Campus News

Teacher and Preservationist Jane T. Blodgett ’54 Dies

December 9, 2021

Office of Communications

Head shot of Jane Blodgett
Photo credit: Courtesy of Sally Olson

UPDATE: the memorial service for Jane Blodgett will take place at First Church on Saturday, March 26 at 2:00 p.m.

Jane T. Blodgett, 89, of Oberlin, passed away peacefully on November 29, 2021. She was born in Ann Arbor, Michigan, on November 15, 1932 to Herbert and Jessie (McCall) Taggart. She was born into a family of teachers, her mother an English teacher and her father a professor of business. When her father worked for the Pentagon during World War II and her brother was drafted, the family lived in Washington D.C. and were close to the war effort. After high school back in Ann Arbor, she went to Oberlin College where she majored in primary education and received a teaching certificate. 

During her first year at Oberlin, she met her future husband, Geoffrey T. Blodgett. After graduating they married and lived in Cambridge, Massachusetts, and San Diego, California, where she taught school. They returned to Oberlin when Jeff accepted a position at the college teaching American history. Jane was a stay-at-home mom for several years. When she returned to teaching, she directed the First Church Nursery School and then taught in the Oberlin Public Schools. By the end of 26 years of teaching, she had tutored students with learning disabilities and taught every elementary grade. 

Jane’s second career was in the field of historic preservation, serving on the City of Oberlin’s Design Review Committee and chairing the Oberlin Historic Preservation Commission for ten years. During her tenure as chair, she wrote an ordinance passed by City Council to protect the historic character of city landmarks, initiated a plaque program for those landmarks, and educated the community about preservation through programs and publications. Jane also published two of her husband’s works after his death in 2001, a collection of pieces about Oberlin history and a digital version of his popular course, The Social History of American Architecture. 

She was an active member of the First Church in Oberlin for many decades, serving on committees and in several of the congregation’s ministries. When she moved to Kendal at Oberlin, she became active in that community. Jane loved being a mother and grandmother, reading and gathering with book groups, travel, walking, supporting charitable and progressive causes, and spending time with her family and friends. 

Jane is survived by her daughters, Laurie (Rick) Sharpe, Barbara Blodgett, and Sally (Jim) Olson; grandchildren Ricky, Jennifer, Sarah, and Amy; and many loving nieces and nephews. Her daughters and one granddaughter have all become teachers, continuing the family tradition. 

A public service of memorial will be held January 8, 2022 at 2:00 p.m. at the First Church in Oberlin. Contributions may be made in Jane’s name to the Geoffrey T. Blodgett Endowed Memorial Scholarship Fund, Oberlin College Office of Advancement, P.O. Box 72110, Cleveland OH 44192-0002. Cowling Funeral Home, Oberlin, has been entrusted with arrangements.

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