Photo Credit: FRIED ELLIOTT / friedbits.com
Jane-Elizabeth Crusoe Lawrence passed away on November 30, 2016. She was born December 24, 1922 in Hollywood CA to Walter R. Crusoe and Lydia Schaeffer Crusoe. She was a great granddaughter of Luther Reeves Wallace. Her father was co-owner and business manager of "Los Angeles Saturday Night", a weekly magazine newspaper and later worked for Binney & Smith in Easton PA.
When the family decided to move East, they settled on Shippan Point in Stamford and Jane-Elizabeth (as she was always called) entered First Grade at Low-Heywood School, becoming an honors graduate and later a member of the Board of Trustees, a President of the Alumni Association and class agent for many years.
During WWII she was a member of Civil Air Patrol, the Aircraft Warning Service and the War Emergency Radio Service. During this time she met her future husband, Dennis Lawrence of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, a pilot in the Royal Air Force. They were married three years later, on the same day, when they had met, February 22, by Dr. Vincent Daniels at the First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich. They settled in Old Greenwich eventually and raised their three daughters. They are survived by Hilary Lawrence, Avery Lawrence Belicka (Andrew), Alison Lawrence Buxton; five grandchildren, Jessica (Christopher) Kelly, Blair (Patrick) Daley, Gregory Belicka, Brooks (Courtney) Buxton, Reed Buxton, nephew Richard R. Van Loan, niece Peggy Jane Lapin and several nephews and nieces in the USA and England. Dennis predeceased her in 1999.
Community activities were pursued by both. Jane was a member of the Boards of The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, the Greenwich Audubon Society, the Art Barn, the Greenwich Point Committee, the Greenwich Symphony, the Symphony Guild and the Friends of Greenwich Point, while Dennis was active in St. Paul’s Church in Riverside, serving on the Vestry as a Lay Reader and as a teacher in the Sunday School. He later returned to his Anglican roots and was ordained, serving in the newly formed Anglican Church of the Advent in Greenwich. He became the Fleet Chaplain for the OGYC for several years. He also served as a visiting Summer Minister for the Maine SeaCoast Missionary Society on both Monhegan and Matinicus Islands. Both were contributing researchers and editors for Greenwich Historical Society’s publications.
Both were active in sailing circles at Rocky Point Club, Greenwich Cove Racing Association and the Old Greenwich Boat (and later Yacht) Club. Jane was a competitor in the Rhodes 18 Class and the first Instructor for the Junior Program started by GCRA. Dennis ran the YRA races for 20 years without winning the Moosehead. He also had a radio program on WGCH Sunday evenings, courtesy of Sterling E. Watts Hardware, announcing and commenting on the races of that day.
Jane became more deeply involved with the sailing industry in 1963 when she was secretary to E. W. “Skip” Etchells, naval architect and owner of the Old Greenwich Boat Company, builders of Stars and other small one-design boats and eventually the launching of the Etchells Class. When the Company ceased building, Jane joined John Marshall and Peter Conrad in establishing the first sail loft for North Sails on the East Coast. She later worked with Sobstad Sails as well. In 1980 she became the Assistant to Edward D. Muhlfeld, the Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of “Yachting” Magazine.
During many years, Jane also continued activities with the International Star Class. She was editor of the annual LOG and the monthly “Starlights” and had been Fleet Secretary since 1967 for the Central Long Island Sound Fleet, now sailing out of Cedar Point Yacht Club in Westport. She was made an Honorary Special Member of Cedar Point. The Jane C. Lawrence Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually for the CLIS Qualifying Series.
A memorial service will take place at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm. www.fccog.org. In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to The Island Institute, Post Office Box 648, 386 Main Street, Rockland ME 04841, www.islandinstitute.org or The Perrot Memorial Library, 90 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT 06870, perrotlibrary.org.
The following article on Jane Lawrence was published on the Star Class Website OCtober 31, 2016:
Earlier this year Jane expressed a desire to step down as the Central Long Island Sound Star Fleet Secretary. It is noted in the 1967 Log that E. W (Skip) Etchells was Fleet Captain and Mrs. D. (Jane) Lawrence was Secretary. We assume they would have been elected to these positions in late 1966. At the time Jane was working as the office manager at Old Greenwich Boat Co. Skip handed Jane the fleet checkbook one day to pay an expense, as she recalls, the rest was history.
The fleet has been very fortunate to have a Secretary that knows the class, traditions and many of the members around the world. Jane would hitch a ride with one of us to a Gold or Silver Star event and make sure to introduce us to just about everyone at the event. When Jane was not attending she always told those going to say hello to a few people for her. Encouraging emails were sent regularly to our members about championships, regattas and weekend fleet racing.
First thing in the morning Jane could be found greeting, registering and getting caught up with each participant always with a smile at the Bedford Pitcher and when Cedar Point Yacht Club hosted the Districts or North Americans. Of all the regattas, Jane loves the Bedford Pitcher the most because of the history and the beautiful silver trophy. Central Long Island Sound Star Fleet was always one of the first, if not the first, to send dues to Central Office thanks to Jane. Always doing a proper and efficient job. Cedar Point Yacht Club has made her an Honorary Special Member as a recognition to her many years as the Secretary of the Star Fleet.
The Jane C. Lawrence Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually winner of the qualifying series which determines who will represent the fleet in the World Championships. The International Secretary, Ernie Hammer, recognized Jane’s contributions to the class as CLIS Fleet Secretary at the 1986 North Americans in Cleveland. In 1988 Jane edited the Star Log. At the 2009 North American Championships at Cedar Point Yacht Club Jane was recognized for her 43 years of service as our fleet Secretary with the presentation of a beautiful half model of a star.
It has been a great fifty years with her as Fleet Secretary and she will be missed but we will continue to hear from here because of her great love of the Star Class and all her sailing friends around the world.