With profound sadness, we announce the passing of Jan White, loving and devoted mother and friend to all lives she touched, on November 7, 2020. Jan was born February 9, 1941 in Rhinebeck, NY, daughter of the late Homer and Gertrude Staley. She is survived by son Michael White, daughter-in-law Ashley White, and three grandchildren Dylan, Brady and Georgia. She is also survived by her brother H, Knick Staley and sister Valerie Kilmer and many nieces and nephews. Jan was proceeded in death by her husband Dr. Barry White.
Jan graduated from Rhinebeck Central School in 1958 and Dutchess Community College in 1960. Jan and Barry moved to Poplar Bluff in 1967 where Barry served as a doctor working many years in Puxico and Poplar Bluff.
Jan lived a full life as a mother, homemaker and volunteer in the planning and zoning sector. She loved to cook, was an accomplished traveler, a highly skilled gardener, and enjoyed her weekly outings to visit with friends across town. She cared deeply for her family and neighbors. And she always ensured that any child or animal who crossed her threshold was safe, healthy, and loved.
Jan had a life-long love affair with leopard print, collecting antique pewter, travel, reading ‘how to’ books (and then telling everyone “how to...”), bird watching, scribbling notes on endless white index cards, trivia games, crab cakes from Castellos, Haagen-Dazs coffee ice cream, and perfecting a vodka martini (extra dry) with blue cheese olives. Jan could often be found sitting outside the home she loved for over 53 years waiting for a friend or neighbor to stop by to share the latest stories, and discuss the news of the day. In her younger years, she worked hard to achieve Poplar Bluff’s ‘Yard Of The Month’ award. She won so many times in a row that she politely declined to accept any future wins. She enjoyed reading maps, taking long drives, and loved the changing of the seasons - spring was her favorite. Her beautiful red hair, blue eyes and striking features - along with just the right amount of gold jewelry and leopard print - will be sadly missed around town.
Jan had a sincere interest in getting to know the people in her community. Her passion for learning, researching, and acquiring knowledge helped her forge many deep relationships, and her encyclopedic knowledge of ‘everyone and everything’ made her the most interesting party guest. Conversations were never boring with Jan and they often began with ‘Did you know...?”. She yearned to learn new things every day, and then use that knowledge in some productive and new way. This is one of the many characteristics that made Jan so special. Her curiosity was the driving force behind a life well spent learning, inventing, exploring, and welcoming new experiences and new friends into her fold. She was a dedicated learner - inquisitive, brave, and unflinching in her own knowing.
We loved her dearly and will never forget her tenacity, wit, charm, honesty, and undying love and caring for all animals.
There are no services scheduled at this time due to Covid. Everyone who remembers Jan is asked to celebrate her life in their own way. Raising a glass of their favorite drink in her memory would be quite appropriate.
In lieu of flowers, Jan would hope that you will do an unexpected and unsolicited act of kindness for a neighbor, or perhaps adopt a rescue pet in her honor. She would have also appreciated a donation in her memory to the Animal Welfare Alliance (PO Box 647 Poplar Bluff, MO 63902).
To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jan White, please visit our floral store.