Interviewed by The Star on the occasion of her 100th birthday in 2011, Camilla Roy Jewett offered the following advice for aging well: “Get out with young people when you have time. Learn what’s going on in your community. You have to have friends. No one wants to live an isolated life. It’s a great idea to read to educate yourself.”
Mrs. Jewett practiced what she preached, remaining active in the East Hampton community into her final years, in particular through membership in the Ladies Village Improvement Society and St. Luke’s Episcopal Church. She died on Jan. 27 at Southampton Hospital of pneumonia.
“Nice associations” were another key to her longevity, she said in 2011. “I’ve been lucky to have that all my life.” She was also a member of the Village Preservation Society, the East Hampton Historical Society, the Garden Club of East Hampton, Guild Hall, the Old East Hampton Society, and the Maidstone Club.
Mrs. Jewett was 102, having been born on Aug. 30, 1911, in West Barnet, Vt., to John Alexander Roy and the former Eveline White. When she turned 100, East Hampton Village Mayor Paul F. Rickenbach Jr. declared Aug. 30 Camilla Jewett Day in the village.
She graduated from Lasell Junior College in Auburndale, Mass., then took extended courses in dietetics with the New York City Department of Hospitals. She became the head dietician responsible for the meals of 2,300 people at the Home for Dependent and Cancer Neurological Hospital on Roosevelt Island, which was known at the time as Welfare Island.
She was married on Aug. 14, 1942, to Edward H. Jewett Jr., whose family had a house on Apaquogue Road in the Georgica section of East Hampton. After their marriage, Mrs. Jewett resigned from her position on Welfare Island to be with her husband during the World War II years. She moved with him first to Miami, where he was commanding officer of two coastal patrol boats, then to Bangor, Wash., where he was lieutenant commander of a naval ammunition depot.
The couple returned to New York City in 1946, and Mr. Jewett, a stockbroker, rejoined the Wall Street firm Jewett and Shean. He retired the following year, and in 1948, the Jewetts bought a house on East Hampton’s Main Street, across from Town Pond, where they raised a son, John Sherwood Jewett, and where Mrs. Jewett would live for the rest of her life. Mr. Jewett died in 1981.
Her house gave her the perfect vantage point on the goings on at Town Pond and she became something of an expert on the swans that made it their home. “I keep track of them; take notes on when they disappear to lay their eggs. Each year it’s quite different where they go,” she told The Star in 2011. “If they get stuck in the ice, I call.”
At a 100th birthday celebration for Mrs. Jewett hosted by the Ladies Village Improvement Society, friends and well-wishers praised her intelligence, grace, and sense of style, calling her a “guiding light” and a “Rock of Gibraltar for our community.”
Mrs. Jewett is survived by her son, who lives in San Francisco, and her stepsons, Edward H. Jewett III of Morristown, N.J., and George M. Jewett of Las Vegas. She also leaves one grandchild, four stepgrandchildren, and five step great-grandchildren. A sister, Evelyn Roy Walsh Conlin, and brother, Ralph Alexander Roy, died before her.
A funeral for Mrs. Jewett was held on Feb. 1, at St. Luke’s Episcopal Church in East Hampton, the Rev. Denis C. Brunelle officiating. Burial was at Cedar Lawn Cemetery in East Hampton.
Contributions have been suggested to the Animal Rescue Fund of the Hamptons, P.O. Box 910, Wainscott 11975.v