Jane Powers Obituary

Jane Healey Powers
Jane Healey Powers

June 21, 1923 - June 7, 2018
Born in New Haven, CT
Resided in Niantic, Connecticut


Jane Healey Powers, a longtime resident of Niantic, died on Thursday June 7th, 2018, at Greentree Manor in Waterford, CT. Born Jane Marshall Healey on June 21, 1923 in Brooklyn, NY to Ruth Hart Healey and Thomas Frederick Healey, she was raised in West Haven and Orange Connecticut. Her father worked in the brewing business and retired as Brewmaster of Hull’s Brewing Company in New Haven. Jane graduated from Hillhouse High School in 1941 and earned a BS in Sociology from Smith College in 1945. Soon after graduation, she and her friend Janet Hutton Sargent travelled through a not yet rebuilt Europe. The trip to Europe gave rise to many stories, including one about the night she arrived in a small Swedish town, only to find the hostel closed. Ever resourceful, she consulted a policeman who found her a comfortable bed in the town jail.

She returned to the US and began a career as a buyer at Amelia Ames in New York City’s Garment District. She shared an apartment with her oldest friend, Jessie Piccolo. Jessie and her fiancé John O’Neill introduced her to William Powers, John’s childhood friend. Bill and Jane were married on April 18, 1953, and moved to Niantic, Connecticut where Bill had started a career as a teacher. They raised five boys there: William Jr. (who pre-deceased them), Mark, (Niantic), Thomas, (Clearwater, FL), Joseph, (Waterford) and Richard, (Greenwich).

Jane raised the family, but worked as well, conducting the University of Michigan surveys on consumer confidence. She was active in town affairs, serving on the East Lyme Board of Tax Review and the Commission on Aging, but devoted most of her energy to town schools. She was a substitute teacher, which led to a full time position between 1973 and 1985, when she worked as attendance clerk at East Lyme High School. Those who had no excusable reason for being late or absent (you know who you are) remember her clemency in that role. She helped nudge many through to graduation. Jane enjoyed her colleagues, too. In retirement, she gathered with the secretary and teacher alumni for lunches and trips.

Jane loved watching her sons play sports in high school and college. She only missed a game if there two occurred at the same time, in which case Bill would watch the other. In the summers, she and the family visited her sister, Ruth Healey Dunham, and their family, in Puerto Rico, then California, Ohio and South Carolina. She loved Niantic, especially McCook’s beach and the Hole in the Wall. Jane supported the ELHS swimming pool from the time it was built. She served on the Pool Commission and was a regular water aerobics participant well past her 90th birthday.

Jane had an enviable capacity to make friends. Many of them are gone, but those who remain remember her demonstrable joy at their company. Her true legacy is her family, who called her “Nee”. When she became a grandmother, she talked of how she wanted to live a very long life to see how they developed. In her last few months, reflecting upon her life, she told her sons that she thought “it all turned out beautifully.” In addition to Mark, Tom, Joe and Rich, she is survived by ten grandchildren: Hailey, Nicole, Katherine, Joseph, Caroline, Jessica, William, Maggy, Benjamin and Alexander; and three daughters-in-law, Maura, Susan, and Emilie. She was pre-deceased by Bill, her husband of 58 years, and her sister, Ruth Healey Dunham.

Calling hours will be from 5 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, June 20, at the Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home, 48 Grand St., Niantic. We will celebrate a memorial Eucharist at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 21, at St. John’s Church 400 Main Street Niantic. Interment will follow in Union Cemetery Niantic. That would have been her 95th birthday.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that a contribution to the East Lyme Aquatic & Fitness Center Foundation, Inc. or the East Lyme Library Foundation be considered.

Please visit www.neilanfuneralhome.com for directions, or to send a condolence message to the family.





Thomas L. Neilan & Sons East Lyme Funeral Home
48 Grand Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Wednesday, June 20, 2018
5:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Memorial Eucharist
St. John's Episcopal Church
400 Main Street
Niantic, CT US 06357
Thursday, June 21, 2018
11:00 AM

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