Jane Keet, a former resident of Saranac Lake, died peacefully on Saturday, Jan. 4, 2014 in Aptos Calif.
Born Edith Jane Welton, Jane was the wife of Dr. Ernest E. “Ell” Keet, a much-loved local physician and the first medical partner of Dr. Francis B. “Frank” Trudeau at Medical Associates in Saranac Lake. Her father, Thurston Scott Welton, was a noted surgeon and editor of the American Journal of Surgery. Her mother, Edith Welton, suffered from tuberculosis and cured in Saranac Lake in the 1920s but passed away when Jane was just 8.
Jane was born at home in Brooklyn on Feb. 18, 1919. She graduated from Packer Collegiate Institute and then attended Barnard College. She married Dr. Keet in 1939, just as he was finishing his residency in internal medicine. In 1941, Dr. Keet volunteered for the U.S. Navy and served during the war as a lieutenant commander in the Philippines. Three children were born between 1941 and 1948, all of whom survive her, as do seven grandchildren and 14 great-grandchildren.
Widowed at 55, Jane traveled to SUNY Plattsburgh for several years to complete her bachelor’s degree and to earn a master’s degree. She left Saranac Lake to pursue a Ph.d. and to teach English literature and writing in Boston at Suffolk and Northeastern Universities. She remained in Massachusetts until 2007. She moved to Aptos, Calif., and has lived near her physician son Robert, his wife Patrice Mullen Keet (from Saranac Lake) and his extended family since then.
While in Saranac Lake Jane was active in the hospital Women’s Auxiliary, the Paint and Palette Festival, and many other civic organizations. For years after moving to Massachusetts she was a frequent visitor to the family home on Lake Colby. In 2002, she dedicated the new Ambulatory Care Wing at the Adirondack Medical Center, named in honor of her late husband.
In addition to Robert, she is survived by her daughter, Mary Jane Dowling of Cape Cod, and her son Ernest “Lee” Keet of Saranac Lake. A memorial service will be held for her in Saranac Lake this coming summer, at a date to be announced.