved to travel, visiting all 50 United States, as well Canada, Mexico, the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, and Australia. 

In the mid-1980’s Jane moved to Thousand Island Park, NY (TIPark) . She opened L’Atelier and pursued her love of art and pottery along with her partner, Rodney Squiers. Jane received a one-year grant from the New York State Council on the Arts to be the artist in residence at the Arnot Art Museum in Elmira, NY, culminating in a one-artist show at the Arnot. She was also active in the Jekyll Island, GA Pottery Guild, and had several art works selected to be shown both at Jekyll Island Goodyear Cottage and at the Everson Museum in Syracuse NY. In TIPark, Jane shared her love of art via the make your own pottery program and the annual Art in the Park.

Jane’s other ways of giving back to the TIPark community included serving as the secretary of the Yacht Club during the revival of the youth sailing program, being a volunteer member of the Landmark Society, being an active member of the group that halted development of South Bay in 1999, assisting in establishing the “forever wild” green areas in the park, and being a long-time board member of the Tabernacle Association. 

Jane is survived by three of her children, Dr. Edward (Annie) Gillett of St. Petersburg, FL, Amy (John) Stenard of St. Petersburg, FL, and Dr. Anne Gillett of St. Paul, MN; seven grandchildren, John (Briana) Stenard, Dr. James (Julia) Stenard, Atty Luke (Gretchen) Stenard, Bethan (Healah Lee) Gillett, Nia (Tyler) Saville, E. Rhys Gillett, and Rhiannon Gillett; and five great-grandchildren. Her daughter Susan Gillett and son-in-law Jeremy Lipschutz predeceased her. Jane’s ashes will be interred in the Gillett family plot, Hillside Cemetery, Antwerp, NY.

A Celebration of Life for Jane’s family and friends is planned for this summer in TIPark. 

In lieu of flowers, please make a memorial contribution to Christian Appalachian Project or your local food bank. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *