Jane Hillig Strauss
August 21, 1935 – September 2, 2020
JANE H STRAUSS, died at home in Faber, Nelson County, Virginia on September 2, 2020. She was born in Washington, DC August 21, 1935 to Fred and Dorothy Gould Hillig; predeceased by her brother Dr. Bernard J. Hillig. She is survived by her spouse Charles A. “Chuck” Strauss, and their three sons Charles, Jr, (Heidi), Christopher Andrew (Penny), and Matthew Walter (Vicki). Grandchildren are Rebekah Strauss, Christopher Strauss, Jr, Phillip Strauss, Jamie Strauss, Elizabeth Strauss, Caleb Strauss, and many nieces and nephews.
A most colorful and complete person, Jane had many facets of her life career. In addition to her family of three sons, her accomplishments include her music and liturgy careers, plus her numbers of years as an active emergency medical technician.
Liturgical/church interests began while living in the Washington, DC archdiocese, serving on the family life bureau. Jane was active in the choir at the Norbertine Daylesford Abbey in Paoli, PA, beginning in the early 1970s through 1990 when Jane and Chuck moved to Edenton, NC. There Jane became choir director, lay liturgist and Lector for St. Anne Parish, eventually earning a Certificate in Lay Formation from the Diocese of Raleigh, and serving on its Liturgical Commission. She organized Lector and Eucharistic Minister Workshops at St. Anne Parish—and eventually for St. Mary Parish in Lovingston, VA.
Jane graduated from the Academy of the Holy Cross in Washington; she attended St. Joseph College in Emmitsburg, MD until 1954 when she transferred to The Catholic University of America in Washington. She graduated in 1957 with a bachelor’s degree in English literature. (In fact, it was in her English Lit 201 Class where Jane and Chuck first got acquainted.)
Married on a snowy February 1, 1958 at St. Anne’s Church in Tenleytown, DC, Jane and Chuck started their wonderful married life as one person in Christ. A memorable honeymoon at the Market Square Tavern in Colonial Williamsburg followed—see below for their 50th Anniversary “Honeymoon.”
Children started coming in 1959, then 1963 and 1965—Charles Alexander Jr., Christopher Andrew, and Matthew Walter, respectively.
Family life started basically in Bethesda, MD at their first house. Jane quickly became involved in neighborhood and parish and diocesan activities. In 1971 because of professional occupation changes, they moved to Malvern in Chester County, PA.
A major highlight of living in Chester County was the ability to become involved with the Roman Catholic Norbertines of Daylesford Abbey. The relationship continued and grew, including the music ministry, and eventually becoming lifetime Associates of the Abbey.
In Chester County both Jane and Chuck volunteered with the local fire association—Jane as an EMT and Lieutenant of the Ambulance Corps, the East Whiteland Township, PA volunteer fire company. She earned status as an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) for that company plus the volunteer fire company in nearby Malvern, PA—eventually becoming an instructor for the Chester County, PA Emergency Medical Services.
Moving to Edenton, NC in 1990, they became immersed in Coastal Carolina Culture and Arts, with Jane continuing as an EMT for the Edenton-Chowan Rescue Squad. They also were involved in Edenton’s Little Theatre, with Jane producing, directing and acting in several plays.
Their restored early 20th Century house was literally in the side yard of St. Anne’s Catholic Church, the parish they joined when moving to Edenton.
Jane said her bags were always packed – she loved to travel. In the US, thanks to membership in the Evergreen Bed and Breakfast Club, Chuck and Jane visited a great number of states and met really nice people. Elderhostels happened too, with travels to exciting places like Quebec, northwest New Mexico and St. Ben’s College in St. Joseph, Minnesota, where they met Sister Lois Wedl and developed a wonderful continuing friendship.
Travel abroad was available—including a pilgrimage to Europe where their group from Daylesford Abbey visited a number of Norbertine Abbeys. Jane, a confirmed Anglophile, was delighted to plan and implement a trip to the United Kingdom. Visiting a storybook London, Bath, the Malvern Hills of Wales, the Lake District, Yorkshire and Manchester. As an English Literature major, Jane happily visited Wordsworth’s Dove Cottage and the home of Beatrix Potter, Peter Rabbit’s creator.
