Jane Lewis
1951 - 2017
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Jane B. Lewis

Jun 5, 1951 - Aug 24, 2017

San Francisco lost an artist and a kind soul with the death of Jane Brown Lewis on Aug. 24. She was 66.

Until she was diagnosed with stage IV lung cancer around Mother's Day 2015, Jane was one of the lucky people. Lucky because she made a living following her passion as a textile designer.

"I like to look at things and redesign them in my mind," she wrote in the "about" section of her website, janelewisdesign.com.

"A shirt, a shower curtain, a pillow, a watch, a dog collar, a rug, a sock, a set of placemats, a quilt, whatever. Maybe a single color needs to be a touch more vivid or subtle."

Over four plus decades, Jane worked at several different companies, including Spumoni, Esprit (during its heyday in the '80s), and P&B Textiles, and co-founded her own company, Lewis & Lee, specializing in infant and childrenswear.

With the advent of digital era, she didn't want to be left behind. She returned to school in 2000 to learn website development. The digital skills she picked up, paired with her years of textile design experience, opened doors that lasted the rest of her professional career.

Even while undergoing treatment for cancer, Jane found time to teach. As the resident quilting design expert at the Textile Design Lab, she helped students improve their craft on online forums.

Until her failing health stopped her, she also produced hand-designed watches. This allowed her to further delight in a lifelong adoration of watches and clocks, dating back to childhood and her first rhinestone encrusted robin egg's blue Baby Ben windup alarm clock.

Perhaps Jane's greatest masterpiece was her family. In San Francisco she would meet her husband, Zion Lavie, with whom she had a son, Elan Lavie.

Jane and Zion cheered Elan through countless baseball games and Jane in particular passed along her love of cats. Zion and Elan were devoted to Jane and at her bedside up until the end.

Born and reared in New York City, Jane attended the High School of Music and Art, where she studied painting. She later earned a bachelor of fine arts degree from SUNY Buffalo.

After getting her start as a designer in New York, she decided to follow a close friend to the Bay Area in the late '70s, and made San Francisco her home.

Jane was preceded in death by her mother, Mildred Lewis, and later her father, Milton Lewis, a well-known New York journalist who lived his final years at the Jewish Home in San Francisco to be near her.

In addition to her husband and son, a brother, Peter Lewis of Seattle, survives Jane, as do her many close and wonderful friends and relatives. Remembrances are suggested to https://www.gofundme.com/JaneLewisTextileScholarship


To Plant Memorial Trees in memory, please visit our Sympathy Store.
Published in San Francisco Chronicle from Aug. 31 to Sep. 3, 2017.
Memories & Condolences
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7 entries
September 21, 2017
Miss you Janey! You are alive in my heart and I think about you all the time! Love you, Justina
Justina Jorrin
September 20, 2017
I'm so sad to hear of Jane's passing. She was a gifted artist and designer who I had the priveledge of working with on my first fabric with P&B Textiles. She was a blessing!
Kim Green
September 15, 2017
I am so sad to learn of Jane's passing. She was a wonderfully caring person. May her memory be a blessing.
Seth Moskowitz
September 8, 2017
I am so shocked to hear of Jane's passing. 20 years ago when my family and I moved to San Francisco, Jane was a kindred spirit. We spent many hours together with our boys Elan and Henry. I thought of Jsne as a smart, loving person. She was also so beautiful and a quintisennsial New Yorker. Unfortunately, after I moved back to New York I lost touch., but I never forgot her vibrant personality. She was a great mother and friend.

She will be missed.

Julie Lapore (Henry Moskowitz's mom)
Julir Lapore
September 3, 2017
It was a beautiful tribute to Jane today and I'm glad I was able to attend. She will certainly be missed in all the different communities that she contributed to friends, artists, and Design will be the poorer for her absence. Much love to you Zion and Elan.
Susan Caspi
September 2, 2017
Jane at 1976 BiCentennial in NYC
Janey was my dearest and oldest friend. I first met Jane at Music & Art High School in Manhattan. She was at my Sweet 16 party in the Bronx. We connected again in NYC after College. She is the reason I choose the career that I practiced for over 25 years. After college, and back in NY after living in Seattle for a year, I bumped into her by chance near Bryant Park. She told me she was a textile designer. My response: "What's that?" As she suggested, I took a course at Visual Arts, got my portfolio together and was hired for my first job at Lowensteins. Soon after that she introduced me to her landlord. I lived in a third floor walk up studio on 83rd Street between first and second Avenues, in a building her landlord owned that was just down the street from Jane's apartment. My rent was $175 a month. Jane may have had a better deal. I also recall the fabulous tea party at her parent's home where we gals wearing lady-like white gloves were playfully served by a handsome young man. Jane was a wonderful friend, an amazing creative artist and a devoted mother. She is greatly missed.
Elen Brief
September 1, 2017
Jane you will always be a bright blossom in my heart!
I will miss the wonderful way we could be New Yorkers together in this politically correct neck of the U.S. We understood each other, I was blessed to know her! She lives in my heart and I hear myself saying to her something I know she would get, "Can you believe this #$?!" Though never mean, we laughed about stuff that we both knew to be true but that others might carefully hem and haw about. I toast to her! And lucky me to have known her! Bless her family!
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