Jane Sangster Skakel SARASOTA, Fla. — Jane Sangster Skakel, adventurer, truth seeker, rebel, philanthropist, a person with attitude, smart in all the ways we use the word, generous beyond description, the very best friend, lived full and lived large. She died by her own hand in her own time on Aug. 13, 2019, in Sarasota, Florida. Jane was fully present in the world, whether working as a fire lookout on Okemo Mountain as a young woman or as office manager for Vermont folk artist Warren Kimble in more recent years. In between, she worked at the Killington Lodging Bureau, as U.S. program director at Volunteers for Peace, for the artist Susan Sargent and more recently, as a bookkeeper in Sarasota, where she had moved after the death in 2010 of her beloved husband, Mark Skakel. Although proficient at any task she took on, jobs did not define Jane. Born in Milford, Massachusetts, on Oct. 4, 1948, the daughter of Donald and Dorothy (Evelyn) Sangster, Jane inherited her mother’s love of books, art and music and her father’s thirst for travel. By high school, she was determined to be an independent explorer of life and, at age 16, ran away from boarding school and began trekking the world. An early adventure took her from Spain to Asia, driving in a Land Rover with Michael Hopgood, whom she later married. Later, she traveled to Nepal with her second husband, Donn Crofoot, with whom her son, Will Crofoot, was born. Along with Will, she is survived by a brother, J. Douglas Sangster and wife Phyllis, of Bozeman, Montana, and their children Todd and Jodi Sangster. Jane attended Johnson State College, Goddard College and Community College of Vermont but, as with professions, Jane’s education was more self-directed and eclectic than traditional as she explored world religions and cultures, meditation and self-realization. She studied watercolor painting in recent years and became quite proficient. Actually, Jane lived on beauty, blending her appreciation of good food, art, music, ballet and nature with her desire to understand the world beyond the veil. She shared this desire with her son, traveling with him on an extensive journey to Myanmar, Thailand, Vietnam, Laos and Cambodia, and with friends on trips to Mexico, South and Central America, Krakow, Prague, Budapest and, most recently, Japan. Everywhere she went, she absorbed. She had a great laugh and loved the f-word. Jane and her husband, Mark, were generous supporters of the arts and many community organizations. They were also politically engaged, both here in Vermont and nationally as Mark served on select and other boards in Wallingford and Shrewsbury while Jane campaigned for Vermont state and national candidates, including extensive on-the-ground work for President Barack Obama in Florida. Mark’s sudden death from a heart attack nearly a decade ago was a blow. Once, in remembrance, Jane posted these words from D. H. Lawrence on Mark’s Facebook page: When fulfilled people die the essential oil of their experience enters the veins of living space, and adds a glisten to the atom, to the body of immortal chaos. Jane has added her body. Last week, in her last message to friends, near and far, she signed off, “runaway, outlaw, mother, partner.” Those who know and love Jane, add one more word: Friend. A local gathering to celebrate Jane’s life is planned for early fall.

(1) entry

R Munson

I did not know Jane but I was drawn to her obituary by her smiling face. I was moved by what was written and feel fortunate to have met her through the author of this obituary. All of the people who really knew her must be better people for that. I know all of your memories will help keep her alive in your hearts.

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