Folsom Funeral Service

Sears, Helen Jane

Helen Jane Sears, 92, a retired Milton High School guidance counselor, and, until recent years an active South Shore Hospital lay chaplain, died May 2nd at North Hill, a retirement community in Needham, MA.  She is survived by her sister, Victoria Sears Thaler O’Gorman, also of Needham, MA and many nephews, nieces and great-nephews and-nieces.  She was particularly close to her sister Victoria’s children and their spouses: Richard W. Thaler, Jr., and his wife, Mary, of Bronxville, NY; Thomas W. Thaler and his wife, Grace, of Boston, MA; Roderick P. Thaler and his wife, Jane, of Oyster Bay, NY; Warren S. Thaler and his wife Erica, of Ardmore, PA; and Victoria Thaler Cabot and her husband Toby, of Dedham, MA.  She was predeceased by her older brothers,Thomas E. Sears, Jr. and Richard W. Sears, but remained close to their children, Joan Sears Porta, and her husband, Tim, of Windham, ME and Richard W. Sears, Jr. and his wife Cathy, of Cohasset, MA.


Miss Sears, the daughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. Thomas E. Sears of Braintree, MA, graduated from Thayer Academy in 1938, and then attended The Northampton School for Girls and Jackson College (Tufts University), graduating in the class of 1943.


Jane, as she was known to her friends, was an excellent athlete and a member of the Athletic Hall of Fame at Thayer Academy and the  ”Jumbo Club” at Tufts where she earned twelve varsity letters as an undergraduate. Jane was also on the Alumni Council, Co-Chaired her 50th reunion and served as class secretary and Homecoming Marshall.


 As a youth, Jane and her sister Vicky trained with tennis legend, Mrs. Hazel Wightman, and competed throughout the Northeast. Jane was a fixture at the Longwood Cricket Club in Chestnut Hill and helped “bachelored” husbands win mixed doubles in the summer months. 


When not on the court, Jane’s other passion was sculling on the Charles as a member of the Cambridge Boat Club.


Just out of college, Jane made her mark as the first woman director of the YMCA in Boston by founding the West Roxbury branch. Jane demonstrated her strong skills by personally pitching hardballs and organized programs for a wide spectrum of youths. 


For those who knew Jane well, she was a lifetime die-hard Red Sox fan. She was born in 1918, just after The Sox won their fifth World Series title, and she waited eighty-six years for them to win another! For over thirty five years, her support included sharing a season ticket with her family. She was a regular supporter in good times and bad.


Besides Jane’s extensive travels, her lifelong interest was church volunteering.  She was a devoted parishioner at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church, a particularly rewarding aspect of her twilight years while a resident at North Hill.  A memorial service celebrating her life will be held at the Wellesley Hills Congregational Church on Saturday, May 14th at 2PM. Burial is private. In lieu of flowers, donations in memory of Miss Sears may be made to the West Roxbury YMCA, 15 Bellevue Street, West Roxbury, MA 02132.


Guestbook Entries

  1. May 4th, 2011 | 7:50 am

    Miss Sears was a wonderful guidance counsellor for me. She gave direct and targeted advice and was especially helpful in suggesting what a student ought to do to try to surmount seemingly insurmountable obtacles. My condolences to her family. She will be missed!

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Folsom Funeral Service

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