December 8, 1940 – May 3, 2021
Jane Ellen Countryman passed away peacefully to be with the Lord on Monday, May 3, 2021, at the age of 80, in Fresno, CA. She was born to James and Ruth Highley in Tulsa, Oklahoma, and grew up alongside her older sister, Sue, and younger sister, Donna. Jane spent her early childhood in Oklahoma, then moved with her family to California, settling in the foothills of Hayward, then eventually Markleeville. Jane took the school bus to attend Douglas County Highschool in Nevada, where she was crowned prom queen and graduated with the class of 1959.
After high school, Jane was blessed with four children: Darlene, Cari, Gary, and Roy, and raised them as a hardworking single mother, in Avenal, CA. She described motherhood as busy, fun, and rewarding, while also relying on God’s grace as a single mother. Jane worked various jobs in the medical field before settling into her career as a mail carrier through the U.S. Postal Service in Avenal, CA for 23 years, and she had the tan lines to prove it. After retiring in 2005, Jane became a part-time caregiver in her community, providing childcare, senior care, and rides for young adults to community college. She was a generous and caring woman, always willing to lend a hand.
Jane’s friends describe her as a Child of God and a sincere Christian woman. She was an avid member of Avenal First Baptist church, where she led Sunday School class, and loved spending time with children, even when they were honest about her lack of singing skills.
Jane loved crafts, walks, reading, and a good movie. She enjoyed listening to both gospel music, and Elvis. She made the best sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving, which will be made every year in her honor…her secret? Add more brown sugar.
Jane was a beloved daughter, sister, mother, and friend, but also affectionately known as Nana to her seven grandchildren and six great-grandchildren. She treasured her role as Nana, inviting her neighborhood friends to meet her great-grandchildren who stopped by for a visit. She was peaceful, loving, and humorous, leaving behind memories of sleepovers, watching old movies, as well as lunch dates, and sharing her life stories.
She is survived by her sister, Sheila Sue Michael (Bob); children, Darlene Countryman, Cari Howe (Todd), Gary Countryman (Linda), and Roy Countryman (Kelly); grandchildren, Kirstin Lichtenwalner, Whitney Cole, Sydney Howe, Derek Vasquez, Gabriel Vela, Sander Countryman, and Kyle Countryman; great-grandchildren, Joaquin Vasquez, Diego Vasquez, Gabriella Vela, AnnaLeah Vela, Addison Cole, and Benjamin Cole; along with many other loving family members and friends.
A private, intimate service will be held by her family in celebration of life.
In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jane's memory may be made to:
The Michael J. Fox Foundation, P.O. Box 5014, Hagerstown, Maryland 21741-5014, https://www.michaeljfox.org; and
Alzheimer’s Association, PO Box 16007, Fresno, California 93755, https://www.alz.org/norcal.
Fond memories and expressions of sympathy may be shared at www.boicefuneralhome.com for the Countryman family.
- Cari-Vale Howe (Todd), Daughter
- Olivia Countryman, Daughter
- Garrett Countryman (Linda), Son
- James Countryman (Kelly), Son
- Jane also leaves behind 7 grandchildren and 6 great-grandchildren to cherish her memory.
No public services are scheduled at this time. Receive a notification when services are updated.
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May 16, 2021
So many childhood memories had aunt Jane in it. She always was herself, sweet, no nonsense no matter what was going on. She had a wit about her, a sense of humor.....sometimes she'd slip a comment in during a awkward situation, but I'd always catch it where not many else would.....she'd giggle and wink. She was the comfort during visits , when some kind of drama in my family happened....which was often. I couldn't wait for our trips to Avenal, because she made everything better! She made me laugh so much....never realizing how strong and influential she was to me.... She was determined to take care of her kids, no matter how hard it was She went above and beyond to make me feel like everything would be alright when she knew I was upset. Every visit to Avenal meant Sunday school with Aunt Jane.... just one of my best memories with her. I'll miss you, Aunt Jane.....your reassuring tone, your humor, your laugh I can still hear. ..our long walks and talks every time we went somewhere and "misplaced " the car.....she was famous for that one, hahaha. Her faith in God was extraordinary, so I know she's in a wonderful place . Thank you for being you. I love you, Aunt Jane
May 15, 2021
I remember Jane as our Postal Lady while living in Avenal, Ca. My first impression of Jane was soft spoken, beautiful smile, warm eyes and a very sweet personality. My son became friends with her son Roy thus became a long lasting friendship with his Mom. When Roy told me of her placement in a Nursing Home; I began praying for Jane every night until I heard from Roy of her passing. God truly has a beautiful Angel. Rest In Peace Jane. My very deepest condolences to Ms Countryman’s family.