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FRAMINGHAM – Jane M. (O’Brien) Flood, 76, floated through life like the brightest melody of a choir’s carol grounded by the beat of Elvis, until she died peacefully on Thursday, January 5, 2023.

Jane was the beloved wife of Michael J. Flood, longtime residents of Framingham where they enjoyed taking long walks, practicing Tai chi at the local YMCA, and vacationing to Cape Cod.

Jane was born to the late John and Beatrice (LeBlanc) O’Brien in Waltham, where she was raised and educated. At 15, she met neighbor John ‘Rocky’ Bellan, who she fell in love with rapidly despite the worries of her protective older brothers, the late John and David O’Brien. Jane and Rocky often took rides to the Wal-Lex Recreation Center to bowl or play pool. They married in secret at the courthouse at age 17, and J&R was forged.

In the 1970s, they opened J&R Towing, a tow-trucking company with one truck and one employee. Over the next 20 years, Jane and Rocky grew the business to twenty trucks and dozens of employees who became their closest friends. They bought a cape on Auburn Street in Waltham, where they raised their only son, John ‘Jack’ Francis Bellan, born in 1973. The new family of three would eat spaghetti on Wednesdays and Chinese takeout on Fridays.

In 1993, shortly before losing Rocky, Jane started to work at Brandeis University in Dining Services, where she would run the register in the Lower Usdan market and dining hall. Treasured by all the students she encountered, Jane would listen to their stories, from what happened in class to what they aspired to do after graduation, and she would pray for their success.

By 1995, Jane had given the students a story of her own to root for: her courtship with Brandeis janitor, Michael J. Flood. After countless early mornings and late nights spent together in the halls of Usdan, they fled to the courthouse to marry the way Jane was used to, passionately and in secret. They later celebrated with their families at a ceremony filled with dancing and an Elvis-themed cake.

As a devout Catholic, Jane was an active parishioner at St. George Parish in Saxonville for many years, from singing in the choir and attending mass to helping with yard sales and hosting spaghetti dinners. Jane, who always looked out for the underdog, was there for the church no matter what they needed.

Every Friday, Jane visited her grandchildren, Autumn, Ariana, and Jack, who watched how she cared for her step-mother-in-law, Martha (Knowles) Bellan, when she grew too old to do so herself. Jane brought Martha everywhere she went. At lunchtime, Martha would chew each bite of her sandwich hundreds of times, and Jane would wait patiently for her to finish half of it, long after everyone else was done, before carefully wrapping it in saran wrap for later.

Her grandchildren will always cherish the Fridays they spent soaking up the vibrant stories she told about her life—how she reacted to the boys who misbehaved in her CCD class, how she would hum the melody to a choir song when she forgot the words. How she would shed a tear and offer hugs to students she loved at Brandeis who graduated. How she would visit Mike when he went to the gym just to see him for another hour, how he loved her unconditionally. When Jane finished answering all their questions, she would hurry all three grandchildren to the living room, where she’d put on Elvis and start to dance. They would hold her hands, learn new moves, and slip around in socks on the hard wood to the tune of “Hound Dog” and “Heartbreak Hotel.” 

Jane’s legacy lives on in her family, who she lived for, and is survived by her husband, Michael J. Flood, her son and his wife, Jack and Sarah Bellan, her grandchildren, Autumn, Ariana, and Jack, her sisters and their husbands, Geraldine and Richard Eby and Susan and Michael Costa, and nieces and nephews.

Family and friends will honor and remember Jane’s life by gathering for visiting hours in the McCarthy, McKinney & Lawler Funeral Home, 11 Lincoln St. Framingham on Thursday, January 12, from 4-7 p.m.

Her Funeral Mass will be celebrated in St. George Church, 74 School St. Saxonville on Friday morning at 10 o’clock.

Interment will follow in Calvary Cemetery in Waltham.

In lieu of flowers, remembrances may be made in Jane’s name to: the Alzheimer’s Association at

To share a memory with Jane’s family, kindly visit

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By editor

Susan Petroni is the former editor for SOURCE. She is the founder of the former news site, which as of May 1, 2023, is now a self-publishing community bulletin board. The website no longer has a journalist but a webmaster.