Jane Whitney, my friend and sommelier at Glen Manor Winery near Front Royal, Virginia, died unexpectedly on February 5, 2019.  The area was just coming out of a deep freeze.

That Tuesday, Jane’s friend, Nancy Border Forest stopped by Jane’s house in Bentonville.  Nancy was taking her golden retriever with her to pick up another dog at the groomers.  Nancy never arived at the groomers.

The surmise is that the golden retriever escaped onto the half frozen pond on Jane’s property and fell through the thin ice.  Both women went out to try and rescue the dog.  All three were found dead the next day by Warren County sherrifs.

Jane, the owner of at least three rescue dogs, died as she lived–helping others.  In addition to working at Glen Manor Winery, Jane also volunteered and was on the board at the Front Royal Women’s Rescue Center and Blue Ridge Hospice.

She was from England, becoming an American citizen in 1979 when she married Scott C. Whitney and moved to the United States.  She was a lawyer in England and had met Scott when they were both teaching at Exeter  University Law School.

Jane was a lady of wit and wisdom.  When my friends and I visited the winery, she always took time to chat with us and catch up on what was going on in each others lives. She would talk about her many trips to the Charlottesville area when she drove a friend down there for medical treatment at the UVA hospital.

We first met Jane back in the 1990s when she worked at Linden Winery in Linden, Virginia.  We were very happy to re-make her acquaintance when Jeff White opened Glen Manor winery about 2009.  (Jeff planted his vineyard in 1995 and originally sold wine through Linden before opening his own wine some years later.)



23 thoughts on “Heroine”

  1. That is such sad news. Deaths like theirs affect far more than their close families. As part of an extended community, you enjoyed these women’s company and have memories that are now part of your own life. I know some part of your own loss, even from a distance. Thank you for sharing what you are feeling today. Jane and her friend, Nancy, are still alive in your memories, and now in mine.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of this sad loss of yours and that of the families and entire community!
    I’ve stayed overnight in Front Royal, VA, several times, when my former husband and I used to travel back and forth between homes in NC and MI. Such a pretty area.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. It really is shocking news. I live in Caracas and it is a tropical climate. I imagine that the cold wreaks havoc in your locality and unfortunately took some great people. It is a big pain that only time brings to close. A hug.


    1. Thank you for your warm thoughts. Now could you send a little of that warm weather this way also? I never did hear if it was drowning or hypothermia. I’m hoping it was quick and painless.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. It is. On Saturday we drove the two hours to try to attend the memorial service. (This will almost sound like one your adventures.) We got to Front Royal early and stopped for coffee at a Starbucks. Twenty minutes later when we got back in the car to drive to the church, the car wouldn’t start. After several unsuccessful tries when we could hear the engine trying harder to start we gave up and called a tow truck. The tow truck driver arrived within 20 minutes, jumped the car with a portable battery and told us to not stop the car again until we got home. We got back in the car, drove it back to Charlottesville and were lucky enough to find a battery/bulb shop that was open and able to switch out the battery while we waited. The car now works but we never did get to the memorial service. Jane is supposed to be buried in Arlington Cemetary later in the Spring or this summer and we will try to go to that event.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I only came across this tragic news when I started to search the internet when I hadn’t heard from Jane for some time. My husband, Mike, and I got to know Jane at Exeter University when, as students, Jane helped us out with a small legal problem. We all became good friends and used to spend many happy hours drinking coffee and solving the world’s problems. Jane was always so elegant and her kindness knew no bounds. We are so sad to hear of her passing

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Thank you for responding! I think I have traced Jane’s brother and will try and telephone him soon. Sadly we have no pictures of Jane, but her caring nature and quick wit will live with me for ever.

        Liked by 1 person

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