Nana Jane has left imprints on people’s hearts from every walk of life.
She wasn’t just loved by her family. She was loved by anyone who had the pleasure of crossing paths with her. She would sit you down, discover your life story, and regardless of what was shared, treat you with the utmost respect and welcome you into her heart. She treated her friends as if they were blood, and that is a rare characteristic. It’s part of what made her so special.
Nana Jane’s pride was her family - her children, grandchildren, nieces and nephews, daughters-in law, brothers and sisters, but most of all her great-grandchildren. Oh how she loved her babies, and oh how they loved her! All she ever wanted was to see them grow up, and for that very reason, she wasn’t ready to let go. So much so, she told us she would never be ready to leave them. She fought for and loved us all until she physically couldn’t fight anymore. She dedicated every ounce of her heart, love and physical strength to us. As her descendants we will “carry on” her love and devotion.
She was a mother of 4, grandmother to 4, and great-grandmother to 7.
She was grateful for the love of extended family, especially the family of her daughter-in love who became an active part of the flock after Jane’s youngest son passed in 2011. She became “Mom” to Papa Jim’s eldest daughter and Nana Jane to his grandchildren that she got to meet recently. She was Aunt Jane to nieces and nephews, great-nieces and nephews, and great-great nieces and nephews. She loved following some of these family connections on Facebook and watching them grow from afar.
Nana Jane loved her role as matriarch of the Stark/Walker family. She had a way of bringing everyone together. Nana and Papa’s place was “where the flock gathered.” Everyone had their special moments with them, and there are plentiful memories and endless stories to share! She was broken hearted by the loss of her life partner of 45 years, Papa Jim, who passed away in October 2023.
I wish there was a clear way to define this incredible woman, but one simply couldn’t put into words how extraordinary she truly was. There isn’t a single word worthy enough to describe her.
She was a florist, an awesome cook, a professional stain collector.
She was stubborn, strong, smart, compassionate and so much more.
She was loyal to her family and friends.
She was in your corner, no matter the circumstances, cheering you on.
She was a woman who had little in terms or financial riches,
but yet found a way to give everyone everything she could.
She was the woman you NEVER had to worry about missing a play, recital, sports game, birthday or milestone. She was there, always.
She was the woman who pushed you to get things done, even when it was the absolute last thing you planned on doing that day.
She told it like it was!
You always knew how she felt about something or someone.
Nana Jane was your safe haven.
She was the woman that no matter where you were in life, she made you feel so powerful, so loved and like you could accomplish anything.
Nana Jane’s wish of living to be 100 will be exceeded by infinity. There are little bits and pieces of her and her personality in every loved one still on this earth. Because of all the love, wisdom and zeal for life she has embedded in all of us, she will be seen, heard and felt in the next generation and generations to come.
Nana Jane is alive in all of us!
“What is firmly established cannot be uprooted
What is firmly grasped cannot slip away.
It will be honored from generation to generation. “
(A quote from Jane’s parents, Bill and Esther Bowers, 50th wedding anniversary.)
A Celebration of Life is tentatively scheduled for June 8th at the Melbourne Beach Community Center.
In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to Shining Through Shadows, Inc., the nonprofit foundation established in memory of Jane’s youngest son, Seth Thomas Stark.