Born in Pittsfield Massachusetts, Janie was the beloved only child of Alfred Sylvester and Dorothy Electa Munro Whittemore. She was a graduate of the Goodyear Burlingame School in Syracuse and Wells College, class of 1944. In her younger years, she resided in Camillus with her mother; her first cousin/ “sister”, Sarah Shove Edwards; and Uncle Benjamin E. Shove. She married Frederick Scott Brace of Solvay in 1950 and lived in East Aurora and Skaneateles, before retiring to Orleans, Massachusetts. Eventually, after Fred’s passing in 2004, Jane joined her daughters, in Skaneateles, for the last 6 years.
Janie was an effervescent and exceptional person, having faithfully served each community that she joined. She loved music, theater, and entertainment. As a young woman, she served as a Red Cross field director supporting the 88th Division of the 350th Infantry in the post-WWII occupation of Italy. Aboard the ship, crossing the ocean, her group created a performance that opened for the USO shows all across Italy.
Fred and Jane started raising their family in East Aurora. She shared her love of drama by joining The Aurora Players community theater. She and Fred were founding members of the Wood Spring Club near East Aurora, creating, from scratch, a summer haven and “swimming hole” for young families. The club still exists today as a way to get away from the digital life! Lifelong ski-enthusiasts, Janie and Fred and friends formed the EAW-CMS ski club in East Aurora to share travels and social companionship. They traveled extensively to follow the snows.
In 1963, Fred and Jane moved their 4 children to Skaneateles, where their brood increased by one after a trip to the Alps. As if raising 5 children wasn’t enough, Jane insisted on continuing her community service. Her stewardship included: Girl Scouts; SAVES (Skaneateles Area Volunteer Emergency Services as ambulance driver, EMT, and president for 2 years); Meals on Wheels; Planned Parenthood (Syracuse NY board member), F.I.S.H (Friends in Service Here) and as an organizing member of the Skaneateles branch of the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra Guild. She served as an Elder for the First Presbyterian Church of Skaneateles. She remained active in song and dance in Skaneateles: her team of moms was commended for their kick line in the “Skan-E-Antics” fund raiser. Her love of skiing and community was fulfilled at the Skaneateles Ski Club, where she also served on the Ski Patrol.
Janie’s passions included the Skaneateles rolling hills and lake and the Adirondacks, where she spent the last 6 summers at the extended family compound. She loved caring and sharing with others: baking homemade bread, making and canning jams, making Christmas candy with family and friends.
In 1978, after Freddie’s retirement, they moved to Orleans, Massachusetts on Cape Cod. For 30- plus years they enjoyed activities in and around the water. Love of birds, nature, and outdoor sports permeated her life and the Cape was a perfect spot for her to land. Not too far from the children, a magnet to keep the family together, and welcoming location for friends to visit. Throughout their lives they instilled the importance of family, gathering us together to enjoy a variety of activities from crabbing, fishing, tennis, golf, dune excursions, to songs - and of course skits. The family embraced the end of each busy day with cocktail hours.
Janie continued to serve God and friends at the Federated Church of Orleans. She was president of the Women’s Fellowship, member of the personnel committee, trustee, and moderator for the church. She also enjoyed playing in the church’s handbell choir. However, what truly consumed her time and energy was her role (which she loved) as chief organizer, coordinator, and chef for the weekly chowder supper fundraiser, during the summer season. They received many weekend visitors through PEO (Philanthropic Educational Organization - making a difference in the lives of women all over the world). Their wonderful home was open to all – including players and coaches from the Orleans summer baseball team of the Cape Cod League. Birds were a life-long passion that culminated as volunteers banding birds in Jamaica for Earthwatch in 1981/82.
Jane is survived by Frederick S. Brace, Jr. (Joanne Leach) of Chagrin Falls, OH; Constance Brace (Paul Higman) of Skaneateles, NY; David W Brace (Bonnie Larson) of Williamsville, NY; Dorothy Krause (Steven M. Krause - deceased) of Skaneateles, NY; Heidi Brace (Tim Mallett) of Christchurch, NZ; 14 grandchildren: Frederick Brace, III (Lauren) of Chagrin Falls OH; Sarah Jane Brace of Hephzibah, WV; Christopher Brace of New Philadelphia OH; Jeffrey and Ryan Higman of Skaneateles; Nicholas, Ashley, Allison and Kimberly Brace of Williamsville NY; Maxwell, Eleanor, Natalie, and Angela Krause of Skaneateles; Emily Brace of Christchurch NZ; and 2 great grandchildren: Frederick IV and Isabelle Brace.
She was loved by all who met her and will be dearly missed. Friends may call on the family between 5 and 7 pm on Friday January 6, 2017 at Robert D. Gray Funeral Home, Skaneateles. A memorial service will be held at a future date.
Instead of flowers, donations in Jane’s name may be made to SAVES or to a charity that reminds you of Jane’s service.
To send condolences visit: robertdgrayfuneralhome.com.