Jennifer Ann Cantrell (Brown), 78, of Walpole, MA died peacefully on Sunday, January 2nd at her home surrounded by her loving husband of 54 years, her children, their spouses and her grandchildren. Life will never be the same for those who have survived and are living without her; Husband Dick of 54 years, Daughter Ciki McIntire and her husband John of Nashua, NH, Son Doug Cantrell and his wife Tini of Walpole, MA, daughter Shan Bishop and her husband Eoghan of Franklin, MA and 8 Grandchildren Cameron (22) and Kirsten (19) McIntire of Nashua, NH, Annie (16), Cash (15) and Drew (12) of Walpole, MA and Evan (14), Teagan (12) and Carys (3) of Franklin, MA, along with many extended family and friends.
Jen was born on July 9, 1943 in London, England, the oldest of two children. She was the daughter of the late Phyllis Brown (Samuel) and Douglas Brown of Cape Elizabeth, Maine.
Jennifer was raised in London until she came over to America on the Queen Mary. She lived in White Plains, New York for a few years until her family made their home in Cape Elizabeth, Maine. She attended Sargent College at Boston University where she majored in Physical Education and this is where she eventually met her husband of 54 years (Richard). Jen was the president of her sorority, Kappa Kappa Gamma.
Jen, or more affectionately known as “Mamgu” to her grandchildren, married Dick, the love of her life, on August 26, 1967 at the age of 24. They made their home in Walpole, Massachusetts.
During her career, she taught Physical Education and coached in Wellesley, Brookline, Arlington, Walpole and eventually ended up at Montrose School. She started the lacrosse programs in Walpole, Brookline and at Montrose. Jen worked at Montrose for 12 years as a Physical Education teacher, Athletic Director and Coach until she retired. She was instrumental in starting their athletic program and devoted her heart and soul to inspiring athletes. After her retirement in 2005, the athletic department renamed their “110% Award” to the “Jennifer Cantrell 110% Award” in honor of her service and spirit to the Athletic Programs at Montrose.
The true passion in her life was her family. Nothing was more important than her children and their spouses, Ciki and John McIntire, Doug and Tini Cantrell, and Shan & Eoghan Bishop. She loved her 8 grandchildren Cameron, Kirsten, Annie, Cash, Evan, Teagan, Drew, and Carys, who were her everything. Mamgu embraced all opportunities to spend time with them and was their biggest supporter. She spent much of her time giving each of them “consults” and advice. Whether she was cheering from the sidelines, sending them text messages with a million emojis, playing Wii tournaments with them, or attending concerts and recitals, she taught them the importance of a loving, supportive family. The grandkids absolutely loved going to Mamgu and Gee's house to be completely spoiled. She was extremely generous to all and her snack closet is legendary. Her generosity knows no bounds as evidenced by her nickname of generous Jenny and our favorite quote became “you can’t always get what you want, but if you try sometimes, you get it from Mamgu”.
Jen truly enjoyed traveling and her time with friends and family on vacations. Some of her fondest memories are of trips she planned to Disney, Cruises, Aruba, Florida, Australia, and Alaska. She loved the sun and being near the water. She thrived on celebrating holidays and birthdays, always having enough food for a small army and sending each family home with “Scrap Dog Sunday” leftovers. She was a national treasure in being Nashua South’s biggest fan, always making her presence known through social media. She loved her weekly get-togethers with friends at the Lafayette House.
Thanks Mom, for all the giving you gave, all the time you spent, all the hugs, kisses and caring and all the love you put into our family.
At this time no services will be held due to Covid concerns. The family plans to host a Celebration of Life this summer where they would welcome all family and friends to join them in celebrating Jen’s life. In lieu of flowers, the family asks donations to be sent to any of the following athletic programs; Montrose School Athletics, Nashua South High School Athletics or Walpole High School Athletics.
Montrose School Athletics
29 North Street
Medfield, MA 02052
Payable to: Montrose School, noting on the memo line “Jennifer Cantrell”
Or at Montroseschool.org/give
Nashua South High School
℅ Athletic Department
36 Riverside Drive
Nashua, NH 03062
Payable to: Nashua South Boosters
Walpole High School
275 Common Street
Walpole, MA 02081
Payable to: Town of Walpole, noting on the memo line “WHS Athletics”