Known as Jane, this precious woman finished the race and claimed victory on August 22, 2013. She kept her eyes on Christ throughout her journey stretching more than 89 years. She was faithful to her Lord, family and friends to the very end.
Born outside of Cameron, Texas in Milam County on May 13, 1924, Jane was the second of six children born to Noble and Ruby Small. She grew up on a farm working from dawn to dusk. Farm life was not her cup of tea. At a young age, she vowed to live and work in a city. In spite of her questionable attitude about the farm, she never failed to do her chores helping the struggling family make ends meet. She was a hard worker and did things the right way. She did not permit shortcuts.
True to her word, she boarded a train promptly upon graduating from Yoe High in Cameron bound for Alice, Texas to start her business career managing a Western Union office. It was in Alice where a confident bachelor strolled into the local office to see for himself the stunningly gorgeous office manager everyone in town was talking about. They were both smitten. His name was Al (Aubrey Loy) Gooden, but everyone called him Preach.
On a visit to see her Aunt who lived in OKC near May and Drexel, she fell in love with the growing city and wanted to live here. After she and Preach married, they decided to build a life in OKC. They were married for 24 years and had a son, Brent. Preach passed in 1968.
Eighteen years later with her son educated and employed, she married Paul Strasbaugh. They worked together at the OKC Chamber of Commerce where Jane started as a bookkeeper and eventually led the accounting department. They were married for 24 years enjoying their life together and their combined families. She enthusiastically welcomed Paul’s extended family including his children Ben and Susan and their families into her family. She loved them as her own. Paul passed in 2009.
She most enjoyed her role as Nana to her granddaughter Aubrey Jane. She was delighted her granddaughter was named after her considering that one of life’s biggest honors. She dearly loved her daughter-in-law Valerie and enjoyed making biscuits and gravy and her patented burned bacon on Saturday mornings for Brent and Valerie for many years.
She loved her Lord and was a faithful Christian and member of the Memorial Road Church of Christ where she especially enjoyed her Sunday school class. Her friends there, including her best friend Roma, have remained steadfast during these last years when she could not attend with countless cards and visits.
Preceding her in death is a wonderful niece, Sandra, a number of sweet Aunts and Uncles, and her parents as well as her beloved brothers Billy, Jack and Noble and sister, Mildred.
She always had a special place in her heart for her nephews Phillip and Jeff. Noble’s wife Skip, is a sister to her. She was especially close to her 4’ 10” mother known in the family as Little Grandma – small in stature, but big in heart. Jane’s sister, Laverne Hill, and husband Howard live in Conroe, Texas—anytime she talked with her sister, Laverne, it brightened her day.
Our sincerest heartfelt thanks to all of Jane’s angelic caregivers from Laura Lynn’s Home Health, Sterling House on Santa Fe in Edmond and Good Shepherd Hospice.
To our wonderful Mother, Nana, Mother-in-law, Aunt, Sister and friend, we say welcome home and well done! We will honor you by doing things the right way – no shortcuts.
A reception to celebrate Jane’s well-lived life will take place Sunday evening August 25, 2013 between 6 PM and 8 PM at Matthews Funeral Home located at 601 S Kelly in Edmond, OK. For those inclined, you can honor Jane by donating to the Jane and Paul Strasbaugh educational scholarship fund at Oklahoma Christian University, 2501 E Memorial Rd, Edmond, OK 73136.
A remembrance service will be held at 10:30 AM on Monday, August 26 in the Chapel at Matthews Funeral Home. Burial will be at a later time at Memorial Park Cemetery, 13400 N Kelley Ave in Oklahoma City.