Jane Carstensen Heller ’49
B.A., Denison University
Citation awarded June, 2012
For a number of years, Jane Carstensen Heller ’49 and her husband, Jack Heller ’47, were care givers for both sets of their aging parents. Envisioning what a quality continuing care community would have meant to them, they were committed to founding a continuing care retirement community in Granville.
Together with friends David ’45 and Dee Lindenberger Richards ’49, Jane and Jack approached the Kendal Corporation, a not for profit organization specializing in continuing care facilities, to advise and direct us in this effort. They assembled focus groups, administered surveys and held informational gatherings as well as seeking the support of the Denison University Board of Trustees and other Central Ohio area community leaders. After such affirming research and show of community support, Kendal concurred that Granville would be a viable location to establish such a center. In 2005, Kendal at Granville opened its doors to 110 units, serving approximately 155 people. Today, the community is expanding both the apartments and the health care center by 40 more spaces.
Jane has given much to the local community in a variety of ways. She served on the Denison University Research Foundation Board and on the Denison University Museum Board. A talented artist, Jane’s paintings have been displayed in three invitational shows sponsored by the Art Department. In 2010, one of her works appeared on the cover for the Vail Art Series.
Her interest in the visual arts has led her to participate in the creation of several art ventures in Central Ohio. Most notably, she was the director of the New Art Space at The Works, a center for art, industry and technology. Since this time, she has curated a number of exhibits for this group.
One of Jane’s greatest passions is children’s art. Knowing what a joyful difference art makes in the lives of children, she has encouraged several organizations to promote this learning opportunity. She is a founding board member of the Granville Studio of Visual Art and has taught art forms to children through the Granville Recreation Commission. Jane also has worked with students from the Career & Technology Education Center in Licking County.