Willis-Reynolds Funeral Home

56 Northwest Blvd., Newton, NC


Barbara Jane Punch

July 10, 1937January 12, 2020

Barbara Jane Punch, the oldest daughter of Barbara Baker Johnson and Arthur Brittain Johnson, was born July, 10, 1937, and passed away on January 12, 2019 in Saline, MI. Jane attended Fred T. Foard High School in Newton, NC, where she met and fell in love with James Darrell Punch. On August 8, 1959, a few months after Jane graduated from Meredith College in Raleigh, NC, and J.D. from N.C. State University, the two were married at the New Jerusalem Church. Jane taught elementary school in St. Paul, MN, while J.D. pursued a PhD at University of Minnesota; she taught third-grade in Richmond, VA, while her children were young. In 1973, the family moved to Kalamazoo, MI, where they resided for nearly 30 years, making frequent trips to see family in North Carolina.

Jane was preceded in death by her husband of 49 years, who passed away in March 2009; her brother, Hugh Arthur Johnson; brother and sister-in-law, Loy and Betty Jo Punch; sister-in-law, Judy Punch; and brother-in-laws, Gene Punch, Ted Punch, and I.A. Travis.

She is survived by her children, Jeffrey (Margaret) Punch of Ann Arbor, MI, and Gina Punch Donlin of Oak Park, IL; grandchildren, Rebecca (Matthew McHale) Punch, Allison Punch, Jeremy Punch, Kathryn Donlin, Abigail Donlin, and Charles Donlin. She is also survived by her sister, Alis Johnson Irwin; sister-in-laws Kathy Johnson, Becky Punch, Betty Punch and Betty Jean Punch; and brother-in-law Darvin (Arlene) Punch, along with many dear nieces, nephews, loving cousins, and treasured friends.

Family and friends were drawn to Jane's warmth, kindness, and sincerity, which never wavered throughout her lifetime. She enjoyed Scrabble, crosswords, and anything with caramel; she couldn't resist peeking at presents, collected teddy bear mugs and ornaments, and was never too busy to listen. Jane was a prolific quilter who loved piecing fabrics to create personalized designs including "dream quilts" and baby blankets. She relished the role of Grandma Jane, hosting her grandchildren and many other beloved children, for tea parties, art classes, and nature walks.

Visitation will be held Friday, January 17 from 5 pm to 7 pm at Willis Reynolds Funeral Home, 56 Northwest Blvd, Newton, NC. Funeral services are at 11 am on Saturday, January 18 at New Jerusalem Church, 2120 Startown Road, Newton, NC, with Reverend Randall Cauble officiating. A luncheon at the church will follow.


  • Visitation Friday, January 17, 2020
  • Funeral Service Saturday, January 18, 2020


Barbara Jane Punch

have a memory or condolence to add?

Annette Donlin

January 15, 2020

Grandma Jane Will be remembered by our family as a loving, gentle and thoughtful lady. Our four daughters will not forget often having tea and making crafts with her. Jane inspired children to dream and create from their souls; she inspired adults to listen and treat others with respect and kindness. Although she treaded softly, her powerful gift of making people feel heard, beautiful and loved impacted many lives with great power.