Jane Wheeler Cowley, 78, a resident of West Street, died Dec. 31, 2009, at St. Andrews Hospital in Boothbay Harbor after a brief illness.

Jane was born March 30, 1931, in Rockville Center, Long Island, N.Y., the daughter of Herbert and Mary Ostrowski Wheeler. At a young age her family moved to New Britain, Conn., where she grew up attending New Britain High School, Class of 1948, and attended Central Connecticut State University, graduating in 1951 with an associates science degree.

She married Arnold P. Cowley of Edgecomb on Dec. 27, 1950, and they moved to Lawton, Okla., from 1951 to 1953 while he served in the U.S. Army. Upon his discharge, they moved to Boothbay Harbor, where they made their life together.

Jane began her career with the Harold W. Bishop Insurance agency in Boothbay Harbor, from 1968 to 1971 worked at the National Marine Fisheries Service in the harbor, then worked at Veterans Administration in Togus until 1978. She joined Bath Iron Works for a year as a personnel clerk, before becoming a civilian employee of the U.S. Navy in Bath, where she was a management analyst for the supervisor of shipbuilding, retiring in 1991.

Active in her community during her retirement, she was a communicant of Our Lady Queen of Peace in Boothbay Harbor, where she served on the Parish Council, and for many years operated the church store. She also served on the board of trustees of the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, volunteered at the library’s bookstore, and at the Boothbay Harbor Historical Society.

Jane was predeceased by her husband, Arnold, in 1999 after 49 years of marriage.

She is survived by several nephews, a niece, and several out of state cousins. She will be sadly missed by her local church family, the Robert Perkins family, the Norman Pierce family, the Robert Wheeler family and Thomas Fogerty family, and her many friends and neighbors.

Friends are invited to visit Monday, Jan. 4 from 4 to 6 p.m. at the Simmons Harrington and Hall Funeral Home, 975 Wiscasset Road in Boothbay. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated Tuesday, Jan. 5 at Our Lady Queen of Peace Church in Boothbay Harbor, with the Rev. Fred Morse as the celebrant. Interment will be in Evergreen Cemetery in Boothbay.

Friends are encouraged to make memorial donations to the Boothbay Harbor Memorial Library, 4 Oak St., Boothbay Harbor, ME 04538 in Jane’s memory.

Arrangements are with the Simmons Harrington and Hall Funeral Home and Cremation Service in Boothbay, ME. Condolences may be sent to simmons-harrington-hall@myfairpoint.net.