Jane Heart, of Lincoln, Massachusetts, died on May 7 at the age of 81. Mrs. Heart was born in St. Paul, Minnesota on August 26, 1932, the daughter of Bjorn and Jenny Sundgaard. As a girl Mrs. Heart was a lover of learning and enjoyed Minnesota's lakes – especially skating in the winter. After graduating as her high school's valedictorian, she studied mathematics at the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota, was admitted to Phi Betta Kappa, and received a master's degree from the University of Minnesota. She moved to Cambridge, MA where she was one of the first women computer programmers to work at Lincoln Laboratory. While at Lincoln Laboratory she met, and then married, Frank Heart, who also worked there. They married on September 27, 1959 at the MIT Chapel. Soon after they were married, Mr. and Mrs. Heart moved to Lincoln where they lived together for over fifty years. They were truly the love of each other's lives.
Mrs. Heart was a devoted mother to her three children, Bennet, Rachel and Simon, and throughout her life she expressed how fortunate she felt to be able to raise them in Lincoln. Mrs. Heart instilled in her children her love of learning and the importance of hard work and discipline, and she had lots of fun with her children as they grew. The Hearts were among the early members of Valley Pond, where they spent many wonderful hours, interrupted by bicycle trips to Dairy Joy. In the winter, Mrs. Heart would ice skate with her young children and was able to "shoot the duck," a skating trick that never failed to delight them. As they grew older, her children, and eventually her grandchildren, would join Mrs. and Mr. Heart on walks around Lincoln. Mrs. Heart tended to her land with the same love and spirit that she tended to those she loved. For many years she fed her family from a large vegetable garden and, later in her life, she wooed a variety of birds to her kitchen window, and was especially happy to see a rose-breasted grosbeak or a red-bellied woodpecker.
After leaving Lincoln Laboratories to start her family, Mrs. Heart later returned to the workforce as a math teacher at Concord-Carlisle High School, often riding her bike to work. Mrs. Heart loved teaching math, and found it especially rewarding to help young women develop confidence in their math abilities. She was also a compassionate teacher, offering her students plenty of encouragement and counseling upset students not to worry too much since "it's only school." In her personal life, she applied her considerable curiosity to solving the New York Times Double Crostic every Sunday morning with Mr. Heart, learning Spanish, and reading for hours every day. Mrs. Heart was a wonderful cook and liked nothing better than a long dinner with good food and conversation with family and friends.
When Mrs. Heart left teaching, she applied herself to a variety of community work and travel. She volunteered for the Women's Lunch Place and the Somerville Center for Adult Learning Experiences (SCALE). She loved skiing at Alta, Utah and sailing on the Massachusetts and Maine coasts. She travelled extensively with Mr. Heart and spoke fondly of all of her trips. In the last 25 years, she and Mr. Heart spent summers by the ocean in Cushing, Maine, a place she loved only second to her home in Lincoln, especially when being visited by her children and six grandchildren. Most days in Maine included a dip in the always cold water; she playfully attributed her ability to tolerate it to her "Viking blood".
Mrs. Heart died of complications resulting from dementia. She is survived by Mr. Frank Heart of Lincoln; her three children Bennet Heart and his wife Anne Leiby and their two children, Madelyn and Jacob of Winchester, MA; Rachel Heart Bellini and her husband, Joe Bellini and Rachel's daughter Camille Stidham of Franktown, Colorado, and Simon Heart and his wife, Johanna and their three children Isabella, Eli and Zoe of Boulder, Colorado. Mrs. Heart was predeceased by her sister, Cynthia Krauser, of Chicago, Illinois.
Expressions of sympathy may be made in Jane's memory to:
The Women's Lunch Place
67 Newbury Street
Boston, MA 02116.
Arrangements under the care of Concord Funeral Home, a Life Celebration® Home, Concord.