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KANER--Mary Jane (Natto), of Peabody, MA, formerly of Fairfield, CT, passed away peacefully on June 3, 2008. Mary Jane or "MJ" was born in Cleveland, OH. She enlisted in the U.S. Navy Waves and later went on to serve in Washington, D.C. After the war she eventually moved to New York, NY and worked for Fairchild Publications as Executive Secretary to the Publisher, Louis W. Fairchild. Visitation will be from 5:007:00pm on Monday, June 9, 2008 in the Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 S. Benson Road, Fairfield, CT. A Funeral Mass will be held at St. Pius X Church, Fairfield at 11:00am Tuesday, June 10, 2008.

New York Times, The (NY)
Date: June 6, 2008


Deceased Name: Mary Jane (Natto) Kaner

Mary Jane (Natto) Kaner of Peabody, Mass., a 45-year former resident of Fairfield, died June 3.

"MJ" was born in Cleveland, the daughter of the late Anthony J. and Magdalen "Lena" C. (Boer) Natto, and the sister of the late Patricia A. Natto. She was educated at Villa Angela Academy in Cleveland. After working for the Cuyahoga Lumber Co. & Affiliates in Cleveland as secretary to the vice president, she enlisted in the U.S. Navy WAVES and trained at the U.S. Naval Training School, Smith College, Northampton, Mass., later serving in Washington, D.C. She was first assigned to the Westinghouse plant in Pittsburgh as the administrative officer of an 80-man office and then was assigned to Washington, where she worked as a coding officer on the top-secret Manhattan Project. She also assisted in writing briefs for courts-martial, wrote commendations and worked with the Allied nations on the Lend-Lease program in providing defense supplies. She remained enlisted until after World War II, then returned to Cleveland and worked for Refrigeration Magazine in the Circulation and Advertising departments. After her mother's death, she managed her father's business, the Natto Metal Spinning Company, in Cleveland for several years. Eventually, she moved to New York, N.Y., and worked for Fairchild Publications as executive secretary to the publisher, Louis W. Fairchild. She was sent to the Paris office and traveled throughout Europe on assignment for Women's Wear Daily, a Fairchild publication. On weekends, during the steel strike of 1952, while working at Fairchild's New York headquarters, she flew to Pittsburgh and assisted a friend in producing a monthly newsletter for Bethlehem Steel. She met her future husband, Jay, while working at Fairchild. They married and had Jill, their only child. Within four years, they moved to Fairfield, where they spent their happiest times together. She joined the Rehabilitation Center Crippled Children's Workshop, Bridgeport, as a volunteer in 1958 and in 1964 was elected to the center's board of directors, where she was appointed a vice president. She served as president of the Easter Seals Women's Auxiliary and delivered speeches on its behalf throughout the country. After retiring from the board of directors, she was then named director of volunteers at the Easter Seal Rehabilitation Center of Eastern Fairfield County and retired after 20-plus years of service. She had been involved with numerous projects, including the Easter Seal Ball, Easter Seal Supplement, mail campaigns and with the Dean S. Edmonds Institute for Stuttering Therapy. In addition to her activities for Easter Seals, she was involved with the Fresh Air Fund and the United Way. She also served as a Brownie Troop co-leader at Riverfield School and was a member of Riverfield and Timothy Dwight schools' PTAs. She was also active in the Mothers' Club of Roger Ludlowe High School. She was also one of the first parishioners of St. Pius X Church at its dedication in 1958. She volunteered as a guide at the Connecticut Audubon Nature Center on Burr Street for elementary school tours and showed great bravery whenever a snake crossed her path. She was considered for Fairfield's second selectman position in 1975, but declined, enabling another woman to run for that position. She enjoyed golfing with her husband until his death, but truly excelled in the game and laughed loudly with her friends when it was "just the girls." She was a member of H. Smith Richardson Golf Course and the Par 3 South Pine Creek Golf Course. She moved to Renaissance Gardens at Brooksby Village in Peabody, where she remained an active participant in her community. She was a member of the Resident Council and was often consulted on party planning.


She is survived by her daughter, Jill of Groveland, Mass.; her sister-in-law, Marcia Kaner of New York, N.Y.; numerous cousins from Ohio; and her dearest lifetime friends throughout the country.


A Mass of Christian burial was celebrated yesterday at St. Pius X Church. The Spear-Miller Funeral Home, 39 South Benson Road, was in charge of the arrangements.


In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be made to the Connecticut Audubon Center at Fairfield, 2325 Burr St., Fairfield 06824 or Easter Seals, Attention: Online Giving Coordinator, 230 West Monroe, Suite 1800, Chicago, Ill. 60606. To leave an online condolence, visit .

Fairfield Citizen News (CT)
Date: June 11, 2008







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