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Jane Whitman BryceJanuary 4, 2005
ITHACA - Jane Bryce, néé Whitman, died on January 4, 2005 at Hospicare of Ithaca after a courageous 10-year battle with breast cancer. Her husband of 54 years, Dr Wendell Bryce, died on September 20, 2004. She is survived by her four children and eight grandchildren: daughter, Wendy and grandchildren Noah and Tasmin of Acme, Washington; daughter, Jennifer of Ithaca; son, Chip and grandchildren Emily, Olivia and Audrey, also of Ithaca; and daughter, Elizabeth and grandchildren Carey, Stewart and Kathleen of Atlanta, Georgia.
Jane Christine Whitman was born on August 23, 1929 to Norvin and Ellen Wilson Whitman into an extended first-generation immigrant family that filled Central Avenue in Troy, New York with Irish tradition. She attended Russell Sage College, graduating first in her class, and on June 16, 1951 married Wendell Bryce, also of Troy, who was completing his medical studies. Wendell and Jane achieved their goal of a big family by having four children in their first six years of marriage. Their early years were spent in Albany and Richfield Springs, New York, before they settled in Ithaca in 1960.
Jane built her life on faith and family and extended her strength to all who knew her. She had an enormous capacity for giving to others, whether through formal avenues such as parent-teachers' organizations, the Salvation Army, the outreach efforts of the Episcopal Church, or informally through the support she offered to all who knew her. Jane brought her parents to Ithaca after retirement, and cared for them with dedication until their deaths.
She believed that her first commitment was to God, and through God to family. As the wife of a family doctor and the mother of four young children, she buffered demands and offered triage to the sick, fought fiercely for her children's education and opportunities, and offered tea, solace and a ready ear to all. Her dignity and grace carried her through the challenges of life on a farm, and four teenagers growing up in the 1960s. She was kind, but fought hard for justice. She was gracious, but tolerated no wrongdoing. She was humble and gentle in spirit, but held firmly to her principles even in periods of personal hardship. For her husband she was a patient source of comfort and support, for her children she was a safe haven of love and acceptance, and for all who knew her she was a model of quiet strength.
A memorial service will be held at 3 p.m. on Friday, January 7, 2005 at St. John's Episcopal Church of Ithaca, located at 210 Cayuga Street. Arrangements are by the E.C. Wagner Funeral Home of Ithaca. The family requests that those wishing to make a contribution in Jane's name direct their gifts to Hospicare of Ithaca.