Cover photo for Jane L. Kaminsky's Obituary
Jane L. Kaminsky Profile Photo
1920 Jane 2022

Jane L. Kaminsky

December 11, 1920 — February 2, 2022

Jane Louise Kaminsky, beloved mother of seven, died of natural causes at age 101 on February 2, 2022, at her apartment in the Milwaukee Catholic Home. In a lifespan bookended by pandemics, she experienced the Great Depression as a young girl, World War II as a young mother while her husband served overseas, and the civil rights movement as a volunteer activist who worked and marched with Father James Groppi and others in the 1960s. She was an active member and volunteer at St. Leo Catholic Parish until it was closed. She then joined All Saints Parish, where she remained active for many years. Jane was born in Milwaukee on December 11, 1920, to Arthur and Martha Kiepert. She grew up on the east and north sides of Milwaukee with her parents and two sisters, Dolores and Bette. She was educated at Fratney elementary, Peckham junior high and Girls' Technical Academy high school. She always loved sports, playground activities, cheerleading and dancing. It was at a park district tap-dancing class that she met her future husband, Joseph. "He and his friends were watching the girls, and the teacher told them to join the class if they wanted to stay," she recalled. They married in 1941. Joe was drafted in 1942 and served in the Army in the European theater. After the war, Joe became a Milwaukee firefighter. During their 48-year marriage, they immersed themselves in raising their children and in supporting progressive political and social justice causes. When her family was grown, Jane worked for the Milwaukee County Social Development Commission, answering a hotline and giving people referrals to available social service programs. Jane and Joe were early members and leaders in CFM (The Christian Family Movement), where they formed many lifelong friendships. After Joe's death in 1990, Jane moved to Shorewood, where she made many new friends in exercise classes and at the Senior Center. She put her dancing shoes back on to perform in several holiday programs with the group. She continued her volunteer work as a teacher's aide well into her 70s. She proudly recalled that the grateful School Sisters of Notre Dame invited her to accompany them on a two-week trip to visit their mission in Cuernavaca, Mexico. This fueled her interest in more travel, including Elderhostel tours as well as other trips across the country with her "girlfriends". Her favorite vacation spot, however, was a farmhouse in Door County, Wisconsin, that the family purchased in 1971. Jane spent her final 11 years at the Milwaukee Catholic Home, where she lived independently and actively participated in its wide range of activities. She credited her longevity to staying physically and mentally active--and listening to Dr. Fauci's Covid advice. As her health declined in recent weeks, she remained able and eager to engage with family members and other visitors--and she continued to read the newspaper every day. Her family would like to acknowledge the St. Camillus Hospice caregivers, especially Cindy and Jaimere, whom Jane grew to love. Their support, expertise and reassuring presence provided comfort to her and the entire family. Jane is survived by her seven children, Bonnie (Paul) Wagner, John (Sue) Kaminsky, Mary Jo (Dennis) Bodden, Peter (Karen) Kaminsky, Paul Kaminsky (Diane Ciotti), Michael and Joseph, as well as 13 grandchildren and 18 great-grandchildren. Because of Covid, services will be private. In lieu of flowers, donations may be sent to Capuchin Community Services, St. Ben's Community Meal Program, PO Box 5830, Milwaukee, WI 53205-0830.
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