Jane's Story

Text size

Jane Cameron Redsecker Menzie, 91, a Norman institution, passed away peacefully at her son Johns home on Tuesday, October 17th, 2017. Jane was much loved and will be missed by the many lives she touched. Her family and those who knew her will be gathering Monday, October 23rd from 4:00 7:00 p.m. in the Atrium at McFarlin Memorial United Methodist Church, where she was a member since 1951 and served with her husband, Don, as a door greeter for over thirty years. McFarlin is located at 419 S. University Blvd., Norman. Books will be available for guests to record their memories. Please follow the Boy Scout motto, and Be prepared, to bring your best memories to share in celebration of Jane Mom Menzie.

Born on October 21st, 1925, Jane was a proud transplant from Wyomissing, Pennsylvania, who spent most of her life in Oklahoma. She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English Literature and Psychology from Bucknell University in 1946 and a Master of Arts degree in English Literature from Penn State in 1948. She and her husband, Dr. Donald Menzie, moved to Norman, Oklahoma in 1951 when he accepted a position as a professor of Petroleum Engineering at the University of Oklahoma.

She is preceded in death by her beloved husband, Dr. Donald Menzie. The couple met at a graduate student square dance on the Penn State campus. They were married at the Hope Presbyterian Church parsonage in Philadelphia, PA on November 6th, 1946, and their marriage lasted 58 years until Dr. Menzies passing in 2005.

She is survived by her four sons, all living in Norman. Don Jr., and wife Stefanie, William and wife Trina, John, Tom and wife Brandy, and four grandchildren, Laura, Mariah, Reiley, and David along with two great-granddaughters, Saradon and Kasey Jane.

A lifelong believer in the importance of community involvement, Jane Menzie has played an active role in numerous civic and professional organizations. Jane was appointed to the Norman Public Library Board in February 1957. One of her main concerns was in the childrens area and she was instrumental in securing a separate position for a librarian specializing in childrens literature and in the appointment of the first childrens librarian. She supported the establishment of a separate childrens room to facilitate childrens programs, activities and circulation of additional materials. Jane served as one of the original board members for what was to become the Pioneer Multi-County Library System. Jane became a member of the Oklahoma Public Library Trustees and served a term as president of the state organization. During her term, her goal as state president was to promote the multi-county system statewide. Jane was honored for her work with the library system by being chosen as Grand Marshal of the 1999 Norman Holiday Parade.

Over a twenty-five year span she served as director, and later, as president of the Petroleum Engineering Educators, an international teaching firm specializing in short courses in engineering. In this capacity she traveled widely, both in the United States and overseas, including China, India, Venezuela, Switzerland, Scotland, the United Arab Emirates and Canada.

Jane began as Den Mother for Cub Scout Pack 241, and served for many years in various volunteer positions with the Last Frontier Council, Boy Scouts of America. She supported her sons and the Boy Scouts of America as all four proceeded to earn the rank of Eagle Scout. She was very proud that her grandson, David Menzie, continued that tradition.

The University of Oklahoma played a huge part in her life, and Jane and Don regularly attended many university activities. They attended home football games since the 1950s. She especially enjoyed watching OU beat Texas a few days before her passing. She was active in a number of different faculty organizations including the University Womens Association, the Engineering Faculty Spouses club, and the Society of Petroleum Engineers Auxiliary.

Jane served as Conservation Chairman, President and Regent for the Black Beaver Chapter of the Daughters of the American Revolution. She supported her sons in the Children of the American Revolution. She was Sr. State Leader during the year the local Minute Men Society of C.A.R. developed a nationally recognized program relating to Native American studies.

Jane had many interests and was a driving force for several organizations, including the Norman Park Foundation, Oklahoma Anthropological Society, Audubon Society, Sierra Club, Oklahoma Native Plant Society, Cleveland County Cattlemens Association, Master Gardeners Association, and the Norman Area Iris Society. She was a founding member of several different Norman organizations including the Norman YMCA, Norman Legacy Antique Club and the Sooner Swim Club. Jane was passionate about the Native American culture and along with her husband, established a private 680 acre wildlife preserve which includes a Native American Sweat Lodge. There, she enjoyed hiking, bird watching, photography, fishing, and campfires with her family. Although she was a city girl, who married a country boy, she embraced life in Oklahoma to the fullest.

In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the Boy Scouts of America or the community organization of your choice.

Jane was a force of nature and will be dearly missed. Welcome, good and faithful servant, Job well done.
Published on October 21, 2017
Send flowers
in memory of Jane
See more

Obituary published in