Obituary for Jane Harriet Durham
Jane Harriet Stovall Durham was born on Saturday, May 10, 1930, in Frederick, Oklahoma. She died peacefully on Sunday, March 18, 2018, in Tulsa, Oklahoma surrounded by her family. A memorial service celebrating her life will be held on Friday, March 23, at 1:30 p.m. at the First Presbyterian Church in Stillwater, Oklahoma.
Jane was the first child of Alfred Swan Stovall, a cotton buyer, and Jessie Ellison Wagner Stovall, a school librarian. She spent her childhood in Frederick and graduated from Frederick High School. She received a bachelor degree in Bacteriology from the University of Texas in Austin in 1952.
Jane married Norman Nevill Durham, her Bacteriology lab instructor, on July 26, 1952, in Muleshoe, Texas. They moved to Stillwater, Oklahoma when Norman accepted a position with Oklahoma State University. For many years Jane dedicated herself to her family, actively participating in university functions, Girl Scouts and school vocal and band functions. She was a wonderful example of a strong, smart and loving woman to her daughters.
Jane believed in lifelong learning and earned an additional bachelor degree in Animal Science from Oklahoma State University in 1980. She applied this knowledge toward the operation of the Hereford cattle ranch she and Norman established. She actively pursued new information related to the Hereford breed, and implemented the use of performance data to drive continuous improvement for their herd. Jane was active in many organizations related to the cattle industry including the Payne County Cattle Producers Association, the Oklahoma Hereford Association, the Oklahoma and National Poll-ettes Associations, the Hereford Women of Oklahoma and the American Hereford Women Association. She served on numerous advisory committees and board of directors for many of these organizations, stepping into officer and chairman positions many times. Jane's efforts in the cattle industry earned her the Master Breeder Award from the OSU Department of Animal Science, the Breeder of the Year award from the Oklahoma Hereford Association, and recognition as the National Hereford Woman of the Year from the American Hereford Women Association.
Jane was an active member of P.E.O. Chapter BU, an organization that works to provide educational opportunities for women. She served as chapter president many times and was a valued resource for chapter members. Jane was a special initiate of the Alpha Upsilon chapter of the Zeta Tau Alpha fraternity in 1968, serving as an advisor for several years. She was a dedicated OSU fan and had season tickets to Cowboy football and Cowgirl basketball events. The First Presbyterian Church was the recipient of her dedication and devotion to the Second Mile Sewing group for over 40 years, where she provided guidance and leadership to provide hand-made prayer shawls for those in need of spiritual support.
Jane is survived by her husband Norman, and daughters Susan Durham (Richard Mueller), Janet Gaskins (Bradley), Diane Durham and Linda Bender (David). Her legacy continues with her five grandchildren: Jonathan (Rick) Miller, Melissa Miller, Joshua Miller, Breawna Bender, and Sarah Mueller, and one great-grandson Blake Scott. She is also survived by her sister, Helen Stovall Alexander of Glenside, Pennsylvania, and her niece Jessica Alexander Koenen of Portland, Oregon.
In honor of Jane's life the family requests memorial contributions be made to the First Presbyterian Church Second Mile Sewing group, the Oklahoma Hereford Association, the OSU Department of Animal Science, or to the charity of your choice. She was AWESOME!