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Jane V.P. Benesch, homemaker

Jane V.P. Benesch, a homemaker who was active with several museums, died Feb. 12 of heart failure at Roland Park Place. She was 95.

The daughter of Henry Van Praag, a lingerie manufacturer, and Marie Goldsmith Van Praag, Jane Van Praag was born in New York City and raised at Meadow Hill, the family home in Chappaqua, N.Y.

After graduating from the Knox School, she earned a bachelor's degree from Smith College. She then moved to New York City, where she worked for Israel Sack, a well-known antiques dealer who founded Israel Sack Inc.

While working in New York, she met and fell in love with Isaac Benesch, a Yale School of Drama graduate, who at the time was an assistant to Donald Oenslager, the noted Broadway set designer.

The couple married in the early 1940s and moved to Baltimore, when her husband joined the family firm, Gomprecht and Benesch, a retail furniture company. He died in 1972.

During World War II, Mrs. Benesch worked at a Baltimore munitions plant, family members said.

Mrs. Benesch was a longtime resident of 1425 Park Ave. in Bolton Hill. A specialist in Oriental export china, she worked as an assistant to Bill Fehsenfeld, who owned the London Shop in Bolton Hill.

She was an active member of the Walters Art Museum and had been a board member of the Peale Museum.

Mrs. Benesch enjoyed playing tennis and spending summers at Bethany Beach, Del., where she had been a founder of Bethany Club Tennis.

She later lived on Upland Road for a year before moving to Roland Park Place in 2005.

A celebration of Mrs. Benesch's life will be held at 1:30 p.m. March 1 at Roland Park Place, 830 W. 40th St.

Mrs. Benesch is survived by a daughter, Katherine Benesch of Princeton, N.J.; nephews and a niece. Another daughter, Barbara Benesch, died in 2011.


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