Moving in 1998 to the Sunrise Side of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains, they began to enjoy Nelson County’s lovely rural nature and its people. Having “retired” from paid professional life, both Jane and Chuck volunteered with local and regional organizations such as Literacy Volunteers, Habitat for Humanity, the local Area Agency on Aging, and the Nelson County Memorial Library Board.
They became volunteer Ombudsmen, working with and for the residents of nursing homes, and participating in related “aging” issues for Nelson County and the Charlottesville, VA region, notably the Community Partnership for Improved Long Term Care.
In 2008, their sons hosted a 50th Anniversary Party, sending the couple to Colonial Williamsburg; they stayed again at the Market Square Tavern—and Colonial Williamsburg’s management honored their return by granting them a one night stay at the tavern at the 1958 room rate of $7.00! The succeeding party was a wonderful event with family and friends from the local area as well as from Pennsylvania.
Jane and Chuck’s three sons and their spouses provided six grandchildren: Rebekah is scheduled to provide the first great grandchild in February of 2021!
Memorial contributions may be made in Jane’s name to the Nelson County Memorial Library, PO Box 321, Lovingston, VA 22949; Daylesford Abbey, 220 South Valley Road, Paoli, PA 19301; Church of the Incarnation, 1465 Incarnation Drive, Charlottesville, VA 22901; Hospice of the Piedmont, 675 Peter Jefferson Parkway, Charlottesville, VA 22911
Celebrations of Ms. Jane’s life will be held at The Church of the Incarnation, Charlottesville, VA on Tuesday, September 22 at 2:00 pm and Daylesford Abbey, Paoli, PA on Tuesday, October 13 at 1:00 pm.
Celebration of Life
Tuesday, September 22, 2020
Celebration of Life
Tuesday, October 13, 2020
Jane Hillig Strauss
Ellen Kelly Mohr
September 22, 2020
Jane and Chuck have been Friends for a very long time. Beautiful memories come rushing in and I feel a very deep sadness. What a wonderful human being : kind, selfless always, and full of fun ! You will always feel her presence, Chuck.....Jane is with you . Since God is in your life I trust, because of this , that you and the Family will find some measure of Comfort. Affectionately, Ellen Mohr.
September 14, 2020
Jane came back into my life when I needed a friend. She was indeed that and more. Her smile and compassion for all of God's children emanated from her. I feel blessed to have been her friend from Maryland and the Outer Banks. My sincere condolences to Chuck and her entire family. Love, Kaye
September 10, 2020
Matt, Vicki and family I am sorry for your loss. Keeping your family in my prayers.
September 7, 2020
Bill and I have fond memories of singing with Jane and Chuck in the 9 am choir at the Church of the Incarnation in Charlottesville, VA. We looked forward to the frequent small group "pot-luck gatherings of mutual friends at their home in Nelson County. What a full, blessed, generous life Jane experienced. We send our prayers to the entire family.
Bill and Connie Porter
September 6, 2020
Sending much love and sympathy to Uncle Chuck and all the family.
Have a beautiful memory of attending a very small Mass with Aunt Jane and Uncle Chuck and my mother, Mitzi Cupp, in Charlottesville one Summer. It was a weekday Mass and there may have been 9 people celebrating together.
I recall Aunt Jane's beautiful voice in song; her love and joy was so apparent in her voice when celebrating God.
Aunt Jane, we remember you with love,
September 4, 2020
I have been blessed to have Jane & Chuck in my life for over 20 years. They have been there through every adult life event. I’ve been so thankful to know they are always there. Jane was always smiling & able to tell me all about the book she was currently reading, As her hairdresser, we got a lot of time together. She was always so positive & I aspire to be half the woman she was. Heaven has definitely gained an angel! I love & miss you Jane. I love you Chuck & pray for peace.
September 4, 2020
Such a beautiful lady, inside and out, always wearing a smile. You will be missed by all of us, but so blessed to have known you.