July 18: Jane Kromer Kean (2008)

Jane Kromer Kean was the wife of Epiphany’s twelfth rector, Charles Duell Kean. For many at Epiphany, Jane was a precious link to the past. She faithfully attended Epiphany for the 45 years following her husband’s death, but Jane was much more than just the rector’s wife. She was an accomplished person in her own right. Born at Fort Oglethorpe, Georgia, her father was an Army officer – West Point, Class of 1899. She moved to Washington as a child. After graduating from Western High School, she attended the University of Arizona, where she was on the tennis and swimming teams. Jane’s father, General Leon B. Kromer, was chief of cavalry at Fort Myer. As a cavalryman, the general was a noted rider. Jane became an accomplished rider as well (see accompanying photo).

After her marriage in 1939 to Charles Kean, Jane lived in New York, Springfield, MA and Kirkwood, MO before returning to Washington in 1954 when Dr. Kean became Epiphany’s rector. Jane became involved with the Episcopal Center for Children, a five-day residential program for mildly and moderately emotionally disturbed children. She was the center’s financial and administrative officer from 1958 until her retirement in 1982. She cared so much about the mission of the center that she continued working as a volunteer after she retired. In her later years, Jane spent time sorting contributions of toiletries that are distributed to the homeless by social workers on behalf of the Downtown Cluster of Congregations. A funeral service was held for Jane at Epiphany following her passing on July 18, 2008. Her cremains were eventually placed in Epiphany’s new columbarium, next to those of her husband’s.

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2 Comments

  1. Maurine H. Beasley

    Wed 19th Jul 2017 at 1:20 am

    Today her daughter carries on the tradition of helping others by collecting items that can be given away.

    Reply
  2. Eve Webster

    Wed 02nd Aug 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I am glad to read this. I was a class-mate of her daughter’s.
    My mother was a great admirer of Jane and Charles, and did a lot of volunteer work at Epiphany (canvass, Lenten lunches). I well remember the Kean’s hospitality during my school days.

    Reply

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