Obituary: Ellen ‘Jane’ Pasman

Ellen “Jane” Pasman passed away peacefully in her home on Boca Grande on January 22, 2017 with her children by her side. 

She left this world 11 weeks to the day after her devoted husband of 59 years, Jim. When people speak of the Greatest Generation, they focus mainly on the men, but it applies equally to the women – our mother especially.

Jane was outstandingly capable in whatever she did, and whatever she did, she did it beautifully. As partners, Jane and Jim were an inseparable team who got so much from life and gave so much to the lives of all who knew them. Born Ellen Jane Kullman on August 8, 1933 in Newark, N.J. to Mr. and Mrs. Frederic Daniel Kullman, Jane spent her childhood years in Maplewood, N.J. She attended Columbia High School and went on to earn her nursing degree at Mountainside Hospital School of Nursing, with a residency in pediatrics at New York Hospital.

Summers were spent on the Jersey shore, where Jane and Jim met in Bay Head. They were engaged in April 1956, married the following year and settled in Summit, N.J. as Jim began his career in finance.

A devoted wife and mother, she left nursing to raise their three children and numerous pets that included dogs, bunnies, rehabilitated birds, stray cats, and even a raccoon. The family moved with Jim’s career opportunities and Jane embraced volunteer work in the communities where they lived. She contributed to non-profits for children and land preservation including the Children’s Home of Pittsburgh and Beechwood Farms Nature Preserve, Nantucket Conservation Foundation, the Boca Grande Child Care Center and Gasparilla Island Conservation and Improvement Association.

Devoted to her Catholic faith, Jane was a cherished parish member at St. Scholastica (Pittsburgh, PA), St. Vincent de Paul (San Francisco, CA), Saint Mary’s, Our Lady of the Isles (Nantucket, MA) and Our Lady of Mercy, Boca Grande. At heart, she was a natural born artist no matter the medium; gardening, flower arranging, painting, Nantucket Lightship basket weaving and in later years, her meticulously designed Sailor’s Valentines.

Jane was prolific in her passions, and generous in sharing her knowledge with others. As an active member of the Garden Club of Allegheny County and Fox Chapel Garden Club in Pittsburgh, and The Planters and Women’s Club in Boca Grande, she was a mentor to so many.

Her family and friends were her biggest fans and grateful recipients of her beautiful gifts. An elegant woman with exquisite taste, Jane had a passion for all things blue and white, and the fine art of entertaining. She raised her children with an abundance of love, while also stressing the importance of proper manners, table setting, serving and clearing. She never missed the opportunity to pass these lessons on to her most adored grandchildren who are determined to write a “Mimi Manual” in her honor. No doubt it will be a best seller.

Jane is survived by her children, James Spencer Pasman III, of Boston, MA; daughters, Suzanne Tracy Pasman of San Francisco, CA and Caroline Pasman Craig; and son-in-law, Richard Paul Craig, of Mill Valley, CA and the four grandchildren she loved so dearly, Hannah Evans Pasman, Olivia Cardinale Pasman, Tristram McNab Craig and Catherine Spencer Craig. A memorial mass was held at Our Lady of Mercy on January 27, 2017.