Jane M. Gafvert, generous, well-loved

September 15, 2017

Jane M. Gafvert died at home in Rehoboth Beach, Monday, Aug. 14, 2017, surrounded by her children and grandchildren. She had recently celebrated her 90th birthday.

Jane grew up in Slingerlands, N.Y., where she attended the Albany Academy for Girls, as did her three sisters. She attended Antioch College in Yellow Springs, Ohio, and graduated with a degree in business management and French studies. There she met engineering student Ross J. Gafvert, of Green Bay, Wis. They married and raised four children in Yellow Springs.

Later, Jane pursued a master’s degree in library science at the University of Denver. This led to a job at Antioch Law School in Washington, D.C., where one of her sisters also resided. Jane loved D.C. for its culture and proximity to the beach, which she had always enjoyed.

Jane and her daughter Sara opened a small boutique in Rehoboth Beach in the ‘80s; then later Jane moved on to a short career at the Delaware State Library. After retiring from the state, she managed the Medical Library at Beebe Hospital for another 10 years. Many people recognize Jane from her standing in for daughters Sara and Susan who, meantime, had opened another boutique, Dragonfly Designs.

Jane was generous and well-loved across generations. She was curious and loved traveling just about anywhere. She loved architecture, anthropology and native peoples of the world, and nature, too. She enjoyed gardening, long rides on her trike, and baking for her grandchildren.

Jane was predeceased by her daughter Rachel Gafvert Dillon, of Yellow Springs, and her sister Joanna M. Becker of Washington, D.C. She is survived by sisters Patricia M. Fuchs of Florida and Ann M. Barnard of New Hampshire; daughters Susan and Sara Gafvert; son Peter Gafvert; daughter-in-law Fran Schwartz Gafvert; and grandchildren Rebecca Gafvert, Scott Gafvert, John and Laura Dillon, and Alex Lotscher.

Family and friends will gather Saturday, Oct. 14, to celebrate a life well-lived. If you wish to make a donation to honor Jane's life, the family suggests donations be made to Teaching Tolerance at or


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