HADLEY - Jacqueline Wyman Mellen, of Hadley, died peacefully Jan. 1 at Hospice of the Fisher Home in North Amherst, with her family by her side.
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Born Dec. 20, 1925, in Bennington, Vt., she moved at the age of 2 to Guilford, Vt., where she lived with her parents, Grace (Whittemore) and Arthur E. Wyman.
She attended Brattleboro (Vermont) High School where she met William J. Mellen whom she married on Aug. 27, 1943.
After World War II Jackie and Bill moved to Amherst, where Bill continued his studies at the University of Massachusetts on the GI Bill, and Jackie worked for the music department. She played trombone in the UMass Marching Band and Orchestra, and sang in the chorus. She also was a costume manager for the university's operettas. Earlier she played trombone with the Pioneer Valley Symphony Orchestra and concert bands in Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts.
She was president of the UMass Veterans' Wives, which promoted educational and social opportunities for the wives of veterans who were returning to college.
In 1949 Jackie and Bill moved to Ithaca, N.Y., where Bill pursued a doctorate at Cornell University. Jackie worked in the office of the secretary of the university's College of Agriculture until a daughter, Donna Lee, was born in 1951. A daughter, Kathleen Anne, was born in 1953. A daughter, Carol Jean, was born in 1956, in Wilmington, Del.
In 1953, Bill accepted a faculty position at the University of Delaware, and the couple moved to Newark, where Jackie became active in the local League of Women Voters. She held several board positions, including president. She worked with members throughout the state and in Washington, D.C., to establish the League of Women Voters of Delaware.
In 1958, the family moved to Sunderland when Bill was appointed to a faculty position at UMass. In 1960 and '61 they lived in Sapporo, Japan, as part of an exchange program with Hokkaido University. While there, Jackie developed a keen interest in the people, language and culture of Japan.
Upon the family's return to the U.S. they settled in South Amherst, where Jackie continued to devote her time and energy to raising her daughters and nurturing her family.
In the early 1970s she enrolled at UMass and in 1978 received a bachelor's degree in Japanese language and a certificate in Asian studies. She graduated summa cum laude and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa.
Over the next few years, Jackie and Bill returned to Sapporo four times where she directed a summer study-abroad program at Hokkaido University for UMass students. She received a citation from the governor of Hokkaido for her work with women and youth groups throughout the province.
At UMass she worked with International Programs and the Department of Asian Languages and Literature where she directed programs for the Council on International Education Exchange. She designed, directed and taught in the American Culture and Language Program for East Asian Scholars and Students.
She was active in the University Women at UMass and served as president for two years.
After retirement, Jackie and Bill moved to Leeds and later to Hadley. They continued their interest in alpine skiing and camping and traveled through the United States, Canada and England.
Jackie leaves her husband of 69 years, William J. Mellen of Hadley; a daughter Donna L. Mellen and her life partner, Donald K. Carew, of Leverett; a daughter Kathleen A. Mellen and her husband, Dr. David E. Katz, of Northampton; a daughter Carol M. Rogers and her husband, James S. Rogers, of Hadley; four granddaughters, Gretchen E. Garnett and her husband, Erik C. Garnett, of Amsterdam, The Netherlands; Leah R. Katz and her fiancé, Noah D. Telson, of Berlin, Germany; Hannah A. Katz of
Burlington, Vt.; and Jennifer A. Rogers of Hadley; and a grandson, Brett W. Rogers of Hadley; a cousin Alberta Allen of Greenfield; and several other cousins and nieces and nephews. A sister, Jean "Dixie" Dickinson, died earlier.
She also had loving relationships with members of the extended Carew family.
A memorial service will be held at a later date.
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Published in Daily Hampshire Gazette on Jan. 4, 2013
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