- Published: December 14, 2017
Priscilla Janney-Pace died suddenly of an apparent heart attack on Dec. 6, 2017, at her home in Yellow Springs, Ohio, at the age of 72. She was preceded in death by her father, Frank Pace Jr., former Secretary of the U.S. Army and former CEO of General Dynamics Corporation, her mother, Margaret “Peggy” Morris Janney Pace, and younger sister, Margaret “Penny” Pace-Schott.
Priscilla graced this world with her light. She was an extraordinary communicator with both beings and nonbeings, particularly children and animals. She understood them, she played with them, she connected to their magic. She was a healer. She studied many healing modalities and brought her training and deep wisdom to a thriving healing practice. Priscilla was a bright, kind, caring and generous woman, deeply connected with the spiritual and natural world, her loving family and friends, and her treasured companion dogs: Kabisa, Tabu, Benny, Benji, Puck, Habika, Spirit and Kintana.
Priscilla was a life-long learner, reader and writer. She pursued her own educational objectives throughout her life and was most recently a regular participant in online courses through Maestro Conference and had attained certification as a Clear Beliefs Coach. She was the president of the Antioch Writers’ Workshop and an active member of the YS Threshold Singers. She regularly attended HD versions of the Met Opera and performances by various dance companies and was a faithful Farmer’s Market shopper.
Born in Bryn Mawr, Pa., and educated at the Madeira School in Virginia, Priscilla graduated from Antioch College in Yellow Springs, receiving a B.A. in secondary education and literature. She took a break from her studies to join the Peace Corps and spent two years teaching with her ex-husband Malte Von Matthiessen in Tanzania, East Africa, where she became fluent in Swahili. She later earned an M.A. in early childhood education and development from the University of London and a Ph.D. in philosophy from Union Graduate School.
She focused her career on early childhood development, working as an educational specialist for Wright-Patterson AFB and United Way and was director of the YS Community Children’s Center. Among her many accomplishments were serving Antioch College as an Alumni Board member, visiting faculty member and coordinator of the Bonner Scholars’ Program and consulting for Greene County District Health Department and Department of Human Services facilitating and writing major environmental, community and child-care plans. She was director of Volunteer and Community Development for the Greene County Domestic Violence Center and served as a lead literacy facilitator for the Tecumseh Consortium. She was the president of the Frank Pace Jr. Foundation.
She was an active volunteer including board member of the YS school board, YS Educational Endowment, vice president of the YS Community Foundation and co-chair of the Community Chest.
Priscilla loved music, science fiction, good food and time with family and friends. She enjoyed mystery novels and having a good laugh, even at her own expense. She was devoted to her family and to her community. Priscilla was a dedicated mother and grandmother, traveling frequently to Florida and New York City to spend significant time with her daughter’s family.
Priscilla is survived by her daughter, Karyn Von Matthiessen, and Karyn’s husband, Ron Kornreich; her granddaughter, Maia Janney Kornreich; her sister, Paula Pace; and many cousins, nieces, nephews and friends. A special thanks to her personal assistant, Jerrilyn Dickey, who managed Priscilla’s business affairs with integrity and grace.
A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, Dec. 14, 2017, at 3 p.m. at the Glen Helen Vernet Ecological Center on Corry Street in Yellow Springs. The family requests that donations be made to Antioch College, the Sierra Club or Planned Parenthood in lieu of flowers.