Jane “Jerry” Kibler Bristoll  of Chestertown Photo Courtesy Starr Center for the Study of the American Experience, National Homefront Project

Jane “Jerry” Kibler Bristoll, 92, of Chestertown, Maryland died on Saturday, December 12, 2020 at her residence at Heron Point in Chestertown.

She was the daughter of the late John Thomas “Coach” Kibler and Bessie Perry Kibler. Her husband of 63 years, Harrison Charles “Jim” Bristoll passed in January 2017.

She is survived by her daughters: Perry Bristoll Stephenson of Dallas, Texas and Jane Bristoll Short and her son-in-law Luke Short, both of Fort Lauderdale Florida. Her dear brother, John Thomas “Jack” Kibler, Jr. predeceased her.

The Kibler family played a major role in the development of 20th century Chestertown: the Kibler Coal Yard that fed the potbelly stoves — and later the first electric turbines of the Chestertown Electric Company. Her father played an enormous role in the development of the Washington College athletic program and was President of the Chestertown Bank.

Born in Philadelphia, Pa., “Jerry” as she was known to friends and family was a lifelong resident of Chestertown and Kent County where she grew up.

Bristoll’s mother was one of the Perry sisters, who all grew up at Readbourne, the Georgian mansion in Wilmer Neck near Centreville in Queen Anne’s County.

All five sisters would grow up, marry and raise their families on Water Street in Chestertown. Jerry’s greatest passion was her family. Her childhood was spent in close proximity to her aunts and uncles allowing cherished lifelong bonds to be established with her many cousins.

Bristoll was interviewed about life during World War II in Chestertown as part of the National Homefront Project of the Starr Center at Washington College.

Bristoll attended St. Margaret’s in Tappahannock, Virginia graduating in 1946 and then went onto graduate from Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, New York in 1950 with a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Physical Education.

Shortly after graduating she began her career as a physical education teacher at The Madeira School outside of Washington DC and later at Chestertown Middle School where a generation of students became familiar with the term “tenni pumps.”

Her dedication and devotion to her family was well known to all who knew Jerry. Her career in physical education sparked a love of sports, including her father’s passion for baseball as well as her own love for tennis.

Jerry also showed a strong love for country. The loss of her brother Jack in World War II instilled a lifelong sense of patriotism reflected in her love of parades and of hymns such as America the Beautiful. Another constant in her life was Emmanuel Episcopal Church in Chestertown where she was long term member and derived great joy and peace in attending regularly.

Chestertown attorney, Philip Wilmer Hoon is a cousin of Bristoll. Ann Wilmer Hoon, his mother, was the daughter of a Perry sister and grew up next door to the Kibler family. He fondly remembered the annual Thanksgiving gatherings. The Bristolls returned to Chestertown in the late 1970s. Jim Bristoll represented Chestertown’s Ward 1 from 1993 to 2009. Jerry was also the unofficial mayor of the 100 block of N. Water Street for many decades until her move to Heron Point.

“She was interested in people,” Hoon recalled. “When you walked down Water Street, 9 times out of 10 you would see Jerry.”

“She befriended everybody,” Hoon continued. “She was a good solid citizen,” noting her work in the public schools.

Due to COVID restrictions, a small private service will be held on Saturday, December 19, 2020 at Emmanuel Episcopal Church for immediate family. A larger Celebration of Life will be planned for later. In lieu of flowers the family suggests donations be made to Emmanuel Episcopal Church or the Kent County Humane Society.

Funeral arrangements are by Marvin V. Williams, Jr. Funeral Director, Chestertown, Maryland.

This remembrance includes original reporting by Stephen Meehan and funeral home obituary details.

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