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Lee Jansen, 99

GREAT BARRINGTON, Mass. — Lee Jansen passed away on Feb. 27, 2021, just six weeks before her 100th birthday. 

Liselotte was born on April 12, 1921, in Bonn, Germany. She married the love of her life, Leo, on Sept. 17, 1946. Leo and Lee were both half Jewish and amazingly survived the Holocaust. They, along with
their young daughter Claudia, emigrated to the US in 1956 and settled in West Hartford, Conn. 

In 2005 they relocated to Great Barrington. Lee was devoted to Leo, who developed Alzheimers and cared for him for 11 years.  

Lee was a survivor of great tragedy. Being born half Jewish she escaped being transported to a Nazi work camp and was hidden away by friends and acquaintances.  She lost her father Emil, brother Rudi, grandmother Clara, and aunt Anna in the Holocaust. Despite her heartbreaking past, she was strong with a beautiful inner spirit and a love of life. She had been a secretary but then was drawn to fashion working in boutiques. Finally, in her 80th year, she worked for Victoria's Secret becoming Victoria's "oldest secret." 

Lee had a sunny disposition, a beautiful smile and sparkling eyes which lit up a room. Lee loved the beauty of nature, growing flowers, music, reading and taking long walks.

In her nineties, she could often be seen walking to Big Y and two miles to Mason Library in Great Barrington. She was a beauty inside and out and looked much younger than her years, always dressed up wherever she went.  

After 69 years of marriage, Leo passed away. Lee continued to live independently in her apartment at Beechtree Commons into her 98th year. She lived the last year of her life at Noble Horizons where she was compassionately cared for by the nurses and staff. Although Covid kept her apart from her loving family, her daughter Claudia was able to be by her side at the end.  

Lee is survived by her two daughters Claudia Ziobro and husband Mark of Sheffield, and Patricia Kowalski of Lake Worth, Fla., four grandchildren, Cory Ziobro, Chelsea Ziobro, Nicole Pascual, Kevin Kowalski and three great grandchildren, Lucius Magill, Bella and Selena Pascual and her niece Ursula Garbotz Kerres in Aachen, Germany.  

A celebration of Lee's life will be held in September. Donations in memory of Lee may be made to the Berkshire Humane Society through Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home, 426 Main Street, Great Barrington, MA 01230. To send remembrances to her family please go to

Obituary Provided By: Finnerty & Stevens Funeral Home

Recollections & Sympathy For the Family
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