It is with great sadness that we share the unexpected passing of Jane Kathleen Hayward (Willett) at the Oromocto Public Hospital on March 4, 2023, following a lengthy hospitalization. She will be lovingly remembered as a beloved sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.
Jane, the eldest child of Donald and Dorothy Willett, was born on July 24, 1947, in Saint John, NB. The eldest of four children, Jane treasured her relationship with her brother, Gord, and her sisters, Connie and Dianne. After High School, Jane attended Teachers’ College in Fredericton and upon graduation, taught in Saint John for a few years. She was employed for most of her working life at the University of New Brunswick with food services and would often share funny and touching stories relating to her experiences there with her colleagues and all the students she had the pleasure of meeting. This is where she met the love of her life, Ralph. They married in 1981 and happily lived in Ralph’s childhood home in Lincoln until 2009 when they moved into town.
Jane enjoyed being involved in the community and was a long-standing member of Brunswick Street Baptist Church, putting her faith in God, above all. Jane was also a long-time member of the Doris E. Sullivan I.O.D.E Chapter, serving alongside her sisters and niece. She was also a volunteer with the Fredericton Society of Saint Andrew and the NB Highland Games and was very interested in her Scottish heritage. She played the bagpipes for several years and was an avid reader. A highlight in Jane’s life was travelling with her mom, Dot, to visit Scotland.
Jane treated her nieces and nephews with the same love and care as if they were her own. She lovingly referred to herself as ‘Aunt Jane, the Pain with the Cane’ and was adored beyond measure by her ‘kids.’ She always seemed to have a treat on hand, was the first to call on Christmas morning, never forgot a Birthday, and loved to share family history and stories with the next generation. Jane loved Oromocto Lake and sailed and cottaged there during the summer. Many warm and happy memories were made with Jane at the lake where her contagious and unmistakable laugh was recognized by all (especially after telling one of her rather cheeky jokes). Her love of humour can perhaps best be captured by her proudly stating she was a "hooker" - meaning of course, she hooked rugs as a hobby!
Jane is survived by her brother Gord (Martha) Willett and their children Andrew (Stacey), Matthew (Ruth), and Sara; brother-in-law Dave Doherty and his children Cary (Rod) Norquay, Ryan, and Denny; and by Dianne (Rev. Paul) Thompson and their children Nathan (Jim), Joel (Marie), and Leah (Eric) Giggie. Also, by great nieces and nephews Sophie, Kate, Luke, Jack, Kaitlyn, Lauren, Naomi, Hannah, James, Ben, Joey, Eli, Henry, Eloise, Landon, and Talon. Jane was predeceased by her husband, Ralph Hayward, her sister, Connie Doherty (Willett), and her parents, Donald and Dorothy Willett.
A memorial service will be held at a later date. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to River of Life Ministries.
A special thank you to the incredible staff at both the DECH and the OPH. The family would also like to extend a special thanks to Jane’s niece, Cary Norquay, for all the time and dedication she has spent in taking care of Jane while she has been hospitalized.
Online condolences and the sharing of memories may be expressed through www.bishopsfuneralhome.com.