Remembering Anna Jane....

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Dear Laurie and Jenn,

 

We were thrilled to take a walk around Westtown Lake on Sunday, June 28 in memory of Anna Jane. We rode our bikes to school, then walked the perimeter, taking in the turtles, the wood ducks, and the geese. It was a beautiful day, and we were glad to be on campus again.

 

We attended Meeting for Worship in the Westtown Meeting House right afterwards, and I was filled with gratitude for your whole family. Since that day would have been the memorial meeting for your mom that you had planned pre-pandemic, I was moved to speak in Meeting and remember your whole family. I spoke about my gratitude for Anna Jane's consistent good cheer and smiling support of everyone she came in contact with, Warren's creativity and modeling of how to collaborate with other artists on theater productions, and the sweet presence on campus of you two adorable young girls who were clearly well nourished in spirit by your exceptional parents. Your family was part of the web that made Westtown so special, and able to nurture young students (and later young teachers) like me. 

 

I specifically mentioned the time I sat in the theater as a new young teaching intern, after a rehearsal (I can't remember which production specifically) while Bruce Smith, Hugh Cronister, and Warren discussed how the set, the lighting, and the staging could come together. It was the best example of open, generative collaboration I had ever seen. No egos were involved, just creative possibilities, and the results were magnificent. What a gift to me to observe and learn from.

 

I also had your dad for SAD (scenic arts design) as a student when an injury prevented me from doing athletics. Your dad was such a good storyteller, and he so obviously adored his family.

 

Your mom was a consistent light to everyone: curious, kind, and thoughtful. I can't picture her face without a smile on her lips. She was so joyful. Denis remembers that she was always such fun to talk to. She and your dad brought new, vibrant energy to the school as the older guard was nearing retirement. They carried on the same spirit of that venerated group, but with vigor and youthful energy. It was contagious and inspiring, especially to new teachers like us (at that time: we aren't so "new" anymore!)

 

After I shared my message, Marcia Hepps '73, who was also at the Meeting, spoke as well about your family. So the memorial service happened in a modified way, and I was glad that the Meeting House held memories of Anna Jane that morning.

 

Much love to you all, and may our paths cross again!

 

Fondly,

Judy and Denis

Judy and Denis Nicholson Asselin

Cheyney, Pennsylvania

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