Published: November 7, 2006
Jean B. Hertan, October 2, 1923–September 23, 2006, mentor, entrepreneur, environmentalist, philanthropist and lover of animals, was a guiding force for many Brimfield area residents and family members.
She was born in Yonkers, N.Y., to Rosario and Rosaria Cardamone, and grew up in an Italian family of eight children.
She married Louis Hertan, a textile engineer, in 1947, and a year later they relocated to Brimfield where they lived for nearly 60 years.
Schooled in New York, she was a lifelong learner. As World War II interrupted her education, Jean enrolled at Tantasqua Regional High School to improve her business and secretarial skills and retired as a receptionist from William R. Wright Company, West Warren, in 1984.
Her love of young people brought longtime community involvement as a Brownie leader and she was also a Brimfield registrar of voters.
Jean was a pioneer who helped develop the internationally known and respected Brimfield Antique Shows. Wearing her signature hats, she was often seen in her Jaguar convertible cruising around town. Known as “The Lady in the White Hat,” Jean brought class, imagination and style to the show that bore her name. She began each show by ringing a bell, bringing dealers and customers to action. Her show has developed loyal vendors and clients who respect the quality Jean provided.
She was interested in people and world cultures, and traveled extensively.
Jean is survived by two sisters, Domenica Leonardo and Helen DiBiase, both of New York. She also leaves 17 nieces and nephews and lifelong friends who loved her dearly and will miss her vitality, guidance and charm.
She was predeceased by her husband of more than 35 years, sisters Mary Caliguri, Theresa Balerna, Gloria Bistany and Angelina Macri and brother Thomas Cardamone. She was, and will always be, an inspiration to all who knew her.
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