Cover photo for Ellen Jane VanBuskirk's Obituary
Ellen Jane VanBuskirk Profile Photo
1943 Jane 2023

Ellen Jane VanBuskirk

March 2, 1943 — December 29, 2023

Houston, TX

Ellen Jane VanBuskirk, 80 of Hudson, MA passed away on Friday, December 29th, 2023, in Houston, Texas. She was predeceased by her beloved second husband David VanBuskirk on January 6, 2002.

Born in Marlborough, MA on March 2, 1943, she was the daughter of the late Dennis Francis Murphy and Mary Bradshaw and was called “Jane”. She was the fourth of six children, with brother Dennis Francis Murphy, Jr. and sister Mary Murphy O’Malley who predeceased her; and surviving sisters Catherine Murphy Sanford of Essex, MA; Cornelia Murphy of Berlin, MA, and Patricia Murphy Bergeron of Marlborough, MA. The Murphy family lived on Manning Street in Hudson and Jane attended St. Michael’s grade school and Hudson Catholic High School, graduating in 1961. She completed a degree in nursing at Boston College graduating summa cum laude in 1965.

After graduating from college, Jane married Allan Stephen Otis of Marlborough, MA in November 1965 and the couple settled at first in Manchester, CT but also lived in Natick and Framingham, MA and in Birmingham, AL. Together they had three children - Thomas Otis of London, UK, Elizabeth Lane of Houston, TX and Meghan Otis of Chicago, IL. In 1976 Jane and the children moved from Birmingham, AL to Hudson, MA.

Jane worked as a nurse in the Obstetrics and Gynecology Department at Framingham Union Hospital and earned her credentials as a nurse practitioner in 1980. She joined a OB/GYN medical practice where she worked until 1990.

In 1987, Jane married David VanBuskirk of Framingham, MA. Jane and Dave’s shared passion for books led them to start an antiquarian bookstore called Bearly Read Books on Boston Post Road in Sudbury, MA. They ran this much-loved business for more than 13 years together and Jane continued running the store until she retired in 2007. Throughout her life, Jane was passionate about books and reading, sharing and giving away treasured books to her friends and family. Jane will be deeply missed by all of her family and friends. After retiring Jane moved to Houston to be near her daughter Liz and her family. There she met many friends and continued to collect books and drive her Volvo in a semi-cautious manner until her kids hid the keys. After many years in Texas her Boston accent never left her side and she was proud of it.

Jane is survived by her extended family and many friends and her son Dr. Thomas S. Otis and his wife Klara; daughter Elizabeth O. Lane, and her husband Tim, and daughter Meghan P. Otis and her husband John Tompkins. She is also survived by her beloved grandchildren, Emma and Luka Otis of London, UK, Grace and Claire Lane of Houston, and Andrew and Owen Amir-Arjomand of Chicago.

Calling hours for Jane will be held on Thursday, January 11, 2024, from 5pm-7pm, at Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home, 50 Central Street, Hudson, MA. A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 10am on Friday, January 12, 2024, at Saint Michael Parish, 21 Manning Street, Hudson, MA; followed by a procession to Saint Michael Cemetery, 278 Cox Street, Hudson, MA.

In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made in Jane’s memory to the Texas Network of Youth Services in Austin, TX or The Buddy Dog Humane Society, Inc in Sudbury, MA

To order memorial trees or send flowers to the family in memory of Ellen Jane VanBuskirk, please visit our flower store.

Service Schedule

Past Services


Thursday, January 11, 2024

5:00 - 7:00 pm (Eastern time)

Tighe Hamilton Regional Funeral Home

50 Central St., Hudson, MA 01749

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Mass of Christian Burial

Friday, January 12, 2024

10:00 - 11:00 am (Eastern time)

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Friday, January 12, 2024

Starts at 11:15 am (Eastern time)

Saint MIchael Cemetery

278 Cox Street, Hudson, MA 01749

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