Jane White Johnson died peacefully at her home in Natchitoches, Louisiana, on July 16, 2020. According to her birth certificate, Jane was born at home on April 29, 1930, in Pine Bluff, Arkansas to Alverda Pearl Fore White and Ray Douglas White. But, Jane’s mother insisted that Jane was born in 1931, and she often exclaimed, “I guess I know when my daughter was born! “
The family moved to Sparkman, Arkansas, where Alverda and Ray raised Jane and her younger brothers, Don and John Richard. Jane left Sparkman after high school to attend Mary Hardin – Baylor College in Belton, Texas, earning a bachelor’s degree in physical education in May 1952. That September, she met Cary Johnson, Jr. at the wedding of her cousin, Tom Fore Phillips, to Billie Claire Lefkovits in Zwolle, Louisiana. Jane and Cary were married in Sparkman in December 1953, eventually moving to Cary’s hometown of Natchitoches, where they raised their children, Becky and Cary Douglas. Upon their return to Natchitoches, Jane and Cary joined First United ‘Methodist Church, where they remained active members for the rest of their lives, supporting FUMC’s ministries and making, lifelong, friendships. Cary and Jane were married for 45 years until Cary’s death in September 1999. Jane found comfort in her church community and in charitable activities, including longtime membership in the PEO Sisterhood, Chapter AU, the Service League of Natchitoches, and the Natchitoches Historic Foundation. Jane cherished her years at Choate’s Interiors and Gifts working alongside her dear friends, Betty and Jim Bob Key, Pam Key DeBlieux and Jimmy DeBlieux, Elizabeth Madden, and Robby Lucky.
Jane is survived by her daughter, Rebecca Jane Johnson Osborn and her husband, Mark; her son, Cary Douglas Johnson; her grandchildren, David Cary Arnot and Katherine Osborn Rook, and Katherine’s husband, Lawrence Rook; her brothers, Donald R White and John Richard White, and John Richard’s wife, Joy; and numerous nieces and nephews whom she dearly loved.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents; by her beloved husband, Cary Johnson, Jr., and his parents, Cary, Sr. and Mary Johnson; and by her sister-in-law, Martha Barber White. The family expresses its sincere gratitude to Jane’s many friends and family members who provided moral support and good company during Jane’s last years; and the family gives special thanks to Jane’s dear friend and caregiver, Deborah Haskett.
In keeping with Jane’s wishes, a private memorial service will be held at First United Methodist Church at a later date, followed by interment of her remains next to her husband in American Cemetery in Natchitoches. Should you wish to make a memorial donation, the family suggests donations be made to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, 262 Danny Thomas Place, Memphis, TN 38105, StJude.org, or a charity of your choice