Jane Spooner

God got a good one when Jane Shannahan Spooner, 97, passed away on May 7, 2020 at Methodist Manor in Storm Lake.

Born on Sept. 28, 1922 to Laura and James Shannahan in Des Moines, the stage for Jane’s long and vibrant life was set in 1925 when she won the popular Healthy Baby contest at the Iowa State Fair! Jane was raised on the east side of Des Moines and attended Longfellow Elementary where she was City Marble Champion at age 11. She could sing the “school song” from Amos Hiatt Junior High on request and was an East High grad, class of 1940. She played amateur ball for five years and was a proud member of the girls softball team that won the 1940 state championship.

Jane went on to graduate from Iowa State Teachers College, now University of Northern Iowa, with a major in physical education. She landed a job in Storm Lake and headed to the City Beautiful where she would reside for the remainder of her life. She taught PE at Storm Lake High School, along with being the cheer and pep sponsor — all natural roles for Jane. She married handsome Jack Spooner on June 26, 1949. At that time, women were no longer allowed to teach once they married. So, Jane “retired” and looked forward to the most coveted role of her life — mom to their two boys, John and Jim.

Between raising their sons, being active in their education and activities, and in the family’s main street businesses — the Ben Franklin Stores in Storm Lake and Sac City, Jane was also active in many aspects of the community. These included leadership roles at Lakeside Presbyterian and with PW-Presbyterian Women, as well as membership in PEO chapter JD for over 70 years, Mary Harker Questers, the ‘37 Club (a study and self improvement club established in 1937), Delphian Study Club, and two bridge clubs. Jane and Jack were founders of the vintage car club, SERPACI, and active members all their lives. They were long time supporters of Buena Vista Regional Medical Center, Buena Vista University and a wide variety of civic initiatives.

Jane loved everything “Storm Lake” and she especially loved the Fourth of July and holding court from the front porch of their family home; the Star Spangled Spectacular joy multiplied as every grandchild and great-grandchild came along to join the festivities. Jane lit up brightest when surrounded by her family and friends. She was caring, kind, thoughtful, endlessly inquisitive, an outstanding listener and a natural teacher. She could be “old school” proper while at the same time fun loving and playful — think Mary Poppins meets Barbara Bush (her look-alike). She was the quintessential wife, mother and friend. To know Jane Spooner was to love her — Jane’s “Irish eyes” never stopped smiling.

Jane’s legacy includes: sons John (Dianne) Spooner of Brentwood, Tenn.; and Jim (Judy Quick) Spooner of Des Moines); grandchildren: Justin (Angela) Spooner of Keller, Texas; Jack Spooner of Dallas, Texas; Cameron Spooner of Nashville, Tenn.; and Anna Spooner of Brentwood, Tenn.; great-grandchildren: Kate, John and Luke Spooner; sisters: Georgeanne Evers and Mary Strom; sister-in-law Nelsie Shannahan; and many nieces and nephews dear to her heart.

Jane was preceded in death by her husband Jack Spooner; and brothers James and Don Shannahan.

Heartfelt thanks to the staff of Methodist Manor who always made sure she looked sharp and who lovingly cared for Jane. The staff went above and beyond the call of duty these past months to help keep us connected to Jane during this unimaginable time. Our thanks, also, to the Kindred Hospice staff who gave extra comfort and care to Jane and family during the past few weeks.

A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at a later date. Memorial contributions may be made to Buena Vista County Community Foundation in memory of Jane Spooner at P.O. Box 711, Storm Lake, IA 50588. Fratzke & Jensen Funeral Home in Storm Lake is in charge of the arrangements. 

Articles Section: