Mary Jane Ford

Sunday, October 2, 2011

KELSO, Mo. -- Mary Jane "Toot" Ford, 74, passed away peacefully surrounded by her family in Kelso on Friday, Sept. 30, 2011.

She was born Feb. 19, 1937, in the Drury family farmhouse in Kelso, daughter of Lambert and Lorraine Dohogne Drury. She and Martin L. Jansen were married Oct. 3, 1959. at St. Mary's Cathedral in Cape Girardeau by Monsignor Marion Forst. Together they had 10 children. He preceded her in death on Oct. 24, 2000. Mary Jane later married Jim E. Ford on June 26, 2004, at St. Augustine's Church in Kelso by the Rev. Oliver Clavin.

Mary Jane attended St. Augustine's Catholic Grade School in Kelso and graduated from St. Mary's High School in Cape Girardeau in 1955. She began her working career at the old Saint Francis Hospital as a switchboard operator. Mary Jane also worked for her brothers' Drury Tile and Plastering Co. as secretary and bookkeeper. She met her future husband, Martin, while working there. Soon after, she accepted the most prestigious position she was most proud of -- devoted wife and mother.

Mary Jane, most intimately known as "Nanny" or "Nan," loved babies and welcomed them all into her home with loving arms. She may have only had a high school education, but she earned an honorary Ph.D. in loving and caring for others and putting everyone else's needs ahead of her own. Whether it be picking up trash or helping a waitress by neatly stacking dishes, she instinctively strived to make the world a better place for everyone around her. She and Martin sacrificed unselfishly so that their nine children received Catholic educations to spread the faith that they both loved so well. One of her greatest joys was to watch her children's and grandchildren's ballgames. And her mastery of "chicky-rice soup" nurtured many a sick child back to health. She approached life with zest -- and an energy that surpasses the most youthful among us.

And Mary Jane's love for music resounded -- not just within the walls of her home -- but also at wedding dances and events throughout the surrounding counties. In the early years, she was a member of The Super Sweets band and later The Goldtones, playing accordion and keyboard. She also enjoyed dancing and loading up a van full of retirees to go to area dances.

Mary Jane met Jim Ford at one of these dances. Together they found love and companionship to share in their golden years. They joined The Country Touch band and had a good ole' time playing music on and off the dance floor. They also enjoyed watching the Cardinals play. Being able to catch a game with them was a highlight for her caregivers. While the two lived primarily at the Kelso residence, they also spent time together at Jim's home in Oak Ridge enjoying gardening, the rolling fields and the peaceful atmosphere of the country. Mr. Jim lovingly and patiently cared for Nan and we are eternally grateful for his kindness and generous heart.

Mary Jane was also a member of the St. Ann's Sodality, Missouri Right to Life, SEMO Lifesavers and Voice for Life.

Survivors include nine children, 25 grandchildren and three great-grandchildren: Patty Bradshaw and children Gina, Genny, Austin and Alex Bradshaw and Geri (Steven) LeGrand, and their children Amelia, Eva and Gianna; Michael (Tricia) Jansen; Susan Jansen; John (Missy) Jansen and children Josh, Stephanie, Ben, Kristen and Jake; David (Mary) Jansen and children Jacob, Clayton, Olivia and Leah; Greg (Kathy) Jansen and children Bobby, Megan and Hayden; Krista (Billy) Keesee and daughter Evan; Debbie (Mark) Perry and children Anthony, Daniel, Rachel and Victoria; and Tom (Amy) Jansen and children Abby, Lexi and Jack.

Survivors also include two stepchildren, Theresa (David) Miller and Thelma (Don) Parsons; six stepgrandchildren; four great-stepgrandchildren; and a great-great-stepgrandchild.

Also surviving are three brothers and three sisters, Charles (Shirley) Drury, Bob (Carmen) Drury, Pat (Theon) Schlosser, Jerry (Kathleen) Drury, Nancy (David) Pfeif-fer and Victoria (Ted) Hahn; and sisters-in-law, Rita Drury, Wanda Drury and Charlotte Drury.

Mary Jane was preceded in death by her parents; her husband, Martin; a daughter, Anne Elizabeth; and two brothers, Tom Drury and Jim Drury.

Friends may call from 3 to 8 p.m. Monday at St. Augustine's Church in Kelso with parish prayers at 7:30.

The funeral will be at 10 a.m. Tuesday at the church, with the Rev. Oliver Clavin officiating. Burial will be in St. Augustine Cemetery.

In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to SEMO Lifesavers or Notre Dame High School Foundation. Amick-Burnett Funeral Chapel in Scott City is in charge of arrangements.