1935 - 2018
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McKINNELL, Jane D'Esopo Long time Beacon Hill resident, died suddenly on March 30, 2018 at age 83. She had stayed, as usual, optimistic despite health setbacks during the fall and winter and looked forward to resuming life as she had known it. Jane, or Janie to her closest family, was born in New York City on March 30, 1935 to Elizabeth (Berrien) and Donato Anthony D'Esopo. She grew up in Tenafly, New Jersey and attended Dwight Englewood School and Smith College, graduating in 1956 with a BA in English. After Smith she worked in publishing in New York where she met and married Michael McKinnell. They moved to Massachusetts in 1963. Apart from 16 years in Newton, Jane lived in Boston, a city she cherished. A life-long lover of the natural world and the built environment, Jane received a Masters in Landscape Architecture in 1981 from Harvard's Graduate School of Design in 1981. Professionally, she was a bookkeeper, working for Kallmann McKinnell & Wood, Inc. and other design firms and educational institutions. Jane was a loyal and loving mother to two daughters, a lifelong reader (and lover of words), learner, and an active member of her community. She enjoyed the fellowship of Beacon Hill Village Association, courses at Beacon Hill Seminars and a multitude of arts and sports events. For 10 years, she served as a docent at Harvard University Art Museums. For 25 years, she was a member of the volunteer gardeners' Rose Brigade in the Public Garden of Boston. A member of Greater Boston Knitting Guild for over 20 years, she was its treasurer for 14. For several years, Jane and her gray standard poodle Bobby comforted patients at Massachusetts General Hospital as visiting volunteers. Jane shared her generous spirit with each of these organizations. She was also an avid player of all sorts of games; she especially loved bridge and was proud of her rank and Masterpoints. Time spent at the family cottage in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia was a source of renewal for her; she loved swimming in the Atlantic. Jane is predeceased by her brother Peter B. D'Esopo, her parents and many aunts and uncles. She is survived by her brother D. Anthony D'Esopo, Jr., nieces and nephews and her former husband Michael McKinnell. She leaves her daughter, Caitlin McKinnell, son-in-law Daniel Klatz, daughter Phoebe McKinnell, son-in-law Mark Ventola and four grandchildren Zoe Klatz, Henry Klatz, Bryden Ventola and Teresa Jane Ventola. Jane leaves as well many cherished friends and her companion dog Jack who accompanied her almost everywhere she went. In lieu of flowers, please donate in Jane's name to the Friends of the Public Garden or the Sierra Club. A memorial service to celebrate Jane's life will be held on Friday, June 8 at 1:30 p.m. in the King's Chapel Parish House, 64 Beacon Street, Boston. Lehman Reen & McNamara Brighton 617-782-1000

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Published in Boston Globe from Apr. 30 to May 1, 2018.
Memorial service
01:30 PM
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May 2, 2018
I know Jane from working with her in the Rose Brigade. She and Bobby were regulars to be depended on in the garden. Her quiet warmth and obvious joy to be in the garden was always a pleasure. Her family and friends will think of her often and be thankful for the opportunities we had to be with her in this life. Blessings to her family and friends.
Nancy Murphy
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