Jan 15th 1919 - May 31st 2012
Following the end of World War I, Americans from coast to coast were looking for ways to prosper their economies. In the bustling city of Chicago, Illinois, Charles E. and Violet (Topping) Westley celebrated the New Year with the birth of Jane Estelle, their third of eventually five children on January 15, 1919.
Jane's father worked for the City of Chicago while her mother, a homemaker, remained at home with Jane and her older siblings, Nellie and John. Brothers, Charles and Lawrence came along soon after. Having attended the local schools, Jane completed high school through the tenth grade. As a young girl, she loved to sing and knew her way around the kitchen baking scrumptious treats for her family to enjoy. As hard economic times brought struggle throughout the U.S., Jane's family was no exception. Even though she left her schooling behind, she was proud to have received her GED at the age of 70.
When 17, Jane fell in love and married a young man named Louis Wolf. The young couple moved to the Robinson Township area of Grand Haven, Michigan where Louis supported his bride working as a truck driver. They became members of Robinson Baptist Church where they faithfully attended with their four children, Louis, Joyce, Loretta, and Lavina “Lynn”. They made their home on a small farm where they raised pigs, chickens, and gardened which provided food for their table. Jane loved gardening and enjoyed canning and freezing tomatoes, beans, pickles, and canned meat. Jane adjusted well to her country lifestyle as a wife and mother. Her children attended Robinson Center Schools, and as a family each summer they visited her relatives in the Chicago area.
With a good business sense, Jane served as a board member and was later appointed superintendent of Robinson Center Schools. During her leisure, she loved watching TV game shows, especially The Wheel of Fortune and Jeopardy!. Having haled from Chicago, Jane was an avid Chicago Bears and Chicago Cubs fan. She continued her love for baking and made the best lemon meringue and banana cream pies, and chocolate chip cookies. Her pot roast, chili, creamed tomatoes, and baked chicken were family favorites. It was an adjustment for Jane when she and Louis divorced in 1969, but she relied on her faith, strength of heart and strong will to see her through.
Jane returned to Chicago and lived with her brother, John for a few years. While working for the Keebler Cookie Company, she found love again after meeting a co-worker, Alex Kuklinski, who was from Chicago.. They soon developed a dating relationship and in 1970 were blessed in marriage. They moved to Michigan and made their new home together in Grand Rapids. Eventually moving to Walkerton, Indiana, they remained there until Alex sadly died in 1990. Once again, Jane returned to Grand Rapids, enjoyed living at the Marsh Ridge Retirement Community, and became a member of Highland Hills Baptist Church. A faithful Christian woman, Jane loved her Lord and Savior. She also loved singing in church and was a choir member at every church she attended.
For years, Jane suffered from COPD. After a recent bout with pneumonia, her health began to fail and she was even hospitalized. Quite apparent she could not return home, Jane began living at Tendercare Health and Rehab Center in Wyoming. After two short weeks as a resident there, Jane sadly died in the early morning hours on Thursday, May 31, 2012 at the age of 93.
Above all, Jane loved her family. Her children and grandchildren were her delight, and in all she did, she did with loving dedication. A woman of unending faith and strength, she will be greatly missed and lovingly remembered.
Jane is survived by her children, Louis (Dianna) Wolf, Joyce (Don) Ferris, Loretta (James) VerSluis, Lavina “Lynn” Randolph; 13 grandchildren; 31 great-grandchildren, 19 great-great grandchildren; brother, John Westley; many nieces, nephews, and friends. The funeral service to celebrate Jane's life will take place at Highland Hills Baptist Church, 1415 Northrup NW, (north off Leonard St.), 11:00 AM Monday, June 4, 2012. Relatives and friends may meet her family at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home–2120 Lake Michigan Dr. NW on Sunday from 4-8 PM and again at church on Monday from 10:00 AM until the service begins. Burial in Grovertown Cemetery, Grovertown, Indiana. In lieu of flowers, please make contributions in her memory to Highland Hills Baptist Church. To read more about Jane’s life, to sign her guest book and to share a memory, visit her web page at www.lifestorynet.com.