Jane P. Votta-Fisher, former Oak Bluffs town clerk, former selectman and respected community leader, died Saturday, March 10, 2012 in Naples, Florida, at the Naples Community Hospital. She was 82.
Jane was born in Providence, Rhode Island, on April 30, 1930 to James F. and Mary C. Cavanaugh Porter. Educated in Rhode Island, she graduated from Tolman High School in Pawtucket and Salve Regina College in Newport.
In 1953, she married Louis G. Votta, who predeceased her in 1991. They moved permanently to the Vineyard during the sixties at which time Jane was office manager at the old Martha’s Vineyard Hospital. She and Louis bought DeBettencourt’s Taxi and U-Drive business, which they operated together.
In 1971, Jane was elected town clerk of Oak Bluffs, a position she held for more than 23 years. In 1975, Jane became a certified municipal clerk.
At that time she was the tenth clerk of the 351 Massachusetts clerks to have attained that distinguished honor. In doing so she was the first clerk from the Cape or the Islands to have achieved this degree. She was a member of the Massachusetts Town Clerks’ Association and she served that Association as President, the first clerk from the Cape or the Islands to have done so.
Soon thereafter she as awarded the degree of “AAE” from the International Institute of Municipal Clerks’. At that time she was also the first clerk from the Cape or the Islands to have attained the degree. She served the International Association on their International Committee and represented the United States in Great Britain, France, and the Netherlands.
Jane served Oak Bluffs in many elected and appointed positions. At various times she was clerk to the Finance Committee, clerk to the Zoning Board of Appeals and office manager for the Oak Bluffs Water Department, the 1980 Centennial Committee and the By-Law Research Committee.
She also served as an Oak Bluffs Selectman, a Director of the Dukes County Regional Housing Authority, and a member of the Martha’s Vineyard Transit Authority. She was a member of the NAACP and the Friends of the Oak Bluffs Council on Aging and served as secretary to that organization.
Jane was devoted to her church and served as secretary and President of the Women’s Guild, she also served as a member of the church council, she was a Lector and a greeter and a member of its finance committee and taught religious education in the “Old Columbus Hall.” Jane became a Eucharistic Minister during 1998 and in the fall of that year Bishop Sean O’Malley bestowed upon her the Marian Medal.
She served as Secretary and President of the Triad Club of Oak Bluffs and was a member of Zonta International and served that organization as secretary.She was a Massachusetts Notary Public and a Justice of the Peace.
In 1993, Jane married Charles B. Fisher III of Washington, D.C., and Oak Bluffs. Charles died in 1994. In recent years, Jane spent her winters in Naples, Florida.
She leaves several nieces and nephews.
There will be a Mass of Christian Burial at Our Lady Star of the Sea Church on Massasoit Avenue in Oak Bluffs on Tuesday, March 13, at 11 am. Burial will follow in Sacred Heart Cemetery in the Votta family plot.
Please omit flowers and make donations to the Good Shepherd Parish, PO Box 1058, Vineyard Haven, MA 02568.
Please visit ccgfuneralhome.com for online guest book and information.