Alice Jane Hersh

Dec. 30, 1952 - May 08, 2017
Jane Hersh, Dec. 30, 1952 - May 08, 2017

Alice Jane Hersh, a 13th-generation East Hamptoner who grew up on an Amagansett farm, died of complications of cancer on May 8 at Southside Hospital in Bay Shore. She was 64 and had been ill for four months.

Born to Harvey N. Bennett, whose forebears were among East Hampton’s first five families, and the former Jane Pafnucka, who emigrated from Poland to this country when she was 15,  she picked corn, beans, and strawberries at the family farm on Oak and Town Lanes as a girl. The produce and eggs from the farm’s 1,000 laying hens were sold at a farm stand that was next to Brent’s Store on Montauk Highway in Amagansett at first and then on Pantigo Road in East Hampton. Her family said these girlhood experiences instilled the love she retained all her life for animals and nature.

Mrs. Hersh was born at Southampton Hospital on Dec. 30, 1952, one of her parents’ four children. Her mother died only five years ago at age 98. She attended the Amagansett School and Most Holy Trinity Catholic School in East Hampton and graduated from East Hampton High School. After two years at Suffolk Community College, she went to the State University at Albany, where she earned a bachelor’s degree in business education. She subsequently taught business and was an assistant reading teacher in the Comsewogue School District. More recently, she ran a computer based reading program for young readers at Forest Brook Elementary School in the Hauppauge School District.

In July 1976 she converted to Judaism to marry Stephen Hersh, who survives. They had met in college and settled in Smithtown where they reared their children.

Mrs. Hersh’s family said she loved spending time at the beach and, once her mother moved to East Hampton, could often be seen on Main Beach. She enjoyed traveling and had gone to France and Poland in 1972 with her mother, who returned to find her roots. She was proud of her family history on both sides, they said.

Mrs. Hersh was “a loving mother and wife,” her family said, and enjoyed taking walks, knitting quilts for family and friends, and being sociable. She had had a cat for many years and most recently had considered her children’s corgis her “grandpups.”

 In addition to Mr. Hersh, a son, Jeff Hersh of Los Angeles, and a daughter, Carolyn Hersh of Hauppauge, survive her. Her siblings survive as well. They are Josephine Domingues of Springfield, Va., Jonathan Bennett of Moodus, Conn., and Amagansett, and Capt. Harvey L. Bennett of Amagansett.

Mrs. Hersh had a Jewish funeral and was buried at Mt. Ararat Cemetery in Farmingdale. The family will hold a memorial at a future date.