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Jane Watkins Hitchins, 85, of Sewickley, passed away Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, at Concordia Franklin Park. Jane was born July 18, 1933, in Massillon, Ohio, to the late Mabel Curtis Parker and Benjamin Harrison Watkins. Jane's family moved to Warren, Ohio, during grade school and she graduated from Warren High School in 1951. She attended Denison University in Granville, Ohio, for two years, and transferred to Carnegie Tech. She graduated from there in 1955 with a bachelor of arts degree in secretarial studies. She was a member of Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority and continued to participate in alumna activities after college. While at Carnegie Tech, Jane met and fell in love with Larry Hitchins, a graduate student at Tech. Larry also graduated in 1955 and they were married on Sept. 24 of that year. They moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where they lived for two years, and then returned to the Pittsburgh area. They lived in the North Hills until 1968, when they moved to Sewickley. Jane worked as a realtor in Sewickley for 25 years, retiring in 2003. She had a successful career and received numerous awards. Jane was very active in the church she attended, St. Stephen's Anglican Church, in Sewickley. She was president of the Women's Organization at the church in the 1970's when they got permission from the church to open a tearoom called The Crumpet, in a vacant house on the church property. The tea room eventually moved to The Christy House, a historical home also on the church property at the corner of Frederick and Walnut Streets. It continues to operate there along with a few small shops. Jane was on the board of The Christy House up to the time of her illness, and for some time served as chairman. As was the Crumpet, The Christy House is operated by the women of the church. Jane served as a Lay Eucharistic Minister at the church and was also on the Chapel Prayer Team. Jane, along with her husband, Larry, served on the board of Parish Mansions, a non-profit organization founded by members of St. Stephen's Church. It owns two apartment buildings on Walnut St., in Sewickley. Its purpose is to rent the apartments at below market rates to older people who could not otherwise afford to live within the village of Sewickley. Jane loved to travel. She accompanied Larry on numerous trips, domestic and to Europe and England. She also took tours herself to Europe, England and the Middle East. Jane also loved her winter home in Venice, Fla., where Jane and Larry purchased an apartment when Larry retired, and where they spent several months each winter. They were active members of Good Shepherd Episcopal Church in Venice. Jane belonged to the Trowel and Error Garden Club in Sewickley and was very active in the Sewickley Child Health Organization. She is survived by her husband, Lawrence "Larry" Hitchins; two children, Stephanie Lerew and Owen (Dorothy) Hitchins; also grandchildren, Ian (Amanda) Lerew and Caitlin Lerew, Patrick Hitchins, Claire Hitchins and Pierce Hitchins; and one great grandchild, Reed Lerew. Besides her parents, Jane was also predeceased by a sister and two brothers. A memorial service will be held at 10 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 22, 2018, in St. Stephen's Anglican Church, 405 Frederick Ave., Sewickley, PA 15143, with a luncheon to immediately follow in the church. The Rev. Dr. William T. Henry, celebrant. Private interment will be in the National Cemetery of the Alleghenies. Arrangements are by COPELAND'S Sewickley. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to The Christy House, St. Stephen's Church.
The Christy House, St. Stephen's Church
405 Frederick Ave., Sewickley PA 15143