Country Curtains Founder Passes
Playthings Staff -- Gifts & Dec, December 6, 2013
STOCKBRIDGE, MASS. -
Jane Pratt - Fitzpatrick Jane Pratt Fitzpatrick, founder of Country Curtains and owner of the Red Lion Inn, died at her home on here on Nov. 9, ten days short of her 90th birthday.
She began he r career at age 1 7 , becoming department supervisor of an Army Navy supply depot in Hartford, Conn. She and her husband Jack Fitzpatrick founded Country Curtains as a mail order business in 1956, "literally from their dining room table in the town of Whitman, Mass.," according to the company. The following year, the couple and their daughters moved to Stockbridge.
In late 1968, they purchased the Red Lion Inn, saving it from demolition and making it the new home of Country Curtains. She also became active with local arts organizations and was one of the founding board members of The Norman Rockwell Museum of Stockbridge. Fitzpatrick and her husband also posed for Rockwell. She was awarded four honorary doctorates, from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst, North Adams State College (Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts), American International College and Westfield State College. She also served on the Massachusetts Cultural Council and was the recipient of its first Commonwealth Award in 1993, honoring her as a patron of the arts and humanities. From 1998 to 2001, she was recognized in Working Woman magazine as ceo and chair of one of the top 500 women owned companies in the U.S.
At the time of her death, she was the chairman of Country Curtains, which operates catalogs, a website and 26 retail stores.
Fitzpatrick is survived by a sister, Mary Ann Snyder of Largo, Fla., and two daughters, Nancy Jane Fitzpatrick and her husband Lincoln Russell and Ann Fitzpatrick Brown of Stockbridge. She is also survived by two grandsons, Casey Meade Rothstein-Fitzpatrick and Alexander John Fitzpatrick Brown, three step-grandchildren, and 14 nieces and nephews and their families.
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