Jane Pacey Chaleff, a children’s librarian at the Rogers Memorial Library in Southampton, a nature lover, and an advocate for peace and justice, died at Stony Brook University Hospital on Monday following injuries from a fall. She was 63.
Born on Dec. 2, 1944, in Albany, a daughter of Donald Pacey and the former Marjorie Elsbree, Mrs. Chaleff spent part of her childhood in Preston Hollow, N.Y., and in communities in Virginia and Maryland where her father worked as a farm manager and caretaker.
She inherited a reverence for the natural world from her parents and passed it on to own son, Ben, and to the children she worked with at the library. She was a self-taught student of the soil, plants, rocks, birds, and other creatures of the East End and beyond.
Mrs. Chaleff lived with her husband, Bill Chaleff, who survives, on Cedar Street in East Hampton. The couple, who were New York City residents before moving east 36 years ago, celebrated their 40th wedding anniversary in March.
Besides her husband and son, who lives in Southampton, Mrs. Chaleff is survived by a granddaughter who was born two weeks ago and who, the family said, she was “thrilled to know.”
A sister, Mary Pacey Schultz of Carmel, Calif., and a brother, Hugh Pacey of Cincinnati, also survive.
A member of the Long Island Progressive Coalition, Mrs. Chaleff expressed her commitment to international peace and justice by participating in vigils both alone and with friends, including members of East End Women in Black.
She took delight in things that were homemade. She worked beside her husband, an architect, to help build a house for her in-laws, displaying such skill with a hammer that she was nicknamed Sparky.
Mrs. Chaleff held a master’s degree in French from Ohio University. After earning a graduate degree in library science at C.W. Post College of Long Island University, she worked in the children’s room at the East Hampton Library before going on to the Rogers Memorial Library, where she was head of the children’s department.
She was cremated. Visiting will be in the Morris Room of the Rogers Memorial Library this afternoon from 2 to 4. A memorial service will be held at Quail Hill Farm in Amagansett on Oct. 25.
Donations in Mrs. Chaleff’s name have been suggested to any peace or conservation organization.