Eugenie Anne "Jane" Connall, a longtime Howard County psychologist who was also an animal lover, died April 5 of breast cancer at her Columbia home. She was 58.
"She was just incredible and very inspirational. Her death is a big loss for our community because she helped so many people and touched so many lives," said Kathleen H. Wesson, who is in sales for a construction materials company.
"She was incredibly dynamic and just very bright. She was really fantastic at what she did," said Ms. Wesson, who lives in Ellicott City. "And she was awfully good when it came to working with adolescent teenagers."
During her high school years, she also studied classical piano at the Manis School of Music in New York City.
Dr. Connall attended Manhattanville College and Wheaton College, where she received a bachelor's degree in 1976 in psychology.
She earned a master's degree in counseling in 1979 from George Washington University, and was a summa cum laude graduate of Southern California University, from which she earned her doctorate in psychology in 2004.
For more than 20 years, Dr. Connall maintained her practice in Columbia's Twin Knolls neighborhood.
"I was going through a divorce at the time, and I had two young children, and I was concerned about how they might be affected by what was going on, so the three of us went for counseling," recalled Ms. Wesson.
"They fell in love with her and she really helped me and my kids."
"I sent a lot of patients to her for counseling. She was an incredible counselor who saved a lot of marriages and made people believe in themselves," said Dr. Vhanna Kalikhman, a Columbia internist. "She was always helpful and ready to put her hands under everybody."
Lisa M. Passalacqua, a Howard County restaurateur, has been a close friend of Dr. Connall's for 21 years.
"Personally, she was the most generous and giving person I've ever met in my life. I guess I've recommended her to 60 different people through the years," said Ms. Passalacqua, who lives in Columbia.
"She helped people with clothes, groceries, took them to dinner and sent them cards. I remember taking her to chemo and she kept saying she needed to send her Valentine's Day cards," said Ms. Passalacqua.
"She was also great at helping people with marriage and infidelity issues," she said.
She said that her friend loved everything she could learn about Hollywood stars, liked driving BMWs, and enjoyed dressing in a "quirky manner."
"After being diagnosed with breast cancer, she always wore pink," said Ms. Passalacqua.
"Even when she was ill, she was still seeing patients and trying to help. She even did Skype interviews. It was the one of the few things that made her feel better. It gave her life purpose," said Dr. Kalikhman, who lives in Ellicott City.
Dr. Connall, a dog lover who had been active with the Humane Society of Howard County, "brought her two dogs to her office and allowed them to sit in her patients' laps if they so desired," said Ms. Passalacqua.
"Jane was a remarkable, remarkable woman and whenever she left, wherever she was, people remembered her," she said.