{ Jean Novotny, former Field Ed associate, | Died September 28, 2012

Jean Novotny, former Field Ed associate,

September 28, 2012


Andover Newton has lost a dear friend. Jean Anne (Schultz) Novotny, who for many years served as an associate in the school’s pioneering Field Education Program, died the morning of Sept. 28, 2012, with her children by her side. She was 86. Jean served in every aspect of the field education program, teaching supervisors, working with students, and guiding Teaching Parish committees. She did so with skill, dedication and insight into what was needed as students prepared for ministry, drawn from 35 years working alongside her husband, a minister in the United Church of Christ. She quietly raised questions that saw to the heart of issues. She listened carefully to all who came to her so as to understand what was on their minds.

A service in celebration of Jean’s life will be held at 11 a.m. Saturday, Nov. 24, 2012, at Wellfleet Congregational Church (United Church of Christ), 200 Main St., in Wellfleet, Mass.

George Sinclair, the former Vice President and Director of Field Ed at Andover Newton, recently said: “Jean was a colleague who brought her own insight and spirituality to the work of the field education team. One year when the Director of Field Education was asked to take on another temporary role at the school and the Associate Director was due for a long-awaited sabbatical, Jean served as Director and did a magnificent job.“

President Carter said that the school “mourns the loss of such a dedicated teacher and servant.” He notes that among the many words that have come in thanksgiving for her dedicated service to the school are the following two wonderful tributes: “She helped to make me who and what I am,” and “Her writings were marked by sensitivity and compassion as well as by sharp thinking.”

Carter said that Andover Newton is greatly indebted to Jean, whose training, skill, and faith combined to touch the lives of all who knew her. In recognition of all she did and meant to the school, she was given the James Burns Award in 1995. Jean served throughout her full-time service to the school as a volunteer. The award, recently renamed the Windsor-Burns Award in recognition of Jean’s successor Kathryn W. Windsor, is given to those individuals who have demonstrated an outstanding level of service to the school, above and beyond their regular work.

Jean was born and grew up in Lansdale, Penn. She earned a bachelor’s degree at Ursinus College and master’s degree from a joint program at Columbia University and Union Seminary. While in graduate school, she met her husband of 52 years, the late UCC minister Daniel Novotny. With her husband, she served parishes in Alabama, Connecticut, New Hampshire, and Massachusetts.

While raising four children, Jean was a strong supporter of her husband’s work in the internal operations of local churches and served separately in a variety of UCC leadership positions at the statewide and national levels. She was awarded by the Massachusetts Conference for her work in Christian education.

Jean played the organ throughout her life, including in the chapel of Mansfield College at Oxford University. She edited The Art of Theological Reflection, a collection of devotional readings co-written by her husband, as well as Donald C. Babcock’s poetry collection Prayers and Meditations.

She was preceded in death by her husband and a son, Benjamin. Jean is survived by her son Mark of Northampton, daughters Rebecca of Holliston and Rachel of Hawaii, and 13 grandchildren.

Donations in lieu of flowers may be made to Habitat for Humanity or Heifer International. For online condolences, please visit Nickerson Funeral Home.

Portions of this obituary came from Nickerson Funeral Home in Chatham.