Jeneba Greig (Stewart) Allard of Elm Terrace died Friday, July 26 at the Baystate Franklin Medical Center in Greenfield. She was 61.
She was born in Robertsport, Liberia on October 6, 1951, the daughter of Reed and Gail (Peterson) Stewart, who were superintendent and principal at the Bromley Mission Episcopal Girls School. During her childhood she spent time in Duxbury, Princeton and Holden, as well as Cos Cob, Conn., Evanston, Ill., and Nairobi, Kenya.
Jeneba was a graduate of Wachusett Regional High School Class of 1969. She attended Bryn Mawr College, Nasson College and Bridgewater State College, and graduated from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst with a Bachelor of Arts degree and a master’s degree in education.
She settled in Ware in the late 1970s, and became a valued member of the community until moving closer to other family members as her health declined in 2010.
She worked with special needs children at Sunlight House in Scituate and at Belchertown State School’s Blind Unit. Jeneba taught high school classes in North Brookfield and the Eagle Hill School system. Her proudest achievement there was helping children with learning disabilities and behavioral problems earn high school diplomas by using nontraditional teaching methods. She instilled in her students the importance of respect for others and personal responsibility.
When she fell ill with Behcet’s Disease later in life, she researched and found her own diagnosis and in the process she educated local doctors about the disease.
A good word to describe Jeneba is “exuberant.” Extroverted and social, she was always interested in people, made friends easily and kept them. Her battle with Behcet’s and associ ated health problems was long and difficult, often leaving her in great pain, but she never lost her optimism or determination.
Jeneba was an avid reader who loved to learn. She loved music of all kinds, birdwatching, her beloved bassett hound Martha, and so much more in life. She was happiest at her family vacation home in Chilmark.
Besides her father, Reed Stewart of Marshfield Hills, Jeneba leaves a daughter, Kate S. Allard and her fiancé David Spira Cohen of West Hatfield; a son, Christopher S. Allard and his girlfriend Kelly Wheeler of Ware; two sisters, Karen Pettengill of Greenfield and Lusia Stewart of Kingston; two brothers, her twin Ian Stewart of Milbury and Michael Stewart of Scituate; several nieces and nephews; three grandnieces and a multitude of friends.
Funeral services will be at the convenience of the family with a memorial service at a date to be announced.
Memorial contributions may be made to The Nature Conservancy, 4245 North Fairfax Drive, Suite 100, Arlington, VA 22203, or to the Dakin Pioneer Valley Humane Society, P.O. Box 6307, Springfield, MA 01101.
Arrangements are under the direction of the Kostanski Funeral Home in Greenfield. An online guest book is avaialbe at kostanskifuneralhome.com.