Marilyn Jenne, one of the most respected residents of Amherst, has passed away at age 96.
She was a founding member of the Amherst Historical Society and had served on the city zoning board, Amherst Public Library board, and Nord Center and Nord Family Foundation boards.
“Marilyn was an advocate of all things Amherst,” said Judy Alexander, a fellow library board member. “She was involved in every good thing that happened here.”
Alexander remembers Jenne as a positive influence who was always interested in accomplishing goals. She was also extremely generous, helping to raise money for Mercy Hospital.
“We really were very fond of Marilyn and are very appreciative of everything she did for the library and the whole community,” said Don Dovala, director of the Amherst Public Library. He called Jenne “a straightforward, honest thinker who was always ready to roll up her sleeves and get work done.”
Historical society president Bob Pallante said Jenne was a benefactor for years, lending her support to the nonprofit group both personally and financially.
A 1940 graduate of Central School, she was inducted into the Amherst Steele High School Gallery of Success in 1994.
Jenne worked at U.S. Automatic — later the Nordson Corporation — for 43 years and after retiring remained active in the Elyria National Secretary Association.
She married World War II Army medic Bud Jenne and the couple established Budmar Farms in 1948 on North Ridge Road. Together they bred 200 horses, including some race champions, and launched the annual Little Brown Jug pace horse race in Delaware, Ohio.
Cashing out $2 million in Nordson stocks, she established the Bud and Marilyn Jenne Designated Professorship in Equine Clinical Sciences and Research at Ohio State University in memory of her husband, who died in 1990. The professorship permanently supports a faculty member in veterinary medicine.
She also funded the construction of the Jenne Building, which houses an art studio at the Amherst Sandstone Village on Milan Avenue.
It was built as a work space for her nephew, artist Neal Jenne, who died in 2011 at age 71. The building’s facade was created to look like an early 20th century storefront.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-775-1611 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.