Born April 6, 1927, in Watertown, she was the daughter of Rolland Earle Boucher and Elizabeth Hales Boucher. At the age of two, Jane’s mother died and she and her dad went to live with her maternal grandparents until he remarried. Rolland married Dorothy McDonald, who became Jane’s stepmother and raised her through high school. When Jane was 5, Rolland Jr. joined the family. At age 10, the family moved to Pittsfield. Jane entered Dawes Elementary School and, from there, she went to Plunkett School. Jane graduated from Pittsfield High School in 1945. After graduation, she worked for one year in the pattern department at General Electric where she met her longtime friend Anna Esbig. After GE, she enrolled in the Deaconess School of Nursing, Class 1949. In her last six months of training, she was diagnosed with tuberculosis, forcing her to spend a year of bed rest in the Westfield State Sanatorium. At this time, Jane became engaged to David Lawrence Carpenter, while he was attending Boston University. After her release from Westfield, David and Jane were married Aug. 20, 1950, at the First Baptist Church in Pittsfield and moved to Symphony Road in Boston. Soon after their marriage, they applied for foster children at the New England Home for Little Wanderers and moved to their first home in Stoughton.
From there, Jane moved to New Haven, Connecticut, finishing her nursing degree in 1956 from Grace New Haven School of Nursing. While going to school full-time, she was a live-in cottage parent at the Children’s Center, formerly the New Haven Orphan Asylum. Jane and David moved to Great Barrington in the early 1960s and established Vesper Hill Nursery School, a residential facility for 90 children ages newborn to 5 at time of admission with a range of disabilities. After the sale of Vesper Hill Nursery School in 1979, Jane continued to care for disabled children in her own home. She also continued her entrepreneurial spirit, purchasing Jonesy’s Bar & Grill, Carpenter’s Food & Package and the Mill River Store while maintaining multiple rental properties in southern Berkshire County.
Jane is survived by son David A. Carpenter, and wife Nancy Carpenter of New Marlborough; son Jeffrey L. Carpenter and wife Winona Beth Carpenter of New Marlborough, grandchildren Jeb D. Carpenter of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and Jasmine B. Carpenter of Housatonic; and great-grandchildren Jaiden and Olivia Carpenter of Housatonic. She is also survived by son Gregory E. Carpenter and wife Elizabeth Carpenter of Pittsfield; grandsons Joseph P. Carpenter of Pittsfield and Zachary E. Carpenter of Waltham; great-grandsons Markus and Nathan Carpenter of Pittsfield; daughter Susan E. Wynn and husband Charles M. Wynn Jr. of Groton; and granddaughters Jordan, Hannah and Sierra Wynn, also of Groton. She also leaves her foster daughter, Deborah J. Owens, of Springside Nursing Home in Pittsfield. She leaves her longtime friend and companion, Robert W. Gay, of New Marlborough. In addition, she leaves her former sister-in-law, Betty Boucher of California, Missouri; nieces Debbie Boucher Payne of Jefferson City, Missouri, and Diane Terhune of Boise, Idaho; and nephew David Boucher also of Boise, Idaho. She is grateful for the support she has received from her friend Carol Esbig of Framingham. She was predeceased by adopted daughter Bonnie Lynn Carpenter; brother Rolland “Bud” Boucher; former husband David L. Carpenter; and Anna Esbig, Jane’s friend for over 69 years.
Jane had many joys in life, but some of the most cherished include watching her birds; subscribing to the Berkshire Eagle for over 45 years; her gardens; and following the adventures of her friends, children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren on Facebook and email.
A graveside service for Jane Carpenter will be held Saturday, Oct. 21, at 11 a.m. at the New Marlborough Cemetery in New Marlborough. The family will receive friends Thursday, Oct. 19, from 4 to 6 p.m. at the BIRCHES-ROY FUNERAL HOME, 33 South St., Great Barrington, MA 01230. In lieu of flowers, expressions of sympathy in Jane’s memory may be made to Soldier On in care of the funeral home. Condolences may be made through birchesroyfuneralservices.com.