Jane Eloise Gwinn


LAPEL [mdash] Jane Eloise (Wilkinson) Gwinn, 91, of Lapel, passed peacefully at the farm on Jan. 12, 2019, surrounded by her daughter and loved ones.
Jane was born April 1, 1927, to Ayne and Zella (Estell) Wilkinson into a Quaker home in Middletown. Jane grew up on the family farm outside of Shirley, where she learned to love the land and nature. When her brothers went to service during World War II, Jane helped her father farm.
After graduating from Cadiz High School, Jane attended Purdue University (B.S. 1949) and Ball State (M.A. 1961), earning degrees in textile science and home economics.
With her passion for teaching and home economics, Jane quickly embarked on her professional career at Ambia High School after graduating from Purdue. Starting in 1949, Jane taught at Lapel High School, leading the home economics department and the Lapel Live Forever 4-H club. She then established the home economics department and the Pirateers 4-H club at the newly opened Madison Heights High School in 1956. Jane later led the home economics and 4-H program for Anderson Community Schools before retiring from East Side Middle School in 1984.
Jane cherished her lifelong friendships and relationships with her students and 4-Hers who were part of her classroom.
Jane was recognized by the Purdue School of Consumer and Family Sciences 75th anniversary with a Diamond Award recognizing her as one of 75 outstanding alums during the school's history.
After retirement, Jane's passion for nature, community and farming persevered. Jane was quickly known as the "tree lady" at Woodward Park. She chaired the gazebo project at the park to establish a local memorial for veterans. She directed her passion for education via her board work with South Madison Community Foundation, establishing the Lapel Youth Commission and helping to endow several scholarships at Lapel High School to allow for continuing education. As a member of Trinity United Methodist Church, Jane was active in the Priscilla Circle. On the farm, she enjoyed farming with her husband, Don; daughter, Amy; and Dan Boone.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents, Ayne and Zella (Estell) Wilkinson; her husband of 51 years, Donald "Sonny" Gwinn; her brothers, Tom and Gene Wilkinson; and sister-in-law Virginia Wilkinson.
She is survived by her daughter, Amy Gwinn; sister-in-law, Marjorie Wilkinson; nephews, Bill, Bob and Mike Wilkinson; niece, Karla (Gene) Lipp; and longtime friend, Dan (Cathy) Boone.
The family would like to extend their sincere appreciation to Wright Family Practice staff for their kindness and compassionate care of Jane. Special thanks to Denise, Alice, Julie, Desira, Emily, Kiley and other caregivers for their wonderful care, allowing Jane to fulfill her wishes to stay on the farm.
A funeral service will be held at 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Jan. 17, 2019, at Scott E. Hersberger Funeral Home, 1010 N. Main St., Lapel, with Daniel Bowman officiating. Burial will follow in Brookside Cemetery.
Visitation will be from 4 to 8 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, at the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be directed to the South Madison Community Foundation in memory of Jane for future scholarships.
Online condolences: www.hersbergerfuneralhome.com.
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Published on January 14, 2019
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