It Takes a Family to Comfort a Family
Jane Vannucchi, a resident of Newport News for the past 19 years, was born during the Spanish flu pandemic. Her father had died the night before her mother gave birth to her two months prematurely. It was said that she weighed about 3 pounds and that her mother put her on the oven door to keep her warm.
Jane grew up as a single child living with her mother. She often spoke of her aunts and uncle who helped care for her, and of the park across from their home where she rode the carousel, swam, and learned tennis. One of her greatest joys was visiting other relatives at their farm, riding horses, and playing with her cousins, one of them being Celeste. She and Jane remained close throughout their lives and Jane often spoke of Celeste in later years, wishing she could see her once again.
Jane married late in life and was married for 58 years before losing the love of her life, Joe.
She belonged to Beta Sigma Phi sorority, worked at a bank, and was an administrative assistant to the school board in Binghamton, NY until she became a homemaker after the birth of her second daughter. Prior to marriage, she was involved in girl scouting and took a camping trip to western US national parks with a few girlfriends; later in life, at age 60, she climbed a small mountain in the Adirondacks with her daughter.
After marriage and children, Jane continued being active in scouting, sewed clothes for her daughters, and was a Eucharistic minister. She was always up for a party and enjoyed socializing. Her happiest times were traveling with her husband on cruises and other trips, especially taking her grandson to Disney World. In her later years, while living in Florida, Jane often said, while looking at a beautiful sunset, that every day felt like she was on vacation.
In much later years, Jane enjoyed many loving friendships at the Mennowood in independent living, then the Hidenwood assisted living, after which she lived for a time with her daughter before moving to Bayside of Poquoson. While residing at Bayside, Jane turned 100 years of age and was honored by Councilwoman Pat Woodbury with a proclamation by Mayor Price.
It was at Bayside that Jane became ill from Covid-19 and was expected to pass away. But when she was relocated to her daughter’s, within days of eating and drinking, she revived enough to smile again. She went on to live more than 14 months and passed away peacefully at the ripe age of 103.
During those last months at home, Jane enjoyed music therapy, her favorite foods, and sitting outside in the sun whenever possible. She spoke of planning a party in her last months and she made her transition in time to celebrate Fat Tuesday with Joe, her daughter Linda, best friends Libby and Bonnie, and many cousins and friends who have passed before her. Jane is survived by her daughter Patti, grandson Alan, and dear cousin Celeste.
Jane’s family would like to thank Dr. John Brady the Village Doctor, and his staff; family friend Marc Fortunato, without whose support, the journey would have been impossible; Tom and Susan Yager, who shared fellowship and food; Thelma Mendonca for helping to assuage the many challenges during the years Jane was at Bayside; Traditions Hospice, especially Ninja, Abigail, and nurses Debbie and Jessica; Catholic Charities and Home Care Associates; Kirstie Saunders, Sydnie Lindsey Martin, Luwanda Hunley-Stringfield, Jonathan Williams, Susan Sales, Raven Cadena, Jennifer Hughes; caregivers Belinda Powell, Priscilla Herzberg, Zaneta (Zeke) Jimmison, Darlene Strickland, Teresa Davis, Memory Bowles, and Kim; the many wonderful hospice volunteers who offered Jane company; and the friends who were there for Patti.
Jane loved her many cats. Please donate to the SPCA in lieu of flowers.
A celebration of life will be planned soon.
Arrangements are under the care of Peninsula Funeral Home, 11144 Warwick Blvd., Newport News, VA 23601.