Jane Householder Gehrett Rayner, 99, was a chemist, academic, teacher, avid traveler and active member in civic organizations throughout her long life. Jane passed away at her home in Highland Beach, Florida from complications of a stroke, surrounded by friends and family. Jane graduated from Juniata College and went on to obtain a Ph.D. in organic chemistry from Yale University. She was the first woman in the Market Research Department of General Chemical. She taught chemistry at Douglass College, Fairleigh Dickinson University, and Pine Crest School. For many years she served as a board member and volunteer with the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center in Boca Raton, Florida. Jane was born in Huntingdon, Pennsylvania on March 23, 1914, to Samuel and Ada Gehrett. She received a B.S. from Juniata College in Huntingdon, and a Ph.D. from Yale University. Her first husband William Degnan died in 1943. Her husband of 43 years George C. Rayner died in 1987. Jane is survived by her son, John Degnan Rayner, her daughter, Judith Norris Rayner, her grandson Shane Wellnitz, and her brother John O. Gehrett. A Memorial Service will be held July 27 at the First Presbyterian Church, 33 Gleason St., Delray Beach FL 33483 at 1:00 p.m. A reception will follow at the clubhouse at Seagate of Highland Condo Inc., 3310 S. Ocean Blvd, Highland Beach, FL from 3-5pm Contributions in honor of Jane G. Rayner may be made to the Samuel M. and Ada H. Gehrett Memorial Scholarship at Juniata College, 1700 Moore St., Huntingdon, PA 16652-2196 or the Gumbo Limbo Nature Center, 1801 N. Ocean Blvd, Boca Raton, FL 33432.
Published in Sun-Sentinel on Jul. 18, 2013.