Jane (Murray) Lessels, a compassionate and tough old Keene High Blackbird and UNH Wildcat, died Nov. 4, 2020, one day after her 90th birthday.
Born in her beloved Keene to Julia and Frederick Murray Sr., Jane graduated from Keene High School in 1948 and from the University of New Hampshire in 1952 with a degree in recreation management.
She met classmate Norval “Bing” Lessels of Concord at UNH and they were married April 25, 1953. They moved to Concord in 1954. After her husband died of cancer at the age of 38, Jane was left with three children, ages 10 to 15.
Jane held recreation jobs in her younger days in Keene and Washington, D.C., and then volunteered in recreation when she arrived in Concord. Later, she was a bookkeeper at the Brick Tower Motel. After that, she worked for more than 30 years, helping John Nelson and his family move on from starting the Downtown Athletic Club to making the Racquet Club of Concord the place to go for tennis, recreation and good times in the region.
A champion badminton player, Jane’s many other talents and interests included reading, crossword puzzles, newspapers, gardening, bridge, Trivial Pursuit, shopping, history, rug braiding, knitting, Veano’s and more reading.
Jane was immensely proud of and thrilled to spend any time she could with her nine great-grandchildren: Quinn, A.J., Nora, Natalie, Libby, Cecilia, Cohen, Casey and Maxwell; and her eight grandchildren: Jamie (Zach), Amy (Dave), Jennifer (Jake), Eric (Amelia), Brian (Hannah), Kate, Jake and Alex.
She leaves her children: Allen Lessels (Elaine) of Concord; Dale Daly (Ray) of Concord; and Nancy LeFebvre (John) of Salem. She also leaves nieces and nephews.
Jane was predeceased by her brothers, Frederick Jr. and William, and leaves sisters-in-law Connie Murray of Keene and Betty Murray of Newport, Maine.
Services will be private.