Jeanne Jaffee, 96, of Aspen, died Wednesday, Feb. 28, 2007.
She was born Jeanne Brylawski in Philadelphia on Nov. 16, 1910, to Edward L. Brylawski, a stockbroker, and Hortense Mendelsohn Brylawski.Jeanne was educated at the George School, a Quaker boarding school, and McGill University. Her family sent her to the George School after discovering that, for months, instead of attending high school, she had been spending her days reading at the local library.
In 1932, she married Raymond A. Speiser, also of Philadelphia, a lawyer and later an assistant district attorney and the city’s first trial commissioner. Jeanne and Raymond had one daughter, Ellen Speiser.During World War II, while Raymond was serving as an Air Force captain, Jeanne went to work as a copy girl at the Philadelphia Record. Within a year, Jeanne had worked her way up to the position of women’s page editor, the only woman on the editorial board. Jeanne later worked in advertising at Nan Duskins and as a writer and research assistant for Temple University’s department of psychiatry. Jeanne was widowed in 1958.
In 1960, she married Wilton Jaffee Sr. and moved from Philadelphia to Lambertville, N.J., and Aspen. In 1962, Jeanne and Wilton moved to Aspen permanently. Jeanne was active in the Aspen arts and cultural community. She served on the board and became the first chairwoman of the Aspen Music Festival. She was president and served on the board of the Anderson Ranch Arts Center. In 1993, Jeanne was inducted into the Aspen Hall of Fame. Jeanne and Wilton were instrumental in the founding of Aspen Valley Hospital. After Wilton’s death in 1995, Jeanne continued to support the hospital and in 2004 was named a member of the Aspen Valley Medical Foundation’s honorary board.Jeanne Jaffee is survived by her daughter, Ellen Speiser Katz; two granddaughters, Erica Speiser Eisenberg and Martha Speiser Eisenberg; and four great-grandchildren.In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to the Aspen Valley Hospital, 401 Castle Creek Road, Aspen, CO 81611, or the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia special immunology program, 3550 Market St., second floor, Philadelphia, PA 19104, where her granddaughter works with children with HIV/AIDS.