December 17, 1951 - March 15, 2023
Jayne McGuire Booker, 71, of Redwood City, CA, died peacefully on March 15, 2023. She was a proud ovarian cancer survivor and had only recently learned that she had a rare, untreatable sarcoma as a result of her radiation treatment.
Jayne was born December 17, 1951, to Marjorie and James F. Booker, in Wilmington, DE. Upon graduation from Brandywine High School, Jayne attended Duke University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in History and Education. Fresh out of college in 1973, she joined the Peace Corps and served in Dahomey, now Benin, West Africa from 1973-1975. This began her lifelong love affair with developing countries, specifically Africa. Jayne worked in Washington, DC for several years after returning from the Peace Corps at the International Management and Development Institute, where she utilized her deep knowledge about West Africa.
From IMDI, she entered the MBA program at the University of North Carolina’s Kenan-Flagler Business School where she was a Morehead Fellow. After business school, Jayne joined the consulting area of Coopers & Lybrand in Washington, DC and was sent by them to work first in Antigua and then in Barbados. She then went on to work for Deloitte for nine years, four of which she worked in Washington, DC as a Senior Manager, Africa. In 1994, she became a Managing Partner with Deloitte, living and working in Johannesburg, South Africa for five years. It was during this time that she shared her love of the continent of Africa with her family and friends, providing experiences that would become lifelong memories for them.
After returning to the States in 1999, Jayne settled down in the San Francisco Bay Area. She worked for the David and Lucille Packard Foundation, providing grantmaking support to African reproductive health NGOs, after which she worked for the Council on Foundations. It was during this time that she co-authored Making a Difference in Africa: Advice From Experienced Grantmakers with Rob Buchanan and former President Jimmy Carter. From 2002-2008, Jayne worked for Design Response, an organization that provided interior design and facility enhancement services to nonprofit organizations in the Bay Area.
From 2009-2010, she worked as Project Manager in the Stanford University Libraries, managing a planning grant to develop an African Leadership Institute for academic librarians in sub-Saharan Africa. Also in 2009, she became the CA Coordinator for MorePeaceCorps, a nationwide advocacy effort aimed at doubling the Peace Corps budget. Jayne served on the board of the National Peace Corps Association for nearly nine years, bringing her business acumen from her years as an international business consultant to that organization. She was honored to march with other Peace Corps alumni at the inauguration of former President Barack Obama. In 2010, she became founder and CEO of Brandywine Associates, a consulting firm for nonprofit organizations and foundations.
Jayne had an unquenchable love of learning and believed strongly in the value of education. In her 60s, she returned to school at The Jesuit School of Theology of Santa Clara University in Berkeley, CA, receiving her Master of Theological Studies in May of 2022. It was at this time that she converted to Catholicism. The spiritual practice that impacted her the most was the Ignatian Exercises – prayers and meditations developed by St. Ignatius of Loyola. Jayne was also a dedicated student of the Enneagram discipline.
Jayne had a brilliant mind which she used for service to others throughout her lifetime. In her time in the Bay Area, Jayne maintained deep ties with the Palo Alto Alumnae Association of Kappa Kappa Gamma, serving as President, Province Director of Alumnae, and numerous other roles. She also served as a Board Member for the National Peace Corps Association, and was Trustee for TheatreWorks Silicon Valley, serving as Chair on the Committee of Trustees. She was a member of three book clubs and was a theatre enthusiast. Jayne was a valued and much-loved member of the Mercy Center Burlingame community, and a longtime volunteer at the Mercy Center Bookstore. At the Stanford Women’s Cancer Center, Jayne served as a volunteer ambassador to other patients needing a kind welcome.
Jayne was an active alumna of Duke University and maintained close friendships with classmates for fifty years. Her support of the Lilly Library at Duke will soon be honored by the naming of the “Jayne Booker Booklover’s Room” on the first floor of the library.
Jayne also kept in touch with Brandywine High classmates, maintaining ties in Wilmington, DE as well as Lewes Beach. She was a masterful swimmer who found peace at the ocean. She was a dog whisperer and love pet sitting.
Jayne is survived by her sister Janet Booker Chandler of Wilmington, DE, and brother Stuart (Carolyn) Booker of Cary, NC. Also left to cherish her memory are a host of grateful nieces and nephews: Tom (Phylicia); Kristen; Kelsey (Danielle); Sara (Sean); Rachel (Nick); and Ben (Meghan). Her young grandnieces and nephews will know of the faith she had that they pursue a higher education. She is survived by numerous cousins and cherished friends across the country and the world.
A memorial service will be held in Wilmington, DE in April. Other celebrations will be occurring in small groups in California and North Carolina. The family asks that donations be made to TheatreWorks Silicon Valley; the National Peace Corps Association (https://www.peacecorpsconnect.org/cpages/our-mission-and-model); or St. Patrick’s Seminary & University in Menlo Park, CA.