In Memoriam: Jeanne Hartnett Hyatt

We were saddened to learn of the death of Jeanne Hyatt, one of the incorporators of the Land Trust when it was founded in 1967. With the others incorporators, she was ahead of the times, seeing the need to protect our natural surroundings before it would become too late. When we enjoy our many open spaces today, Jeanne Hyatt is among those we should thank.

Jeanne Hartnett Hyatt passed away March 27, 2020 in North Branford, CT at the age of 88. She was predeceased by her husband Donald Hyatt and her sister Joan Smith. Mrs. Hyatt was born in the Bronx, NY on May 22, 1931 and graduated from Pelham High School in 1948. Jeanne spent most of her early career as an executive assistant at NBC in New York. She proudly contributed to the Emmy Award-winning documentary “Victory at Sea” and to many more films produced by the NBC Project 20 Series. Jeanne later retired after more than twenty years working at the Regional Water Authority in New Haven.

Jeanne and Don fell in love over sandwiches while watching the seals play in Central Park and settled on the Branford shoreline in 1959. They enjoyed many years of boating on Long Island Sound and skiing in Vermont and Colorado. Being a passionate and joyful gardener, Jeanne could often be found tending to her flower beds while greeting early morning walkers along their home on Linden Avenue. Jeanne had a great love of the outdoors and committed herself to preserving open spaces in Branford by helping to found the Branford Land Trust. She also was secretary, and eventual chairperson, of the Branford Academy on The Green Commission for which she received the Distinguished Service award after 39 years of volunteering. Jeanne embraced life with her contagious good humor and a quick Irish wit that brightened the lives of all who knew her.

She is survived by her son Chris Hyatt of Portland, OR, her daughter Wendy Hyatt Mason and her husband Peter of Hamilton, MA, and two granddaughters, Erin Mason and Abigail Mason. At the time of her death, Jeanne was a resident at Evergreen Woods in North Branford. The family would like to extend a special thanks to all the staff at Evergreen Woods who always showed exceptional kindness to Jeanne. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to The Branford Land Trust. A memorial celebration of Jeanne’s life will be considered at a future date. Please see online memorial at



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Branford Land Trust
P.O. Box 254
Branford, CT 06405
(203) 483-5263


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