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« Back Post Date: Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Jane Lawrence, sailor par excellence
Jane was lost to us on November 30th.

Jane-Elizabeth Crusoe Lawrence, a racer active in the sailboat industry and a stalwart in the Star Class, died November 30, 2016. Jane was a long-time member of Cedar Point and became a Special Honorary Member in 2003. 


Jane and her husband Dennis were both active in sailing circles at Rocky Point Club, Greenwich Cove Racing Association and the Old Greenwich Boat (and later Yacht) Club.  Jane was a competitor in the Rhodes 18 Class and the first Instructor for the Junior Program started by GCRA. Dennis ran the YRA races for 20 years without winning the Moosehead.  He also had a radio program on WGCH Sunday evenings, courtesy of Sterling E. Watts Hardware, announcing and commenting on the races of that day.

Community activities were pursued by both.  Jane was a member of the Boards of The Garden Club of Old Greenwich, the Greenwich Audubon Society, the Art Barn, the Greenwich Point Committee, the Greenwich Symphony, the Symphony Guild and the Friends of Greenwich Point, while Dennis was active in St. Paul’s Church in Riverside, serving on the Vestry as a Lay Reader and as a teacher in the Sunday School.  He later returned to his Anglican roots and was ordained, serving in the newly formed Anglican Church of the Advent in Greenwich. He became the Fleet Chaplain for the OGYC for several years. He also served as a visiting Summer Minister for the Maine SeaCoast Missionary Society on both Monhegan and Matinicus Islands.  Both were contributing researchers and editors for Greenwich Historical Society’s publications.

Jane became more deeply involved with the sailing industry in 1963 when she was secretary to E. W. “Skip” Etchells, naval architect and owner of the Old Greenwich Boat Company, builders of Stars and other small one-design boats and eventually the launching of the Etchells Class.  When the company ceased building, Jane joined John Marshall and Peter Conrad in establishing the first sail loft for North Sails on the East Coast.  She later worked with Sobstad Sails as well.  In 1980 she became the assistant to Edward D. Muhlfeld, Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of “Yachting” Magazine.

During many years, Jane also continued activities with the International Star Class.  She was editor of the annual LOG and the monthly “Starlights” and has been Fleet Secretary since 1967 for the Central Long Island Sound Fleet, now sailing out of Cedar Point. The Jane C. Lawrence Perpetual Trophy is awarded annually for the CLIS Qualifying Series.

During WWII she was a member of the Civil Air Patrol, the Aircraft Warning Service and the War Emergency Radio Service. During this time she met her future husband, Dennis Lawrence of Gainsborough, Lincolnshire, England, a pilot in the Royal Air Force.  They were married three years later, on the same day when they had met, February 22, by Dr. Vincent Daniels at the First Congregational Church, Old Greenwich. They settled in Old Greenwich eventually and are survived by their three daughters: Hilary Lawrence, Avery Lawrence Belicka (Andrew), Alison Lawrence Buxton; five grandchildren, Jessica (Christopher) Kelly, Blair (Patrick) Daley, Gregory Belicka, Brooks (Courtney) Buxton, Reed Buxton, nephew Richard R. Van Loan, niece Peggy Jane Lapin and several nephews and nieces in the USA and England.  Dennis predeceased her in 1999.

A memorial service will take place at the First Congregational Church of Greenwich, 108 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT Sunday, December 11, 2016 at 1:30 pm.  
www.fccog.org.  In lieu of flowers, please consider memorial contributions to The Island Institute, Post Office Box 648, 386 Main Street, Rockland ME 04841, www.islandinstitute.org or The Perrot Memorial Library, 90 Sound Beach Avenue, Old Greenwich CT 06870, perrotlibrary.org.