Jane A. Wilbur


Jane Anderson Wilbur died peacefully in Marathon, Fla., on Dec. 23, 2017. Her youngest son, Dean, was with her when her time came.

Jane was born on Sept. 20, 1927, the youngest child and only daughter of Jane Miller Anderson and Samuel Pickens Anderson in Charleston, S.C. She grew up in Charleston, and at age 14 she met John Milnor Wilbur, whom she later married. After marrying in Charleston, Jane and John moved north to New England, where John entered seminary in Newton. From there they moved to East Greenwich, R.I., and then Beverly, where John pastored several American Baptist churches, with Jane fulfilling the key role of preacher’s wife. Together they had five children. When their youngest child was in elementary school, Jane went back to school herself, and earned the certification needed to teach music. Professionally Jane became a music educator for 20 years in the Beverly public school system. She could be seen many days loading her guitar and music into the car as she traveled from school to school throughout Beverly. She loved to sing, and was a strong supporter of and singer in choirs and choruses all her life. She had a clear, beautiful soprano voice well into her eighties.

Jane and John loved their large and exuberant family. She is survived by four grown children and six grandchildren. Their five children have lived all over the world, and the six grandchildren have brought great joy. Their children include Cynthia Wilbur Thomas and her husband John Mitchell Thomas of Grand Junction, Colo.; John Milnor Wilbur III and his wife Beth Saint-Amour of Vineyard Haven; Heyward Brent Wilbur; Dean Gordon Wilbur and his wife Cricket Corwin Wilbur of Ipswich; and Ann Wilbur King and her husband Stephen Darst King of Saratoga, Calif. Heyward Brent predeceased Jane and John. John died in 2011.

The six grandchildren are Kelly Jane Wilbur of South Dartmouth; Nicholas Brent Wilbur of West Tisbury; Samuel Gordon Wilbur of Salisbury; and Stephen Darst King Jr., Caroline Bissell King, and Emily Marion King of Saratoga, Calif. Kelly Wilbur recently married Alden Tangen at a beautiful wedding celebration coinciding with Jane’s 90th birthday.

In their retirement years, Jane and John purchased a beautiful Grand Banks trawler, Dixie W VI, and off they went. They cruised the East Coast and the Intracoastal Waterway for more than 10 years, making and sharing many beautiful memories and friendships. They discovered the Florida Keys, where Jane returned for over 10 winters. Most recently Jane resided in the scenic home Downaway on the shores of Lagoon Pond in Vineyard Haven.

A celebratory memorial service will be held on Martha’s Vineyard in summer of 2018.

Memorial contributions can be made to Grace Church, Vineyard Haven, Massachusetts, or Kirk of the Keys Church in Marathon, Fla.