After many years of fighting Alzheimer’s, Jane (also lovingly known as Grananna) passed away peacefully on June 23, 2015, at the age of 89 in the Memory Care of Brookdale-Cedar Ridge in Broken Arrow. Jane was born on August 20, 1925, to Joe and Evelyn Hansel out on a ranch outside Stanton, Texas. She was always so thankful and proud that she was raised by her grandmother, Janie Birdwell. Times were not easy as she was growing up during the depression living in Big Spring, Texas, but it made her a very strong-willed, determined and independent woman. In 1943, during wartime, Jane graduated from Big Spring High School with a government sponsored scholarship to attend a Missouri business school, but before she could get there, the college closed. Determined to make something of herself, she moved to Dallas where she went to work at North American Aviation plant as a real life “Rosie the Riveter” where she worked on the tail cones of the B-25 bombers. Beside the pride she had for her family, this was an accomplishment that meant so much to Jane taking part in World War II, doing her part, and one that she talked of frequently, always ready to show off her “souvenir” broken finger as she called it – a finger broken working on those B-25 bombers or her hard muscle in her right arm she got from riveting on those tails. Making enough money while working at the plant, once the war was over, she was able to then attend and graduate from Draughn’s Business College.
In 1952, she and Ray Valentine Baker were married in Big Spring. In 1962, when the oil boom was going on in Hennessey, Oklahoma, Ray was transferred from West Texas to Hennessey with El Paso Natural Gas. In Hennessey, they happily raised two daughters, Becky and Bonye. Jane was such a special and loving Mother who gave her life to her two girls. She worked tirelessly to support their many activities including piano, Brownies, dance, twirling and 4-H making many costumes and beautiful clothes for them. Always a leader, she was such a great example for Becky and Bonye. She was a wonderful seamstress winning many grand champion ribbons for her crocheted and needlepoint items at the Kingfisher County Fair and State Fair through her home extension club. She held office for many years in her club.
Jane’s grandmother raised her in church, where she became a Christian as a child. After moving to Hennessey, she raised her girls and attended First Baptist Church in Hennessey all through the years where she was treasurer for her Sunday School Class for many years. In 2008, after 55 years of marriage, Ray passed away. At that point, she resided in Edmond in the home of her daughter, Becky and husband, David. They had so much fun taking Jane on vacation and a lot of weekend “adventure” drives seeing all of Oklahoma. She was cared for while Becky worked by Busi, a wonderful companion for Jane, until Jane moved to the Memory Care in 2014 in Broken Arrow, which was close to her daughter, Bonye, where they got to have many hours of good times together.
Becky and Bonye got to have many memorable times with Jane, ones they will never forget in her final years and days. The care she got from the team at Brookdale-Cedar Ridge and Physician’s Choice Hospice could not have been better, and the love they all showed to our Mother means so much to us. She never lost her ornery personality and beautiful smile, giving us many, many good times, laughter and memories that we will cherish forever! She knew her family to the end!
Jane is survived by her daughter, Becky Lippert and husband, David of Edmond and daughter Bonye Newcomb and husband, Jim, of Jenks as well as her loving grandchildren, Tyler Newcomb and wife, Leslie of Broken Arrow, Derrick Lippert and wife, Catherine of OKC, Tobin Newcomb of OKC, Duncan Lippert of Coolidge, KS and Taylor Newcomb of Wichita Falls, TX and three great grandchildren, Levi Newcomb, Audrey “Anna” Newcomb, and Madeline “Jane” Lippert, who both little great-granddaughters were lovingly named after their great-grandmother, Anna Jane.
It has meant so much to our family all the sweet friends from Hennessey as well as her nieces and nephews who have checked on her through these years. It excited Mother when we told her who had called or sent her cards. She still would bring up friends and family who she loved dearly.
Graveside service will be held on Friday June 26 at11:00 a.m.at Gracelawn Cemetery in Edmond. Family will greet friends from 6-8 p.m. on Thursday at Matthews Funeral Home, Edmond.