Jane Walker Richmond, former long-time resident of Montpelier, passed away unexpectedly on Tuesday, September 21st in Boston, Massachusetts, surrounded by her family.
Jane was born in 1940 in Nanuet, NY where she grew up on her family’s dairy farm, helping her father deliver milk before heading to school each day. She went on to attend the University of New Hampshire, where she became the NH State Women’s Rifle Champion and showcased her riflery skills as her talent in the Miss New Hampshire pageant. She left college to marry William H. Richmond, after which Jane moved to Hamden, CT where they welcomed their 4 children. As the wife of a graduate student, Jane volunteered with “Round The World Wives” at Yale, helping the wives of international students adjust to life in America, work which exemplified the spirit of generosity and openness to all that was a hallmark of her life.
After she moved to Burlington, Vermont, she focused on raising her family, instilling in her children a sense of curiosity, creativity, and compassion. Jane supported her children through their school years, cheering at their swim meets at Burlington Country Club, attending all their band and chorus performances, and baking endless quantities of brownies for their bake sales. At this time, she discovered her passion for photography, which became a life-long pursuit. The family moved to College Street in Montpelier, where Jane became an active member of the community. Most folks will remember her from her days as the Manager at Country Camera in downtown Montpelier. She prided herself on remembering every customer's name and having their photos in hand before they even reached the counter. Many will also remember her generosity in opening her home and her heart to anyone and everyone in need -- whether it was her childrens’ friends, AFS and exchange students, weary leaf-peepers with nowhere else to go, or just providing a space to build the MHS Homecoming Parade floats. It gave her great joy to have a bustling house full of friends and family.
After her marriage ended in divorce, Jane combined her love of photography with her passion for travel and adventure. She traveled all over the world, starting with scuba diving trips with friends from Montpelier and going on to explore the Amazon, Southeast Asia, and Russia with her sister-in-law Claire. Ultimately, she visited every continent on the planet. Her stunning, award-winning photographs have been displayed at numerous venues and she loved presenting her travel photos to groups, especially the residents of the Gary Home.
During this time, she met Allen Jacobs, who became her dearest companion for the rest of her life. They shared a love of nature and the outdoors, good music, and Morse Farm maple creemees. After Jane’s children left the nest, Jane and Allen shared a home at Murray Hill, where they enjoyed the view of Camel’s Hump and watched the sunsets from their porch.
She was a member of Bethany Church and served as a Deacon there. She was also a past President of the Murray Hill Condominium Association. As an avid photographer, Jane was a member of NECCC and often taught photography workshops at Vermont's "Becoming An Outdoor Family" weekends. Jane loved going to band concerts on the State House lawn, attending reunions with her Eldridge family on the shores of Lake Elmore, and photographing the beauty of Vermont with her friends Ralph and Clay.
In recent years, Jane and Allen went to live with her daughter in Somerville, MA. Once again, Jane embraced her new community, joining the Cambridge Neighbors group, establishing close friendships in her new neighborhood cul-de-sac, as well as exploring the wildlife in the Alewife Reservation. She spent countless hours during the pandemic sewing masks for anyone in need, including front-line workers and the First Nation communities that so warmly embraced her during her travels.
She is survived by her loving partner of over 30 years, Allen Jacobs. She also leaves her children: Chris Richmond, Heather Richmond Wright, Terry Richmond, and Tori Richmond and their partners; Allen’s sons Chris, Bruce, and Thale Jacobs and their partners; and her siblings Anne Dickson, Ruth Walker Woodard, and Martin Walker and their families. She was known as “Halmoni'' to her beloved grandchildren Benjamin Richmond and his wife Devin, Hayley Richmond and Emory Richmond Boll.
A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at 1:00pm on Wednesday, October 13th at Andersonville Cemetery, 2602 Andersonville Road, West Glover VT 05875. A reception will follow at West Glover Congregational Church Meeting House, 2516 Bean Hill Rd, West Glover VT 05875.
If you are so moved, in lieu of flowers, donations in Jane’s memory can be made to Green Cambridge at janememorial.greencambridge.org.