Who’s Who: Jane Mangle is No Plain Jane

Who’s Who: Jane Mangle is No Plain Jane
By Mike Butler

Jane Mangle is a very familiar face in Wolfville and the surrounding area. Jane is a supporter of so many things in her community and, with her husband David, never wavers from being a kind and compassionate citizen, neighbour, and friend. After much hesitation, she agreed to be featured here and I believe it’s long overdue. This is no plain Jane.

A proud Cape Bretoner happily living in Wolfville since 1982, Jane is a graduate of Dalhousie University’s dental hygiene program. She says, “We came because my husband David was looking for a job teaching music and was offered several. We did say to each other though that even if the jobs weren’t offered we would try and live here somehow because we liked it so much. And we have stayed because we feel wrapped in something wonderful here.”

Jane’s career as a dental hygienist has lasted 44 years and began in Cape Breton working in public health in remote parts of the island. This experience taught Jane so much. She also spent some time in Ontario and Pennsylvania working in interesting dental environments while David went back to university. But, she says, “most recently my work has me surrounded by very lovely people in the office of Dr. Erin Hennessy, and previous to that with Dr. Andy Nette for over 25 years. I am getting a new kind of tired though, after this many years at the head of a dental chair, and I plan to retire at the end of May.”

And because I knew Jane wouldn’t gush about her accomplishments, I went right to the source and spoke with Erin Hennessy who was delighted to oblige: “Jane (or “Gentle Jane” as my husband calls her) is the epitome of kindness and grace. She is the voice of quiet reason that brings everyone together, regardless of the issue at hand. She is the ultimate team player, always the first to step up but also is a great role model for me in how to keep life, work, and family in balance. I cannot tell you how many times I have leaned on Jane for much-needed words of wisdom. I will miss her in my everyday but am honoured to call her a dear friend that will be forever in my life.”

Jane feels like this is a great time to move forward because she still loves her work. This has always been her plan and if you know Jane, she sticks to the plan! Her work has introduced her to many delightful people, from dear little children to centenarians, and all have contributed to the enrichment of her life.

And it’s not all work for Jane, especially now that work will come to a close. Jane’s focus will shift to her hobbies, which include fibre art, calligraphy, skiing, hiking, cycling, tennis, camping, gardening, and of course, tap dancing. Jane has been forever inspired but her friends and family, especially her husband David, who is such a strong advocate for peace, her daughter Sarah, who has always demonstrated a passion for being a voice for those who need one, and her son Aaron, who shares his talent as a musician and photographer and his beautiful calm spirit with everyone around him. And a special note to the L’arche community whom Jane says, “have members who consistently show us how to love and trust each other. I have had the joy of getting to know several core members and am reminded often to live in the moment.”

As Jane plans ahead she says, “I hope I can continue to be a good friend. There is always someone who needs a meal brought to them or a listening ear. I hope once I retire I can continue to have the privilege of the choice of how to spend my time. I want to keep on learning and see more of this grand world of ours. One of my goals is to learn something new with each new decade. That’s how tap dancing happened at the age of fifty! Who knows what’s coming?!”

You just never know what’s coming but I think it’s safe to say that with her winning, giving, and caring personality and disposition, Jane is going to come out on top. Best of luck and happy retirement!

You can help celebrate Jane and her retirement at a special function on Saturday June 16 from 2-4pm. There’s a “drop in” celebration for the public at Bishop Hall (the former Greenwich United Church) and, to tell you the TOOTH, Jane would love to see you out for a visit.