Have you ever met someone for the very first time and just knew you would love them forever? Well, that happens once in a while. We mostly think of that relationship with lifetime companion. Occasionally, however, one is fortunate enough to meet an ‘instant’ friend that lasts a lifetime. This is the case with Jane.
I met Jane in 1988 when looking for ‘the perfect house’ for a bed and breakfast. She was THE woman to be introduced to at Action Realty. We immediately bonded. We both had lived in Pennsylvania (40 miles apart) and both ended up in Middlesboro. I can’t begin to tell you the impact she had on my life. She was my mentor and friend. She helped me buy THE house. She insisted I become a member of the Bell County Chamber of Commerce. She was excited about being a part of the first B&B in Middlesboro and the Tri-State area. She introduced my partner, Irma Gall and me to a ‘second job’ (where we met her wonderful, supportive husband Sam of 50 years) so that The RidgeRunner B&B could stay afloat for the first several years while getting established. She showered me with enthusiasm for Middlesboro and all the good things it had to offer. She introduced me to businesses, community involvement, civic clubs and more.
She became my cheerleader—not only for the B&B but for my life. When I introduced her to my new friend, Alan Meadows (who later became my husband), she said, ‘If you were to change your name, what a lovely name to have.” Alan became an instant fan of Jane’s and felt it a privilege to call her his friend.
Anything Jane was involved in, she loved and supported 100%. When life gave her lemons, she made gallons of lemonade! I know that is an old saying but how if reflected Jane’s personality.
When her health deprived her of being involved in activities, she was STILL involved. She always showed an enthusiasm for everything and could make you wonder why you would complain if you had a slight cold! Her energy was never ending.
Jane was the greatest friend, supporter, volunteer and lover. Yes, she was a lover: of her community, her co-workers, whether it be on committees, church, chamber or Relay for Life. She was a lover of gardening, festivals, travelling, bread-making (oh, Jane-your bread was your trademark!) encouraging people to be the best they could be, her family and above all, her husband Sam. She was my friend and I loved her, as all that knew her loved her. Jane-we will always remember and miss you.