Mary Jane (Fox) Robbins, one of six children of William “Bill” Wayne and Nora (Cacy) Fox, was born March 4, 1936 near Brownville, Nebraska. She attended London School District #66 through the 4th grade, and then Auburn Public Schools through the 11th grade. Janie later earned her General Equivalency Degree.
On July 31, 1953, Janie was united in marriage to Virgil Robbins at the Christian Church parsonage in Auburn, Nebraska. They were blessed with two sons, Jim and Joe. The couple lived and farmed around Brownville, Nebraska throughout their 64 years of wedded bliss.
Janie was a homemaker, but also helped on the farm driving tractors and trucks when needed. She also helped at Kennedy Orchards with the apple harvest. She served as babysitter for the Kennedy boys, and loved having them and their friends around the house. She loved having nieces and nephews at her home. One nephew who she helped raise was John King.
Family was very important to Janie. She attended all her granddaughters’ activities while they were in school, and enjoyed spending time with them as they grew into adults. Her greatest blessing was her great-grandchildren. Playing games with them and teaching them was a great joy to her. And her daughter-in-law’s parents, Jim and Colleen Matthews, were good friends and spent vacations and other activities with Janie and Virgil.
As a member of Bethel Community Church, Janie helped with many of the church activities. She also was a 59+ year member of the Order of the Eastern Star, and served for many years as Secretary of the Brownville Chapter.
Janie enjoyed gardening, tending to her flowers and vegetables, and was always happy to share with others. In her quiet time, she enjoyed reading, and playing Scrabble with anyone she could get to play. Janie was a big Husker football fan. Game days she would have her Nebraska flag up and be in front of the TV to watch the game. Her favorite holiday was Independence Day, and the recent July 4th was spent with family and friends gathered around.
Battling cancer, Janie was able to stay at home with the help of her family and others. It was at home, surrounded by family, she passed away on Saturday, July 22, 2017. She had reached the age of 81 years, 4 months, and 18 days, and was preceded in death by her parents, 3 sisters, and 2 brothers.
Janie is survived by her husband Virgil of Brownville; sons Jim and wife Shirley of Peru; Joe of Omaha; granddaughters Brandy Van Der Kamp of Peru and Jamie Robbins of Council Bluffs; great-grandchildren Kobe and Abby Van Der Kamp and William Swanson; William’s father Tony Swanson; sister-in-law Una Faye Lyons of Auburn; many nieces and nephews; family friends Doris and husband Larry Bonacci and their son Nick of Omaha; Steve Matthews and friend Lisa MacFarland, sons Andrew and Ian of Arizona; Bruce and wife Sara Matthews, daughter Emmaline of Pennsylvania; other relatives and many friends.
A memorial service will be Thursday, July 27, 2:00 p.m., at the Peru Community Church in Peru. Eastern Star services will be provided by the Brownville Chapter #263. Burial of ashes will follow at Walnut Grove Cemetery at Brownville. No visitation is planned.