Jane Somerville Caspari

Obituary of Jane Elizabeth Somerville Caspari

Jane Elizabeth Somerville - Caspari


Jane, age 70, died peacefully in her home in Toronto on Tuesday, April 14, 2020 after a courageous and hard-fought 24-year battle with brain cancer.


Born May 9, 1949 in Strathroy, Ontario to Agnes and Cameron Somerville, Jane was the eldest daughter of four children- sister to Mary Pennell (Ernie), Neil Somerville (Jackie) and John Somerville (deceased). She was a graduate of Strathroy Collegiate Institute and completed her Master of Political Science degree from the University of Western Ontario.  Survived by her loving husband Dr. David Caspari, “favorite sons” Jordan  Caspari and Julian Caspari, “daughters-in-love” Sylvia Colucci and Courtney Irwin, and “grand-kidlets” Bennett (11), Gianna (9), Georgia (5) and Collette (1). She was a facilitator of extended family gatherings that she famously called, “hootenannies”.


Jane lived her passion for life each and every step of the way. She was an eternal optimist with a great sense of humor, and stalwart in her commitment to life’s adventures – traveling, dancing, singing, running marathons, and “inventing” family meals. She was a champion of literature and founded Somerville House Books where she innovated a new genre of children’s books and toys starting with the Bug Book and Bottle, which was on the New York Times bestseller list for many weeks in the late 1980s. Jane was honored in 1996 as Canadian Women’s Entrepreneur of the Year for her many creative endeavours. In the years before her passing, she fulfilled her lifelong dream of being an author with the publication of “My Dog Max is a Buddhist”.  Her small-town upbringing in Strathroy, Ontario instilled a strong sense of faith and duty that was evident in her love, generosity and commitment to community, whether supporting Lawrence Park neighborhood initiatives or welcoming a wide cast of characters to the family dinner table.


Jane will be missed dearly as a loving wife, sister, mother, grandmother and friend to all those who surrounded her. In this moment of sadness and loss, we honor Jane and her commitment to life. We are eternally grateful for her presence in our lives.  In Jane's memory, the family is planning to establish a reading program for palliative care patients at Bridgepoint Active Care. In lieu of flowers, please contact the family in regard to donations.