Jane Ann Kenner Garnett was born March 8, 1947 in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. She was adopted as an infant by Eugene and Goldie Kenner and grew up in Kansas City, Missouri. She participated in Girl Scouts, and took years of dance and gymnastics classes, which helped her become one of the most talented cheerleaders on the Raytown High School cheerleading squad. She was voted Most Popular among her high school class, as well as Homecoming Queen. Jane went on to college at William Jewel where she obtained a degree in Sociology and pledged Alpha Delta Pi. Following college, she worked with Campus Crusade for Christ ministry.
In 1971 Jane married Dennis Garnett. Their mutual love of the mountains brought them to Billings, MT. Jane’s three children were born there: Shay Joshua Garnett, 1974; Shannon Joy Garnett Noon, 1975; and Tyler Sheridan Garnett (wife Angelica Acosta), 1976. Yes, “three under three” made Jane’s life very full. Now those precious gifts have brought her five much-beloved grandchildren: Raleigh Jane, 11; Gracyn Leigh, 9; Samuel Cole, 6; Gabriela Jane, 2; and Caleb Mateo, 8 months.
Jane was always active in church activities, Bible studies, young married groups, and sports. She was a volunteer youth group leader for many years, as well as volunteering at the Alberta Bair Theater. With her long list of service in many organizations, her enthusiastic team spirit and outgoing personality, Jane was a perfect fit as a Personal Assistant Liaison at Billings Clinic, where she worked for 17 years, until her cancer forced her to stop. Her divorce in 2011 made her Clinic family all the more special to her, and filled her life with deep friendships, opportunities to spread her unique joy and humor among people from all walks of life, and a purpose and direction to her life. Treasured by so many at the Clinic, she was given a special retirement party so all those who were touched by her could celebrate the time she spent with them.
When Jane was diagnosed last May with pancreatic cancer, she determined to make the very most of the precious time she had. A bucket list. One by one, she crossed items off that list while working around her chemotherapy schedule. No complaining; no bitterness; no self pity. Every month she managed to take a trip: Yellowstone with her kids; Red Lodge with the whole family; the beach on Oak Island, NC with Tyler’s family; Kansas City, MO for a reunion with her beloved cheerleading squad; New York City for the Broadway shows “Hamilton” and “Hello Dolly” with Tyler and Shannon; a trip down the East Coast with Shannon and Gracyn to Charlotte, NC, to meet her new grandson Caleb; Arizona with Shay, Shannon, and the girls; and many trips to Missoula to spend time with Shannon, Raleigh and Gracyn. Ever the trooper, she made a trip to Fairmont Hot Springs in April and took many rides down the waterslide with her granddaughters. In May she made one last trip to North Carolina to see Tyler and Angelica, Samuel, Gabriela, and little Caleb.
Her greatest fear, upon diagnosis, was languishing in pain and torment. Blessedly, the Lord answered the prayers on her behalf and allowed her to slip peacefully into His arms on June 20th, just a few short weeks after her last trip, in her own home, surrounded by all her children.
Jane loved the Lord first of all, followed close behind by the unconditional love for her children, her grandchildren, her many friends, all babies, flowers, dancing, clowning, traveling, sewing, cooking – and sweets. Jane’s deep faith, humility, selflessness, empathy, sense of humor, and fun will live on in all who were touched by her.
A memorial service for Jane, a celebration of a life fully lived, will be held at Heights Family Funeral Home on Saturday, June 23, at 3:00 p.m.
In lieu of flowers, Jane requested that anyone who wished to send a donation would make it to the Neema Village, a baby home, mothering center, and widows home in Arusha, Tanzania, which she visited several years ago and has supported ever since: www.neemavillage.org
Michael & Dorris Fortson
P.O. Box 21553
Waco, TX 76702