Jeanette "Jan" Borden 

Published: 12/17/2018 10:38:26 AM

Jeanette "Jan" Borden, age 88 of Lexington and Athol MA passed peacefully on December 4, 2018. Devoted wife for 63 years to Jack Borden. Predeceased by her son Deryl and her brother George of Springfield. Loving mother of daughter Blair and beloved mother in-law of Blair's husband Neil Ruocco. Special Nanny to Sam and Sydney Ruocco and to Max and Ian Borden of Reading PA.

Born in Westfield MA. Orphaned by age 6 when both her parents died of TB in their mid 20's Jan and her brother were taken in by an austere widow who was paid a small stipend by the state welfare department to raise the kids. Over the seven years she lived in that household she recalls never getting a kiss, a hug, a gentle word of encouragement. Despite it all she went on to become a loving wife, mother, grandmother and aunt. She attributes this success to the love she received from her deceased parents.

Growing up she developed a passion for the outdoors. Gardening, snowshoeing, walks around the corner, daylong hikes with the Appalachian Mountain Club. She could create a masterpiece out of weeds, acorns and tree leaves. She loved feeding birds, chipmunks, squirrels and anything else that was safe to have in or around the house. She would care for any injured animal that she discovered or was brought to her.

She loved cats. There were times she had as many as ten in the house. All of these virtues she passed down to both her children. Her taste in music had no limits. Mozart, the Carter Family, the Saturday afternoon Opera broadcasts, polka tunes. In that vein her children had more contemporary preferences.

Her house was always neat, clean, cozy and welcoming...the rear facing west to some awesome sunsets. After raising her children she went back to school to pursue a culinary degree in baking. She then opened her own bakery, Yankee Strudel in New Salem Mass. Her creations were pure artistry almost too beautiful to eat until you discovered they were as delicious on the inside as they were extraordinary on the outside; just like Jan, style and substance. High among her many virtues was her modesty. She almost never mentioned the call from Harvard requesting an Austrian Linzertort to please a foreign diplomat in Boston for a Conference. The following morning she delivered one and the next day came another call from Cambridge quoting the diplomat as saying it was the best Linzertort he had ever tasted. Nor did she hardly ever mention the two solo parachute jumps she made at the Orange airport!

Those who love her will see her again In the land far beyond, preparing dessert for the angels.

Memorial to be held at a later date.


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