Meet Jane: Resilience and Giving Back to the Community

For this month’s Resident Spotlight we turn our attention to one of our earliest Lake in the Hills residents who we have been fortunate enough to get to know over these past two years.  Read on below to view Community Relations Manager Kate and my interview where we sat down with Jane and her daughter Dawn to discuss Jane’s passion for community service and her dedication to her family.



Jane was born at home in Detroit. An only child, her mother was a dietician in a hospital and her father was a circuit court clerk involved in Detroit politics. Jane liked to go swimming as a child and play with all her neighborhood friends. These bonds of friendship remained so strong that she and Dawn are still in contact with some of them today. In the photos that Dawn showed us a resilient young girl with an effervescent smile and a twinkle in her eye can be seen. Now, Jane’s smile still carries that same familiarity and strength.



Building a home anywhere on the map:

Jane met her husband Dave while on a double date with one of her good friends. Halfway through the evening, Jane and her gal pal decided they should switch who their intended courtier  was. This ended up working very well as Dave and Jane married not long after and were happily together for 64 years.

Dave’s job entailed that they were often traveling and moving for his work. But whether up North in Michigan or Wisconsin, Midwesterners in Indiana or Kansas City, out West in Oklahoma, or South in Florida the two always worked together to make themselves a comfortable place to stay. Both were incredibly handy and loved to work on home improvement projects together. From landscaping, to deck building, to remodeling, to gardening, to upholstering, one could see they were Jack (and Jane)s of all trades.


Jane and Dave had three children together, Dawn, Steve and Mike. Jane worked hard to provide her children with stability. Dawn recalled that her mom excelled at “making a home wherever she was.” When Dawn eventually had her own children Jane was always happy to lend a helping hand. Dawn laughed as she reminisced about how one time Jane came over to help with Dawn’s newborn triplets and Jane was so busy she didn’t notice she had been wearing her pants backwards all day. Dawn loves that story because it was such a contrast to her mother’s standard well-put together demeanor.

Community Values:

Wherever Jane called home at the time, a driving value for her was to give back to her community in any form she could. Of her parent’s many moves, Dawn remembers that “they got involved wherever they lived and that was mom’s doing.” Jane volunteered at local resale shops and started an investment club for fellow community members. She also volunteered for the local Welcome Wagon organization for new families moving into her neighborhood. Local businesses and community members would provide either goods, coupons, or services to give to newcomers and Jane would help organize everything to deliver to make everyone feel welcome. Dawn believes that these selfless acts are where Jane felt her happiest. In particular, Dawn remembers Janesville, WI where Jane would orchestrate progressive dinners. She and her neighbors would each create a dish and would travel  to everyone's homes throughout the night, swapping recipes and fond memories.


Creative Outlets: Fashion and Passion

Jane has always had an eye for style and detail. In several of her portraits and photos you can see an elegant pearl necklace adorning her neck and Dawn can still imagine her mother getting ready in front of her vanity. Jane was also a talented seamstress. Dawn remembers how Jane made many outfits for her growing up and also indulged her by making beautiful clothes for her dolls.

Jane’s sharp sense of style was also readily apparent in her skill in home decorating. She sewed the curtains in her house and stayed up to date on the current trends in interior decorating. One combination Dawn remembers fondly is the red carpet in the living room with the matching red and white drapes.

Fast Facts about Jane:

Favorite Places to Travel:

Jane visited England several times where she still has extended family. Jane also enjoyed going to Hawaii and taking a Panama Cruise. She also loved to spend time in Florida because “the weather is very nice.”


Favorite Pets:

Teddy was her dog growing up. As an adult, Jane loved the family husky Misha, whom she enjoyed having breakfast with and made toast specifically for her. When I asked Jane if she liked cats as well she gave me a definitive “no” with a smirk.

Favorite Foods:

Jane loved to make her family a fantastic split-pea soup as well as pasties, a complex meat pie that she had to meticulously craft. She also used to enjoy shrimp cocktails. When processing her cancer treatment, Jane’s favorite sweet treat was Blue Bunny Peanut Butter Panic ice cream. She and her family enjoyed it again once she was declared cancer-free.


To finish our interview, Kate and I asked Dawn if she had any particular words she would use to describe Jane. Dawn chose “Thoughtful” and “Intentional.” From her mother Dawn learned resilience and admired how Jane was tough, “she did what she had to do and took care of it.” We’d like to thank Jane and Dawn for meeting with us and sharing their stories of Jane and her legacy.


may 24- jane family

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