Frances Jacqueline “Jackie” Glover (neé Coe) passed away on April Fools’ Day, which to those who knew her best, was as fitting as it was unsurprising. At 96, she had lived a long, productive life with no regrets but more than a few bridges that were, if not burned, significantly singed. Jackie prided herself on her independence and wore her signature obstinacy like a badge of honor to the very end.
Born in 1924, in Taunton, Massachusetts, the oldest daughter of William and Helen Coe (neé Flerra), her happiest childhood memories were forged during summers spent at her grandparents’ farm 60 miles to the west in West Acton, Massachusetts, a seeming world away from the starched and restrictive homestead. A self-proclaimed ‘rotten’ child, at the farm she could indulge her love of animals and find acceptance with her beloved grandparents. Surrounded by a gaggle of gorgeous aunts and uncles, some just a few years her senior, her individuality was celebrated, not squelched. She graduated from Taunton High in 1943 and never looked back. With her cherished childhood dog Ricky at her side, the 17-year-old Jackie drove to Florida in a borrowed convertible, the wind in her long, dark hair. And, so began her love affair for the open road.
Her innate desire to travel brought her to Vincennes, Indiana, to attend Medical Laboratory School, where she met Lawrence ‘Larry’ Glover. She fell for the once well-off, if a little ‘square’ (her words), handsome, young man from a prominent family, and they were married the day after Christmas,1950. Jackie’s distinctive, signature sense of style was perfectly reflected in her fitted white faille suit, with rhinestone buttons the size of cherrystone clams. The newly minted Mrs. Glover wasted no time draining their tender, young bank account for an unauthorized purchase – a purebred Doberman named, without a whiff of irony, Satan – that initiated the Glovers’ long, rocky relationship with financial security. Though that goal hung vexingly just out of reach, Jackie fulfilled her other lifelong dream and went on to have seven children, six of whom lived to adulthood.
Throughout the 1950s, the Larry Glovers moved every year from one small midwest town to the next. At last, in 1963 they settled down for good in the house on Quintard Lane in Orange, where she would live for the next 55 years. Jackie loved her house and she loved Orange. On that scant green acre, she and Larry raised their family and a host of animals including Homer and Jethro the ducks, Hansel and Gretel the zealously protective geese, a goat named Sundance and a peacock named Liberace, along with show pigeons, pedigreed dwarf bunnies, borrowed guinea pigs, wounded birds in boxes, dozens of cats – and dogs, always dogs. In her last years, the dainty and gentle Pitt Bull Jessica was her devoted and constant companion.
A church-going, self-proclaimed witch, Jackie was as contradictory as she was unconventional. She adored the beach, but hated the water. She took pride in a well-set table, but took no pleasure in cooking. She drank supermarket jug wine from crystal stemware. She dressed well and looked great in cheap clothes. Her favorite Christmas movie was Die Hard. She was both artistic and unfailingly practical. Generous and yet frugal to a fault, pragmatic and quixotic. She couldn’t hear, so she did all the talking. She kept a bible by the front door to read to any Jehovah’s Witness who dared knock on her door. She would drive 10 miles to save 4 cents on gas.
Jackie passed away in Florida, which has the ring of cosmic correctness to it. The setting of many adventures in her single days, she had an abiding affection for her time spent there. As she wished, she was cremated and will be buried next to her husband, Larry, in the Orange Center Cemetery. Her surviving children, Steven, Marc, Patricia, David and Victoria, together with her daughter-in-law Pha, wish to thank the staff at Pruitt Healthcare in Milton and in particular Jason, who showed her compassion and patience. In these uncertain times of Covid-19, plans for a memorial service have been put on hold, but it is our hope a small reception and celebration of her life can take place in Orange when possible, perhaps in the Autumn, her favorite season. Do not mourn Jackie, she was more than ready for whatever adventures lay ahead. To quote her favorite poem, “And a rainbow held out its shining hand – so what could I do but laugh and go?”