In Memoriam – Jeanne Comerford

NORTHAMPTON – Jeanne Comerford, 80, a public school librarian and educator, passed away Monday, Jan. 12, 2015.

Known for her big heart and generosity, Jeanne’s greatest loves were her family and her faith. A New Yorker for most of her life, she attended the Mary Louis Academy, Our Lady of Good Counsel College, and St. John’s University where she studied English literature and library science.

Jeanne was a passionate public school librarian for two decades, inspiring thousands of students to be lifelong readers through her dedication to and belief in the benefits of early literacy. She was known for her abundant creativity and for her keen interest in environmentally-focused children’s literature.

In retirement, Jeanne devoted herself to the National Association of University Women and to Our Lady of Hope parish in Westbury, New York. At Our Lady of Hope, Jeanne was a long time Eucharistic Minister, member of the Rosary Society, and founder of a parish lending library.

Jeanne and her husband Bob were avid travelers, enjoying family trips with their children from Spain to the Grand Canyon, and solo adventures from Rhodes to Cape Breton Island to Alaska. Above all, Jeanne loved her time on the rocky coast of Maine, where her extended family has gathered each summer for decades, and recently, has appreciated the welcoming community at Lathrop, in Northampton.

Jeanne is survived by her husband and best friend of 52 years, Robert Comerford; her daughters Lori Patterson and Joanne Comerford; daughter-in-law Ann Hennessey; grandchildren Sam and Jack Patterson and Chloe and Isaiah Comerford Hennessey; and her nephew Josh Shanley and his fiancee Kristen Johnson. Jeanne is also survived by her brother and sister-in-law James and Janet Shanley of Castine, Maine, as well as a host of cherished Comerford and Shanley nieces and nephews and friends near and far.

Jeanne is predeceased by her younger brother John Shanley, her beloved twin sister Joan Shanley and her son-in-law David Patterson.

The family will hold a wake Friday, Jan. 16, from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Ahearn Funeral Home, 783 Bridge Road, Northampton. The funeral Mass will be held Saturday, Jan. 17, at 10 a.m. at Blessed Sacrament Church, 336 Elm St., Northampton, with a burial to follow at St. Mary’s Cemetery, Northampton.

In lieu of flowers, the family welcomes contributions to the Northampton Survival Center and the Northampton Education Foundation.

Published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette: January 14, 2015