Cover photo for Jane Len Carpino's Obituary
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1923 Jane Len Carpino 2024

Jane Len Carpino

August 11, 1923 — March 6, 2024

Lanham

Jane Len Carpino of Lanham, MD, passed away peacefully on March 6, 2024, at the age of 100. She had enjoyed lunch with her daughter, Chris, as she did nearly every day, chatting about world and family news of the day, memories, and recipes.  She had moved to Hillhaven Assisted Living in Adelphi, MD in January 2024 from the house where she had lived for 68 years. She had lived alone and independently there since 1997 when Frank, her husband of 47 years, passed away. Born on August 11, 1923, in Ambridge, PA, Jane Ann was the oldest of three children born to Carl and Frances (Siegel) Len.  Her parents emigrated to the United States from Austria-Hungary in 1905 and 1918, respectively, to escape the results of war and to make a better life.  Jane, a first generation American, spoke German until she went to first grade, where she learned Polish and English. She soon became her parents’ English teacher, even at such a young age, because they wanted passionately to learn the language of their new country and become citizens. Her family belonged to St. Stanislas, one of many ethnic Catholic Churches in Ambridge.  As a result, she grew up in the religious and holiday traditions of Poland and Eastern Europe, but her close friends and neighbors were from many faiths and nationalities.  She called Henrici Street, where she grew up, a little United Nations.  Her respect and compassion for all people grew out of these early years. Growing up during the Great Depression, she knew what it was like to be poor, but also to be blessed and to share at the same time.  Her eyes misted every time she spoke of her mother inviting wanderers to come to and sit down on the back porch step where she gave each one (usually unemployed or homeless men) a bowl of soup and a sandwich. Jane’s compassion for the homeless and unemployed started here.

After high school, Jane attended two years of business school in nearby Pittsburgh.  But the United States had just entered World War II, and after seeing her younger brother, Tony, quit school early and lie about his age to enlist, she decided that she had to enlist too.  She joined the Navy and was assigned to Washington, D.C. as Yeoman, 3rd Class.  Brother Henry later joined the Navy, too.  Jane loved her time in the Navy and the nation’s capital.  Being a veteran became part of her identity.  After being discharged she returned to Washington to continue to use her office skills.  There she met her husband, Frank, an Army veteran from Massachusetts and the oldest of seven.  He was earning his business degree at George Washington University and was an active member of St. Stephen’s church and its young adult club.  After one event, Jane’s roommate couldn’t stop talking about two Irish brothers she had met there, Frank and Joe Murphy, who were cute and hilarious.  Frank and Joe were both Italian, best friends, and roommates who loved teasing others.   After two years of picnics, late night mass and dinners, State dances and outings by streetcar to places like Glen Echo Park, Frank and Jane were married in Ambridge in 1950, with their best friends from St. Stephen’s around them.  They all remained lifelong friends, sharing the ups and downs of marriage, families, jobs, and life in the D.C. area. 

After her marriage, Jane continued the work she enjoyed in private law offices and later, Federal agencies including the Federal Maritime Commission and NASA.  When Chris was born, she took a 13-year break to spend time as a homemaker; during these years, she volunteered at Girl Scouts, 4-H and St. Matthias where she and Frank were founding members.  She started the school library and was active in the Sodality and other volunteer efforts. Her friends, coworkers, bosses, and the many people she mentored admired her for her work ethic, organization skills, and the light-heartedness she brought to each situation. She retired in 1991 as the Records Manager for Goddard Space Flight Center.

Jane and Frank loved to travel. Their favorite spot was Ocean City, MD, which they visited often. They traveled to Italy with their pastor, Fr. Ranieri, and to New Orleans, Quebec, Dublin, and the French Alps.   After Frank passed away, Jane continued to travel with family and friends to Portugal, coastal Canada, and finally to Poland. There, she visited Zakopane (where her grandfather had worked), Krakow, (where some of her aunts had lived), and Czestochowa (where widespread devotion to Our Lady had special meaning).  In fact, many of Jane’s favorite trips had religious meaning to her and Frank.  New York City was also a favorite destination.   She loved taking the train with Frank or Chris to visit her twin sisters-in-law, see a show, or just walk around.  She celebrated many birthdays there, including her 92nd.  

Jane had a passion for musical theater and ballet. Her first date with Frank was to see Maria Tallchief, the first American prima ballerina, dance the lead in Firebird.  Soon after, he took her to see the musical Carousel.  In the 70 years that followed, Jane saw over 60 Broadway shows in New York and Washington, enjoying the performances of Robert Preston, Angela Lansbury, and Patti LuPone to name only a few.  She was also an avid patron of the ballet in Washington. 

In her free time, Jane loved to crochet and knit. She especially enjoyed knitting argyle socks and vests for Frank and her brothers. 

Jane was admired by all who knew her for her impeccable style and elegance, but mostly for her fierce independence and spirit, which she expressed until her last breath.  She was kind to all and made it a point to give unique and thoughtful gifts to everyone on her list.  Her step-grandchildren, Sarah and Matt, remember these gifts lovingly, and called her The Wind, because she was so smart, moved quickly and scouted wonderful places to visit or dine.  Frank often said she should have been an engineer, because she could solve any challenge, large or small.  She loved to dance.  Practicing her faith was central to her life.  She was passionately devoted to Mary and said a rosary every day.  Before COVID, she attended daily mass.  She deeply loved Frank and Chris, Chris’ husband Mike, and her extended family of in-laws, nieces and nephews.

In lieu of flowers, Jane’s family asks that a donation be made to S.O.M.E., Central Union Mission, or Boys Town.  

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Jane Len Carpino, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services

Visitation

Sunday, March 24, 2024

2:00 - 4:00 pm (Eastern time)

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Visitation

Monday, March 25, 2024

11:30am - 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Saint Matthias Catholic Church

9475 Annapolis Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

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Funeral Service

Monday, March 25, 2024

Starts at 12:30 pm (Eastern time)

Saint Matthias Catholic Church

9475 Annapolis Rd, Lanham, MD 20706

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Burial

Monday, March 25, 2024

Starts at 2:30 pm (Eastern time)

Maryland Veterans Cemetery, Cheltenham

11301 Crain Hwy, Cheltenham, MD 20623

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