Jane Harris Bowers
November 25, 1935 – December 27, 2022
Jane Harris Bowers, 87, of Omaha, Nebraska, joined her savior and many beloved family members in heaven on December 27, 2022.
Jane Ann Harris was born on November 25, 1935, to William R. Harris and Dorothy L. Harris, in Macomb, Illinois. After graduating from Western High School in Macomb, Jane went on to study at the University of Illinois in Champaign, Illinois, where she was an active and devoted member of the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority. While at the U of I, “College Jane” met Ron, the love of her life and husband of 65 years.
After graduation, she launched her career with the Pomona California Parks and Recreation Department. True to her nature, Jane then set her personal career ambitions aside to join Ron in marriage in 1958. She followed him in military and professional assignments throughout the country, beginning in Fort Riley, Kansas, and eventually settling in North Platte, Nebraska in 1965.
While focusing on the care and upbringing of their two children, Jane became North Platte’s first Director of Parks and Recreation. She built the program from the ground up, developing curricula and coordinating recreational, art and interpretive programs for all ages, as well as occupational training and activities for special needs youth and adults. Her children still marvel that Jane – a fan of the Glenn Miller, Julie London, and Herb Albert genres – sponsored countless teen nights, chaperoning the good behavior of High School youth dancing to the Beatles, Rolling Stones and Motown sounds. The positive impact the recreation program had upon the North Platte community received accolades from the State of Nebraska and served as a model for similar programs throughout the state.
After the family relocated to Omaha in 1971, Jane’s tireless devotion to family continued as she immersed herself in service to the community. A past president of the New Neighbors League of Omaha, Jane was recognized as National New Neighbor of the year in 1974. She served on the Omaha Parks and Recreation Advisory Board for many years. A longtime member of the P.E.O. Sisterhood, Jane embodied the philanthropic and educational values of the organization. She was an active member of the Presbyterian Church of the Cross and fostered her children’s faith development. Her spiritual influence remains engrained in the lives and hearts of her children and grandchildren.
As her children approached adolescence, Jane’s love of learning inspired her to pursue a BS in Education at the University of Nebraska – Omaha. She began her teaching career with the Papillion – LaVista Community Schools in 1976. Outside the classroom, she earned an MS in Education Administration. She then transferred to the Millard School District, where she capped off a 22-year teaching career. She found great satisfaction and took pride in following the educational and vocational pursuits of her former students.
Upon retirement, Jane and Ron enjoyed wintering in Rio Verde, Arizona, with fellow “Snowbirds” from around the country, including many close Omaha friends.
“Grandma Jane” enjoyed sharing her love of music and passion for education with her six grandchildren. She took great interest and found delight in each grandchild’s educational, career and life pursuits. Their graduations, weddings, and successes were a source of joy and celebration for her. She was tickled pink (and blue) to welcome two great-grandchildren into the world and to know a third would arrive soon.
Jane is preceded in death by her parents, William and Dorothy Harris; sisters, Nancy Miller and Margaret Stites; and brother William Kenner Harris.
She is survived by her loving husband, Ronald L. Bowers; son Daniel (Michelle) Bowers and daughter Janey (Scott) Bond; six grandchildren: Lindsay (Nic) Hasselwander, Kenner (Hannah) Bowers, Jessica (Vic) Meyer, Allison (Alex) Hibbard, Emily (Craig) Kemper and Coleman Bond; and two great-grandchildren: Henry Louis Hasselwander and Dottie Lawhon Meyer. She also leaves many nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews with whom she shared many memories, laughs, and much love.
Jane’s presence on earth will be sorely missed by all who were blessed to share in her life’s journey. However, her spirit and influence will live in our hearts forever.
A memorial service and celebration of Jane’s life will be held at Presbyterian Church of the Cross, 1234 S. 114th Street, Omaha, NE, on February 18, 2023, at 10:30 a.m. A reception will follow at the church. Jane will be laid to rest at the Omaha National Cemetery in a private ceremony. In lieu of flowers, the family suggests gifts to the Presbyterian Church of the Cross.
‘He will raise you up on eagles’ wings
Bear you on the breath of dawn
Make you to shine like the sun
And hold you in the palm of his hand.’