Jane Neff-Brain

February 2, 1955May 3, 2013

Jane Skahan Neff-Brain passed peacefully on May 3, 2013, after a nine year battle of ovarian cancer. Jane was born on February 2, 1955, in Kansas City, Missouri and lived her childhood and teen years in Prairie Village, Kansas. She attended St. Ann grade school and Shawnee Mission East High School. Jane was in the second class of women to attend the University of Notre Dame. She spent her sophomore year of college studying in Angers, France. After receiving her degree from Notre Dame, she attended law school at the University of Kansas. Jane enjoyed a twenty-eight year career as a city attorney for the City of Overland Park, Kansas. Jane was proud of her family, her husband Don, and their two children. When they were attending school, she was active on the PTO Board and the School Board of Nativity Parish School. Jane was a member of the Junior League of Kansas City, Missouri, making many lifelong friends from her volunteer services. Jane loved politics and city government, and after her retirement from Overland Park, served on the Board of her Homes Association and on the Leawood Planning Commission. Jane is preceded in death by her parents, Helen Kierl Neff and Charles Neff, her two best friends and travel buddies, Peggy Fitzgerald Sweeney and Karen Bledsoe Smith; aunts, uncles, cousins and her toy poodle, Rosie. She is survived by her husband of thirty-three years, Don Brain; son, Donald Brain III; daughter Genevieve Brain; mother-in-law Charleen Brain; brother-in-law David Brain and his wife Cathi; niece Caroline Brain; nephews Andrew, Charlie, and Philip Brain; her red minipoo Sophie; aunts, an uncle, cousins, and many cherished friends. Visitation will be held on May 6th from 5:00-7:00 p.m., where the Rosary will be prayed at 6:30 p.m., at McGilley State Line Chapel. Mass of Christian Burial will be May 7th at 10:30 a.m., at Church of Nativity, Leawood, Kansas with private family interment following in Resurrection Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a memorial contribution, in Jane’s name, to the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Kansas City ( or to the Ovarian Cancer National Alliance ( Jane’s wish was that those who attend her services do so in the spirit of celebration, as she has gone Home.


  • Visitation Monday, May 6, 2013
  • Rosary Monday, May 6, 2013
  • Mass of Christian Burial Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Jane Neff-Brain

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John DeCoursey

July 12, 2013

Don, Donald and Genevieve, I am so sorry to hear about the your loss of Jane. I will imagine that you will be getting more remembrances now about your mother with her passing being published in the Notre Dame Magazine recently. I unfortunately missed her obituary in the Star so I just now learned of her passing. I should have kept in touch with your mother more over the years. I went to grade school with Jane, Notre Dame with Jane and law school with Jane. It was so interesting to read all of the condolences from your mother's friends at Notre Dame. She was so tightly connected with Notre Dame. Your mother made a statement to our class in the sixth grade about Notre Dame that was so amazing that I have remembered it all my life. I had to check the web sites of Notre Dame to make sure I got the dates right. It was the school week of October 24, 1966. Your mom got up in front of the class to tell us what she had done that weekend. She let us know that she went to the Notre Dame Oklahoma game in Norman Oklahoma that weekend and that Notre Dame won the game (38-0 by the way) and that she had decided she was going to go to Notre Dame for college. That was your mother, a sixth grade girl announcing to the world she was going to Notre Dame, six years before Notre Dame had decided that it would admit women to the school. I can only say that I was lucky enough to get the chance to go to Notre Dame with her. She was an inspiration to all who met her and everyone who met her was better off for having known her.

My deepest and belated sympathy for your loss of such a wonderful person.

Carolyn Short

May 14, 2013

I knew Jane at ND. Same dorm, same class. My heart has been breaking for her. But now...I feel her freedom and love. For you, her family, my deepest condolences. She was a bright light in this world. Carolyn Short ND77 (Philadelphia)

Beth Neary ND 77

May 13, 2013

I remember Jane fondly as we lived in the same section freshman year at ND. I found some photos of those years and shared them with Jane a year or so ago. She said that it brought back good memories. My prayers and hopes for you is that the sadness in your hearts today will be replaced by the love and joy that she brought to your lives.

Rodgers & Ellen Naylor

May 11, 2013

Dearest Don, Donald and Genevieve,

Jane fought cancer like no one I have ever known. Selfishly I miss her terribly as she was one of my best friends for many years. She is in a better place now, and we join you in grieving for a dear lady. We are here for you, and are a phone call away. Love you, all 3 of you, from the 2 of us.

Cindy Paas Coleman ND 77

May 11, 2013

Our dear Jane fought the fight with grace and dignity. I will miss our long distance conversations, hearing her laugh and be always so sincerely interested in how her friend was. It was an honor to call Jane my friend. My heartfelt sympathy on her passing.

May 10, 2013

Dear Don, Donald, and Gen,
I have many fond memories of Jane--my first.ND friend! Her spirit will live on in so many ways. Please know that you are all in my thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Blessings and love,

Peggy Hester Goralski (ND '77)

Vicky Abreu-Davis

May 8, 2013

To Jane's family- I was a friend of Jane's from Notre Dame de Sion High School. I will always remember her as a sweet, funny and very smart girl. My prayers and thoughts are with you. Vicky Abreu Davis

Sam Reda

May 8, 2013

Don, So very sorry to hear that Jane lost her very courageous battle. Barb and I send you and your family our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

May 8, 2013

Barb and I were so sorry to hear of Jane's going home. I know she has been an inspiration to all who knew her and of her valient fight over the past many years. Our thoughts and prayers are with Don and all Jane's family.

Barb and Steve Harter

Kathy Beenen

May 8, 2013

Don, Jane was an inspiration and model of grace and courage. She reached out to me in recent years when I needed comfort. I will always remember her and hold your family in prayer.
Kathy Walker Beenen (ND '77, Breen-Phillips)