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Jane Eleanor Knox, age 84, of Lapeer, Michigan went to be with her Savior on October 7, 2018 surrounded by the love of her family.
Born to Albert and Evelyn Seelye on April 24, 1934, Jane grew up the eldest of five sisters and one brother on a Lapeer County dairy farm. Jane always said her dad was the wisest person she knew, and her mom’s job as Director of Nursing for Lapeer County General clearly inspired her future career. At 17, Jane was named “Dairy Queen” of Michigan Dairy Industry before graduating as Class President in 1952 from White High School. She became a registered nurse at Henry Ford School of Nursing in 1955.
Jane met her husband Don at Waldenwoods Camp. They were married on April 24, 1955 while he was stationed in Pensacola with the Navy and later moved to Don’s childhood farm in North Branch. Jane helped transform the dilapidated house and property into a warm and welcoming hub for their five children and menagerie of farm animals, pets, 4-H projects, hunting trophies, boyfriends, foreign exchange students and guests. It was Jane’s attention to detail and inherent style that allowed her and Don to host kindergarten class tours of the farm, countless barn dances, graduation open houses, homecoming float building parties, music jam weekends, and even a wedding. Simultaneously, she helped Don farm the 80 acres and work full-time as a nurse. Many would say Jane defined the term “supermom” long before it came into vogue.
Jane and Don enjoyed good times and persevered through the bad. They weathered recessions and the farming crisis in the late ‘80s before downsizing and moving to a Seelye family home on 20 acres in Lapeer. Jane humored Don’s dedication to performing his music in every parade and community center he could find, and they relished time together until Don’s untimely passing at age 61. Jane went to work in the Medical Department at General Motors in Flint until her retirement, and dedicated time to her growing family of grandkids. She has been a caregiver in all aspects of her life, visiting ailing members of her church, volunteering as a hospice nurse, and doing blood pressure checks at her retirement community. For the last 15 years, Jane has spent the summer and fall in Michigan, and the winter and spring in Desert Hot Springs, CA. Her neighbors and friends describe Jane as a lovely, caring woman who never spoke unkindly of anyone. Her family would agree completely and would also add that she was smart, strong and stubborn. Characteristics she modeled to family and those who loved her.
After her Lord and Savior, Jane valued family above all else. She was known to brag about her kids, to anyone who would listen, she loved being part of her grandkid’s activities, and nothing made her happier than seeing and holding her great grand babies. She is survived by her daughters Cheryl (Gary Woody), Julie (Mark Swearingen), and Beth (Jim Maier); son Clint (Jennifer Clark); her son Paul (Lori DeTavernier) preceded her in death; sisters MaryBeth (Bill Hanson) and JoEllen (Rolla Curtis); brother Harold (Jackie); her sisters Margaret and Ann preceded her in death; and brother-in-law Harold Knox (Florence). Her ten grandkids and their spouses, and four great-grandchildren.
A Gathering with the Family will be held on Friday, October 12 at 3:00 pm followed by a Celebration of Life service at 5:00 pm in the Wesleyan Church at 3164 N Branch Rd, North Branch, MI. Jane will be laid to rest with her husband, Donald at Westlawn Cemetery in North Branch at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to McLaren Hospice and Home Care Foundation Attn: Donations 1515 Cal Drive Davison, MI 48423.
You may share an online condolence at www.blackburnchapel.com
Arrangements by Blackburn Chapel-Martin Funeral Home