Jane Caywood Oelkers

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Jane Caywood Oelkers

March 24, 1948 - November 21, 2018

Jane Caywood Oelkers Rochester, NH - Jane E. (Caywood) Oelkers, passed away surrounded by her husband and three daughters on Nov. 21, 2018, in Rochester, N.H., at the age of 70. She was born in Stoneham, Mass., to Roland Wade Caywood and Marietta (Burtch) Caywood on March 24, 1948. She is survived by her husband of 47 years, Jeffrey Carl Oelkers; her eldest daughter Sarah Jane Bullwinkel, and son-in-law Aaron J. Bullwinkel of Groton, Mass.; her middle-daughter Kathryn Grace Oelkers of Wakefield, N.H.; her youngest daughter Madeleine Oelkers Hilpert and son-in-law Brock O. Hilpert of Seattle, Wash.; and the four grandchildren who were the joy of her life, Matthew Henry Bullwinkel, Kathryn Jane Bullwinkel, Hayden Oelkers Hilpert, and Harper Oslund Hilpert. She is also survived by her older sister Donna Sargent of Ohio; her younger sister Julie Chapin and brother-in-law James Chapin of Chatham; as well as many beloved nieces and nephews. She is predeceased by her eldest brother James R. Caywood of California.

Jane grew up in Reading, Mass., and attended Reading Memorial High. She graduated from Ithaca College with high honors and a B.A. in literature in 1970. It was in Ithaca, N.Y., that she met her husband Jeff as he attended Cornell University. Shortly after graduation, on January 23, 1971, Jane married Jeff in Reading, Mass.

As a longtime resident of Amesbury, Mass., Jane was a pillar member of the Main Street Congregational Church where she sang soprano in the choir, played in the hand-bell choir, directed the children’s choir as well as the children’s hand-bell choir, and served as church secretary. From 1988–1991 Jane served as the president of the John Greenleaf Whittier Home Association and volunteered her time managing the Bargain Box thrift store as part of her charitable service. Additionally, Jane served as an assistant librarian at the Amesbury Middle School where she instilled her own love of books in others and was often said to take particular interest in the young people who most needed compassion and a little gentle guidance.

Jane and Jeff retired to Callawassie Island in South Carolina where Jane was an avid reader and tennis player; her ladies tennis team traveling to the regional tournament in Charleston, S.C., was a definite highlight.

Finally, Jane and Jeff found their dream-home on Lovell Lake in Wakefield, N.H. She enjoyed long boat rides, the family “Summer Olympics,” doing puzzles, playing games, sharing her knowledge of genealogy, listening to the loons, and watching the kids splash, swim, and dive. She also enjoyed just sitting on the deck to visit with family, friends, and kind neighbors or simply to read a good book. Of course, she would be pulled back inside to watch her beloved Boston Red Sox. In fact as one of Fenway’s most faithful, she enjoyed seven decades of Red Sox baseball. Her loyalty to and love of the Red Sox was only outmatched by her fierce loyalty to and love of her family and friends.

A service celebrating Jane’s life will be held at Peaslee Funeral Home in Wakefield, N.H., on Saturday, December 1, 2018, at 1p.m. followed by a reception at Tumbledown Farm Cafe from 2 to 4 p.m. Donations may be gratefully made in Jane’s name to the Jimmy Fund.
Published on November 28, 2018
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