September 3, 1930-October 4, 2022
Jane V. Eaton Meiklejohn was born on September 3, 1930 in New York City, the only daughter of John “Jack” Stafford Eaton, a two-time Oscar winning short-subject film producer; and Eunice Eudora (Berkey) Eaton, a concert pianist who was a soloist at Carnegie Hall with the New York Symphony Orchestra.
Jane is survived by her son Harry Meiklejohn of Los Angeles, CA; Robin Meiklejohn and her husband John “the Grammy Man” Billings of Ridgway, CO; Lesley Jane Fitch and her husband Randy Fitch of Calais, VT; Susan Sinclair and her partner Terry Lomax of Kiaipoi, New Zealand; and three grandchildren, Jonathan Fitch of Calais, VT; Ashley Jane Fitch Herrett and her husband Ryan Herrett of Seattle, WA; and Kieran Sinclair Lomax of New Zealand.
Jane grew up in Larchmont, NY, spent summers on their farm in Pownal, Vermont where her love of Vermont took root; and her mother’s family home in Colorado where her love of the mountains grew. She lived in Denver, CO; Mystic, CT; Wilbraham, MA; Shaftsbury, Worcester, Calais and Montpelier, VT; Jefferson, NH; and built two Vermont Log Homes in Bandon, OR and Ouray, CO. She always loved the outdoors and animals, a love that influenced every decision in her life.
Jane attended Murray Street School in Larchmont, NY, then Rye Country Day School in Rye, NY. She was a self-declared “tomboy” who loved playing in the woods, rope swings, climbing trees behind her house, and playing football and other games with kids in the neighborhood. She attended Middlebury College living in the “Chateau” having to always speak French, transferred to Barnard College in New York City, and later attended Goddard College’s adult degree program in Vermont where she received her Bachelor’s degree and later a Master’s degree.
Jane was a writer, poet, and photographer. Her first job was working for Time Magazine in NYC where as a woman in the early 1950’s she was limited to clerical tasks, though her sharp writing and organizational skills quickly helped them see she could do much more. She also worked in Boston for the Christian Science Monitor, and later ran a successful craft shop, and taught swimming in Wilbraham, MA. Over the course of Jane’s later working years she was the director of a new day care center in Arlington, VT; Director of the Office of Child Development for the State of Vermont; served on various governor’s committees; was a trainer for the Vermont Office on Aging; a representative to the Western Colorado Congress regarding clean water and energy; and ran an organic food market in Oregon. Jane was also a founding member of the Hunger Mountain Co-op in Montpelier. Jane was also the writer and photographer for a number of articles for Vermont Life Magazine, Yankee Magazine, The Boston Globe and The Times Argus.
As the daughter of a concert pianist, Jane was also a musician playing the piano, organ, auto-harp, and a mean set of spoons. She played Tchaikovsky’s classical ballet music for her daughters’ ballet school, and the organ for her church. She also played the best music for singing Christmas carols.
Throughout her life, Jane was extremely focused on national and world social, political and environmental issues and events. In the early 1970’s she became more politically active and involved, including being present with her camera on the Yale University green when then President Nixon called out the National Guard to resist students protesting the Vietnam War, and at the Black Panther trials. To the end, Jane’s primary interest was what was happening in the world, politics, and the environment.
There will be no public service, but to honor Jane, please play your favorite classical, folk or classic rock music with the volume on high.