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.)