Life Story: Jane Tublin, 89; Longtime Township Resident, Active In New Brunswick

Jane Tublin, a long-time resident of Somerset, passed away on May 30, surrounded by family members who adored her. She was 89.

Born and raised on a 2,500-acre cattle ranch in Page, Nebraska, Jane lived with her parents and seven siblings in a house without electricity or running water until she was 16. She attended a one-room elementary schoolhouse on the ranch where classes were taught by her mother. After high school in Page, she moved to California to attend San Jose State University.

Jane became a teacher after college, and over a span of eight years, she lived and taught in Wyoming, Hawaii (during the time it was becoming part of the U.S.), and then France. She was teaching in France when she met Dr. Robert Tublin, a dentist serving in the U.S. Army who would become her husband. After they married, Jane and Bob lived in Long Island, N.Y. before moving to Somerset, where they raised their family.

Jane worked for five years as executive director of Young Audiences of New Jersey, a national not-for-profit organization that brings arts education programs to schools and other venues. In 1983, she became the director of International Programs for the City of New Brunswick and remained involved in the city’s International Programs until she retired in 2020.

During her time working for the city, she helped to create the New Brunswick Sister Cities program, which allowed New Brunswick to establish relationships with four cities, Tsuruoka and Fukui in Japan, Debrecen, Hungary, and Limerick City and County in Ireland. As head of Sister Cities, Jane helped forge international alliances for other New Brunswick-based businesses and organizations. The Sister Cities program, under Jane’s direction, introduced hundreds of New Brunswick school children and residents to the people and cultures of Japan, Hungary, and Ireland.

The role of Sister Cities director was tailor made for her love of adventure, her sense of curiosity and appreciation for people. In addition to travel, she had a passion for theater, music, and art. Her watercolor paintings have been exhibited in Japan, China, Korea, and in Central New Jersey.

Her work and volunteer roles in New Brunswick made her a familiar presence in the community, where even after her retirement she was greeted warmly everywhere she went by politicians, business owners, teachers, and residents.

She served 12 years on the Board of Directors for Sister Cities International. In 2000, she was appointed to serve as the group’s representative for New Jersey, where she helped other communities develop Sister Cities programs. She served on the board of directors for American Women for International Understanding and was a charter member of the New Brunswick Cultural Center Board. She also served as director of the Central Jersey Chapter of Business Volunteers for the Arts.

Robert, her husband of 50 years, died in 2012. She was also predeceased by her parents, William and Esther Simmons, and sisters, Harriet Norris, Betsy Hardin and Roxie Goin.

Surviving are her sons, William Tublin of Bridgewater; Michael Tublin and his partner Susan Todd of New Brunswick; Jay Tublin and his wife, Jennifer of Hillsborough; and her daughter and son-in-law, Andrea and Joseph Kowalski of Hillsborough. She is also survived by two sisters, Lyn Neale and Judy Bovill, both of California; brother, Ralph Simmons of Atlantic City; and the grandchildren she showered with love, Jake and Taylor Tublin, Caitlyn and Lyndzie Kowalski; Zachary and Aidan Tublin.

Visitation will be at noon June 5 from the Gleason Funeral Home, 1360 Hamilton Street, Somerset. Services will begin at 12:30 p.m. Graveside services will follow at Cedar Hill Cemetery, Somerset.

Donations in lieu of flowers can be made to the New Brunswick Sister Cities Association at www.newbrunswicksistercities.org or click HERE to be forwarded to the webpage.

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