Nature 08

Jane Watson Glenn

November 21, 1937 ~ February 3, 2022 (age 84)


Jane Watson Glenn passed away peacefully and surrounded by her family in the early morning hours of Thursday, February 3, 2022. A native of San Antonio, TX, in 1960 Mrs. Glenn moved with her husband, James T. Glenn, from New Orleans, LA to New Kensington, where she would devote her life to her family and pets as well as to the numerous civic-good projects that she spearheaded over the next six decades.

Recognizing the pressing need for the prosperous city of New Kensington to have a public library of the first order, Mrs. Glenn attended the University of Pittsburgh to earn a master’s degree in library science; soon after, she joined forces with local business leaders, raising the substantial funds necessary to transform a former downtown grocery store into a state-of-the-art Peoples Library.  Under Mrs. Glenn’s decades of leadership on its board of directors, Peoples Library served as an anchor of New Kensington’s thriving downtown, providing  residents of all ages access to top-quality educational resources and expanding the library’s services, including its popular Bookmobile, which delivered books to young people on school playgrounds across the New Kensington-Arnold School District during the summer months as well as to homebound seniors throughout the year.  She was central to the expansion of services as Peoples Library added a branch in Lower Burrell, PA.

A lifelong animal lover, Mrs. Glenn also dedicated herself to improving the circumstances of homeless animals in Westmoreland County.  In connection with Animal Protectors, she led the local effort to replace the City of New Kensington’s decrepit, makeshift “dog pound” -- where dogs had virtually no chance of being returned to their families or adopted – with a modern, professionally staffed shelter in which countless homeless dogs and cats would find their “forever homes” with loving local residents.  Under Mrs. Glenn’s leadership, Animal Protectors became the first “no kill” shelter in Westmoreland County and remained one of her proudest achievements.

Moreover, Mrs. Glenn also dedicated herself to the beautification of New Kensington’s downtown.  The trees that line the streets of the city’s commercial district largely are due to her efforts, with many of them planted and nurtured over the ensuing years by Mrs. Glenn herself along with several close friends.

She often confessed wanderlust, and with her husband, Jim, traveled regularly for decades throughout the United States, Europe, Central and South America, and beyond.  She particularly loved the Amalfi Coast of Italy, with its shimmering blue waters, local cuisine and dramatic cliffside villages; the rustic towns and food of Provence in the south of France; and California’s Napa Valley. 

While maintaining lifelong ties with family and childhood friends in her native San Antonio, Mrs. Glenn called New Kensington home and tirelessly dedicated herself to making her corner of the world better for all.  Her many fine, lasting accomplishments perpetuate her legacy of caring.

Loved by all who knew her, Jane leaves behind many dear friends, near and far.  She will be remembered as a lovely and extraordinary woman in every regard: wife, mother, friend, civic leader, citizen of the planet, and compassionate protector of all creatures great and small. Jane Watson Glenn is survived by her loving husband, James Todd Glenn, of 62 years; by her daughter Holly and her son Ben, and their respective spouses, Nils Isberg and David Freese; by her brother, Mark E. Watson, Jr.; and by countless wonderful friends.  She is preceded in death by her parents, Elizabeth McCraney Watson and Mark E. Watson, Sr., as well as by her sisters, Hallie Watson and Virginia Watson Jones.  

All services are private and entrusted to Ross G. Walker Funeral Home Ltd., 217 Freeport Road, New Kensington. Please visit to leave an online memory of Jane.

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