Jane Pomp (Bolhouse) Connerton, 89, of Newport, Rhode Island, passed away peacefully at home on June 28, 2021, surrounded by her family. She was the wife of the late William H. Connerton Jr.
Jane was born on October 10, 1931, in Newport, RI to the late Peter Daniel Bolhouse and Gladys Estelle (Carr) Bolhouse. As a young girl she was a member of the Girl Scouts and maintained that affiliation for well over a half century, attending their annual reunions held at Camp Hoffman in South Kingstown. She also had a great love of animals and a passion for bird watching. She continued this appreciation of nature throughout her whole life, most notably, by her always having an assortment of books relating to birds on hand and a pair of binoculars at the ready whether she was sitting in her living room chair or out in her car. All her children and grandchildren had to do was describe what a bird looked like or mimic the sounds they made, and she would tell them what it was. Until the day she passed she maintained many bird feeders, bird baths and bird houses on her deck and in her yard. She also kept a pond of goldfish in the backyard. They often grew large, but inevitably fell prey to an assortment of other critters despite her best efforts to thwart these incursions. While she wasn’t happy about these instances, she chalked it up to the natural way of things and the pond would be restocked.
She graduated from Rogers High School where she was the Vice President of her class all four years, she was a member of the National Honor Society, a cheerleader and was on the girls’ volleyball and basketball teams. However, some of her fondest memories of basketball were playing at the “HUT” (Martin Recreation Center) on Golden Hill St. with her team the Barracudas. She remained in contact with and was lifelong friends with most of the members of that group. Additionally, she received the Senior Class Superlatives of Most Popular, Peppiest and Class Joker. She graduated from Rogers in 1949 but continued her association with her alma mater helping in organizing the class reunions well into her seventies.
Shortly after her graduation, in 1949 she married her high school sweetheart and love of her life, William H. Connerton Jr. or Red as she always referred to him. They were wedded on October 28, 1950 and started their life together. While her husband worked on the Newport Fire Department and often one or two additional jobs to support the family, she remained home to care for their seven kids. She embraced her role as a mother and homemaker and was truly the glue that bound the family together right up until the time of her death. She included herself in her kids’ school lives and was a PTO Mom. She was a woman of faith and a communicant of St. Augustin’s Church, where she volunteered her time with the Christmas Bazaar and many other committees.
One of her favorite summer activities was visiting the family cottage located at Third Beach. She would pack up the kids in the family station wagon and be off, whether it was just for the day, or for the week, staying in the beach house. Often Red would join her there for an early evening swim or to spend the night with the children. There, while watching over the brood, she enjoyed the company of her mother, her sister, sisters-in-law, and friends. The group adopted the nickname of the “Third Beach Irregulars” to which they were proud to be associated and enjoyed decades of mornings, afternoons, and evenings at the beach. Even after the cottage was gone and the children had their own families, she would continue her seasonal treks to Third Beach. Most days she would load up her Yamaha Chappy with her chair, towel, and other items and off she went. When that finally became irreparable, she wasn’t daunted and bought a Honda scooter and a helmet, which all were glad to hear. She rode that cycle to the beach until she was almost eighty.
After the kids left the nest, she and Red enjoyed some well-deserved traveling. Bermuda was a spot that they visited more than once. They truly enjoyed seeing portions of the country and other locales, usually via cruises. These ventures included the Panama Canal, the Intercostal Waterway, the Mississippi River on a Steamboat, Alaska, and Nova Scotia. In recent years she and Red joined their adult children and families on the annual New Hampshire trips where they were always the center of attention.
On October 29, 2019, she lost her beloved husband Red just after celebrating their 69th wedding anniversary. In April of this year, she lost her dear grandson Peter Daniel Connerton Jr.
In addition to her parents, she was also preceded in death by her Sister-in-Law Nancy (Connerton) Moitoza and husband Frank, Sister-in-Law Mary (Connerton) King and husband John, her Brother-in-Law Frank Mello, her Brother-in-Law John Gainey, as well has her Father-in-Law William H. Connerton Sr. and Mother-in-Law Mary (Kelley) Connerton.
She is survived by her Brother Daniel C. Bolhouse and wife Carol, her Sister Mary C. (Bolhouse) Gainey, her Sister In-Law Margaret (Connerton) Mello, her seven children, and their spouses. Jane Pomp Connerton of Middletown, William Henry Connerton III and wife Rachel of Newport, Laurie Ann (Connerton) Waluk of Newport, Susan Joan (Connerton) Darby and husband Thomas of Middletown, Sheila Jean (Connerton) Coleman and husband Edward of Newport, Peter Daniel Connerton Sr. and wife Mary-Beth of Middletown and Sean Christopher Connerton and wife Gina of Middletown along with 14 grandchildren, 10 great grandchildren, one on the way, along with many nieces and nephews. Her family was the foundation of her life with Red.
Her family would like to extend its sincere appreciation and thanks to Dr. Jayanthi Parameswaran and the staff at South Coast Medical, Nurse Practitioner Lauren Marvell of Newport Pulmonology, and Visiting Nurse Services of Newport County.
Visiting hours will be held from 4-7 pm on Friday, July 2, 2021, in the O'Neill-Hayes Funeral Home, 465 Spring Street, Newport. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated on Saturday, July 3, 2021, at St. Augustin’s Church, corner of Carroll & Harrison Avenue, Newport at 10:00 am. Burial will follow in St. Columba Cemetery, 465 Brown's Lane, Middletown.
Just prior to her passing Jane requested that in lieu of flowers donations be made to the Newport Fire Department Fire/Rescue Boat Gift Fund, Newport Fire Department Headquarters, 21 West Marlborough St, Newport, RI 02840.