Jane A. Edmonds, 87, of Atlantic Beach, FL passed away peacefully in the presence of her family January 4, 2022. Jane was the first baby born January 1, 1935, in Atlanta, GA to John and Christine (Holliman) Adams.
Leaving home at 16, Jane was educated at Georgia State College for Women (BS PE, ‘55). She then followed her heart – and as she loved to joke, “the great pay check” - to Jacksonville’s Andrew Jackson HS. Jane was a teacher of high regard at every level from elementary school through college, and across numerous states.
Never one bound by barriers, Jane was in the earliest group of women to earn her Master’s degree in Physical Education from the University of Florida (1958). This experience, coupled with her marriage (December 1958) to the love of her life - Maurice O. Edmonds (a UF graduate), cemented her unwavering love of the Florida Gators.
While a summer counselor at the Girl Scout camp at Santa Rosa, Jane – always the educator - leveraged her life-long love of swimming by teaching girls to swim. Always one to accept any challenge, she did this in the ocean. She continued to swim into her final weeks. Always an advocate for women’s athletics, Jane enjoyed not only swimming, but also had a love-hate relationship with golf.
After marrying, Jane embarked on an adventurous life as an Army wife and mother. Again facing every challenge – the first being the Army prohibition on pregnant wives accompanying their husbands to Germany, Jane “misled” the Army and succeeded in getting to Heidelberg, telling her husband, “We’re going to live in a German community, and learn to speak German.” Both of her sons were born during this assignment.
After numerous moves, including eight states – Hawaii being her favorite, Jane and Maurice culminated their Army adventure in Indianapolis, where they built many deep and lasting friendships - from their Ft Harrison community, to their Indianapolis Power and Light Co family.
Jane – always a leader – became a strong advocate for Army wives and families – being part of the initial group of senior Army wives that formed the Family Support Group structure that now function in every Army unit worldwide. At every military assignment, she counseled younger wives facing the challenges of military life, especially during the Vietnam War – during which she spent two years as both mother and father to her sons while Maurice was deployed.
Jane’s life of continued service to her family, students, communities, colleges, and country, was honored when she was named to UF’s College of Health and Human Performance Hall of Fame.
Educator of great merit, mother of great fortitude, Army wife of great courage, sage counselor to many; Jane is survived by her husband Maurice, her sons Neal (Lisa) and Mark (Dawne), and her seven grandchildren – Jake, Hunter, Leslie, Jamieson, Gavin, Dusti, and Kylie. Her parents preceded Jane in death.
A long-time member of Christ Episcopal Church in Ponte Vedra, Jane’s service will be held at the church on Saturday, February 19, 2022, 11:00 am. In lieu of flowers, please donate to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, or Wounded Warrior Project.