Jennifer Margaret (Dunbar) Rudolph, 77, of East Bridgewater, Massachusetts, was surrounded by family as she went home to God on December 20, 2022 after succumbing to complications of pancreatic cancer.
Jennifer was the daughter of predeceased Donald and Eleanor (Reed) Dunbar of Whitman, Massachusetts, and leaves behind her beloved husband Thomas W. Rudolph, and her children Allison Hennequin and husband Greg Hennequin of Dudley, and Rosemary Botelho and husband Steven Botelho of Halifax. She was the loving Lala to grandchildren Hadley Zibel, Benjamin Botelho and Morgan Botelho, the best big sister to Mary Eleanor Dunbar, Elizabeth Smith and Constance Gibeault, an amazing aunt to a dozen nieces and nephews, and a loyal friend to many.
Jennifer was born on August 22, 1945 as the oldest of 4 daughters, grew up on Hersey Avenue in Whitman and graduated in 1963 from Whitman Hanson Regional High School. Graduating from Marietta College in Ohio with a Bachelor of Arts, Jennifer made lifelong friends along the way.
Jennifer met her husband of 53 years on a blind date and declined his proposal of marriage until she had the chance to travel to Great Britain; when she returned, she asked Tom if his offer still stood. They married on July 12, 1969 at Holy Nativity Episcopal Church in Weymouth and spent the next half century modeling a true and loving partnership.
Jennifer’s career began as a teacher of seventh grade English in Avon. The newlyweds bought a plot of land in East Bridgewater, and in 1972 they built the home Jennifer lived in for the rest of her life. When Jennifer became a mother, she stayed home to care for her children during the day and built Country Mouse, a successful crafting business, with lifelong friend Pat Delaney, in the evenings. Once their children were older, Jennifer spent time working the switchboard at Landmark Savings Bank in Whitman.
Having an ongoing hunger for knowledge, Jennifer returned to school to receive her Masters in Library Science from Simmons College, graduating at the same time that her daughters graduated from high school and college. Jennifer’s professional career marked her as a respected reference and teaching librarian at Massasoit Community College for over 20 years. She truly loved helping her students and sharing her love of the hunt for information. That love spilled over to her family as well, as she annually gifted her children and grandchildren both books they would want to read as well as books she felt they should read. Throughout her life, Jennifer was very involved in her childhood church - All Saints Parish in Whitman - teaching Sunday School for many years, contributing time and talents to fundraisers and church activities, and spending the last decade writing the Saints Alive monthly Newsletter. She was also a senior member of a local book club, her fellow members making note of her thorough and thoughtful book reviews, and more recently she donated her time as a member of the East Bridgewater Friends of the Library group. Jennifer’s creative side came out in fabric arts as well, having made clothes for her daughters, doll clothes for her grandchildren, and dozens of beautiful quilts for friends and family members over several decades.
Jennifer loved her family beyond words and family always came first. She was always available to help others, whether it be hosting her granddaughter for a week to attend a local summer camp, dropping off dinner for a sick family member or doing chicken chores for her vacationing daughter. Jennifer instilled in her children the importance of compassion and service to others, especially those less privileged than themselves. Always a teacher and librarian, she also instilled a thirst for knowledge and the importance of knowing the credibility of that source. Seen as the matriarch of her extended family, Jennifer inherited the hosting of her parents’ formal Christmas party and was a gentle, supportive light in everyone’s lives. Jennifer loved traveling and had been able to see many parts of the world with Tom as well as with friends and colleagues. She made sure her children felt the love and pride of their mother; she celebrated their successes and was by their side through their challenging moments, offering compassion and encouragement along the way. Tom and Jennifer celebrated their 50th anniversary in 2019 with a vow renewal ceremony that illustrated the everlasting adoration the couple shared for each other.
Family and friends are invited to attend her visiting hours on Monday January 23 from 4:00-7:00 PM in the Blanchard Funeral Chapel, Plymouth Street (Rte. 58 @ the rotary) Whitman. Her funeral services will be held Tuesday January 24 at 11:00 AM in the All Saints Episcopal Church, 44 Park Ave, Whitman.
Interment will be private at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations are humbly recommended to All Saints Parish, 44 Park Avenue, Whitman, MA, or Old Colony Hospice, 321 Manley St, West Bridgewater MA.