Jayné Elizabeth Ondrey, 70, of Southington, CT, passed away October 3, 2023. She was born in Kansas on April 1, 1953 to the late Kenneth and Helen (Osko) Ondrey.
She is survived by her daughter, Holly Gregor, and her husband, Sean, and their daughter, Jocelyn, as well as by her brother, Kenneth Ondrey, Jr. and his wife, Roberta, and their son, Robert, all of Southington.
Her youth was filled with the adventures of Oklahoma twisters, California earthquakes, Denver snow and Arizona’s cacti as her backyard. In Tuscon, she and her brother, Kenny, played in 6 inches of snow, which hadn’t fallen for 75 years. One loved home was New York City, where she discovered she sang well and there she used her apartment balcony to entertain the passersby who stopped below to listen and clap. At age 12 the family settled in Southington, where Jayné was thrilled to move next to Mr.Olsen’s horse farm (now Walmart). This was her favorite home! She adored horses (and any creature, really) and this led to her interest in becoming a veterinarian. With that goal in mind, she joined the Future Farmers of America, becoming its first female Secretary and went on to serve as District and Chapter President. After graduating Southington High School in 1971, life took a detour and she accepted the role of full time care-giver for her mother for the next 19 years. Later, she worked at New Britain Transportation 1990-2006 where she made many friends, many who lovingly asked about her welfare up until the end.
Nicknamed “The Playwright,” she used her writing talent along with art skills and creativity to design and write handmade cards for any in need of a lift or a laugh. A lover of the underdog, whether human or animal, she was a Rescuer of the Down. She loved visiting the beach at dusk, had a beautiful singing voice, danced like no one was watching, and filled the home with delicious banana bread-making each October.
A hippie at heart, it was only 20 minutes after finding out she’d be a grandma when she thought of baby names like Sandal and Candle. An immense lover of Barbies, she was eagerly expecting a granddaughter with whom to soon share this passion with. Although met with dismay when Jocelyn was more into playing “Alien Barbies,” she put her own Barbie-playing expectations aside and lovingly now became the grandma who played Alien Barbies.
Her heart brimmed with patience and acceptance for all who knew her and she put “give the benefit of the doubt” into action throughout her entire life, especially toward her harshest critics. Misunderstood since her early youth for her size, she was greatly relieved in her mid-60s with the diagnosis of lipedema. This underdog was an underdog no more, stood up for her truth and made us proud!
Although never becoming a baptized member of any religion, she very much believed in God, “whose name alone is Jehovah, the Most High,” (Psalms 83:18, KJV) and His promise of an earthly resurrection under the Paradisiac conditions so soon at hand.
Appreciation goes out to her care givers at Autumn Lake of New Britain for giving her care, comfort and dignity during her last year & a half. Their patience was never overlooked as the family knows it takes a special heart to care for another!
Last but not least, you, owner of the 841-896 license plate from long ago, you were one of her favorite Stories, a book with some missing pages.
Burial will be at the convenience of the family. In lieu of flowers, please visit JW.org to be as comforted as she was.