Jenepher Rice Lingelbach

Friday, June 09, 2017

East Baranard, Vt. — Jenepher Rice Lingelbach passed peacefully in her home on Tuesday, June 6, 2017, surrounded by loved ones. She lived her life with joy and spirit, even during the later years with Alzheimer’s. In Jenepher’s words, “a real pisser of a disease.”

Jenepher was born Sept. 16, 1935, and grew up in Dover, Mass. She graduated from Milton Academy in 1953 and from Vassar College in 1957, having majored in German. Following a year in Germany and a year in England, where her first two children were born, the family moved to Milton, Mass., where she had her second two children.

In 1972, the family moved to East Barnard. Jenepher commenced what would become a lifelong involvement with the Vermont Institute of Natural Science as volunteer, teacher, co-founder of the ELF program, Interim Director and finally Chair of the Board. She was primary author of Hands on Nature, the book used to teach ELF. Continuing her passion for education, she later served as a Trustee at the Sharon Academy.

Jenepher was happiest outdoors, sleeping summers in a tent, sitting beside her pond or favorite stream, binoculars around her neck. She loved travel, hiking, biking, camping, canoeing, skiing, sailing and skinny dipping. Her proudest possession was a canoe paddle she made when she was 12 years old, which she used into her late 70s. Of the many trips she took, two of her favorites were tracking bears in Minnesota and ocelots in Mexico.

Jenepher was also a poet. She’d say “The poem just fell out.” She and Artist Sabra Field collaborated on the book, Before Life Hurries On, and Jenepher published the book Words Like Leaves. Another poem, “We Hope” is engraved on a bench by the river at VINS Nature Center.

As one friend wrote, “I don’t think I’ve ever known one person to touch so many lives in so many ways. From the profound and poignant to the silly and funny, Jenepher was the consummate prober of and connector with human lives. Everyone mattered to her.”

Most important to her has always been her family, John Lingelbach, Lee Lingelbach, Bruce Lingelbach, and Caroline Lingelbach Young, and her nine grandchildren. From 1997 on, she spent her life with her beloved Bill Badger.

A memorial celebrating Jenepher’s life will be held at the Vermont Institute of Natural Science Nature Center on Thursday, June 15, 2017, at 4:00 pm. Arrangements are under the direction of Cabot Funeral Home in Woodstock, Vt.

Online memories and messages may be posted to www.cabotfh.com. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to VINS in memory of Jenepher.