But while the respected businesswoman aged gracefully and in dignity, many in Palm Beach remember how she was visited by unspeakable tragedy in 1976, a decade after she became a prominent, year-round Palm Beach resident.
Jane’s husband Richard Kreusler, owner then of the Richard Oil Co. and unopposed candidate for Town Council, was shot and killed as he prepared to open the front door of the couple’s home on Via Marila. Three shots were fired, and two went through the closed door.
According to news account from the era, Richard Kreusler lingered on the edge of death for 13 days before he succumbed to infections.
It was one of the town’s most mysterious murders, and it shocked residents who, until then, felt safe in their multi-million mansions.
No one had seen the murderer, or murderers. And while police recovered 12-gauge shotgun shells, cops and neighbors contaminated the scene so badly that no usable fingerprints or evidence could be used.
While one man was eventually convicted of murder Kreusler then pardoned in 1992 by Gov. Lawton Chiles, the motive for the shooting has remained unclear.
Jane Kreusler once theorized that her husband must’ve seen something he shouldn’t have while fishing on sugar baron Alfie Fanjul‘s yacht to day before the shooting.
Kreusler, who never remarried, will be eulogized during a funeral mass at Palm Beach’s St. Edward’s Catholic Church Wednesday.