Jane “Grubie” Gruber lost her battle to Multiple Myeloma on August 30, 2013 at the age of 61. She was the Director of Rehabilitation Services at Newton-Wellesley Hospital for 37 years and held a Doctor of Physical Therapy Degree. Grubie was heavily involved with the synchronized skating community for decades as a physical therapist, trainer, mentor, mother, and team doctor. She worked directly with The Colonials and Team Excel for many years as well as with other teams and skaters across the country.
Grubie supported her skaters through injuries, defeats, and victories. She pushed her girls to work hard with relentless determination to be the best athletes and young women possible. Whether she was implementing training for high altitude, taping a wrist, treating a pulled muscle, counting down a five minute plank, leading a focus session, taping a skater into her dress, or offering career advice, Grubie’s first priority was always her skaters’ health, both physically and mentally.
She was ready at a moment’s notice, especially during competitions. She would jump into action anytime there was an injury or emergency, no matter if it was a skater on her team or a competitor’s team.
Her unyielding dedication and outstanding training techniques strengthened her athletes into champions. Grubie kept her skaters in top-notch shape focusing on multiple aspects of fitness from flexibility to cardio, core, and mental preparedness. Over the years her teams earned countless sectional and national medals from juvenile through collegiate, with her teams in the junior division representing Team USA at numerous international events including the 2007 and 2008 Junior World Challenge Cup.
But her impact was so much greater than results and performances. She shaped a generation of athletes into highly motivated, successful women, many following in her footsteps in the medical field. Grubie’s skaters are pursuing careers in athletic training, physical therapy, nursing, coaching, and doctoring in order to serve as a caring, compassionate, and knowledgeable role models for others they way she did for them.
A celebration of her life was held in September with an overwhelming turnout of family, friends, and skaters past and present. Her skaters put together a scrapbook video with loving messages and photos, which can be viewed at https://vimeo.com/73285172.
Grubie was the loving mother of Jessica M. Gruber-Ramos and Allison H. Gruber Moscicki, and grandmother of Jeremy Gruber-Ramos. She is also survived by her longtime partner Kevin Pendergast and her brother Alan Hibbert.
Her family suggests that memorial gifts in Jane’s memory be sent to The Jerome Lipper Multiple Myeloma Center at Dana Farber Cancer Institute, 450 Brookline Avenue, Boston MA 02215.
Photo Credit: Jeff Sokolov