Mary Jane Spear, one of three children on LeRoy and Beulah E. (Carlson) Cordes, was born April 22, 1939 in Fremont, Nebraska. She grew up in Scribner, Nebraska, where she attended school and graduated from high school, in 1957. Jane went on to attend Wayne State College in Wayne for one year.
On August 9, 1959, Jane was united in marriage to Gary Spear at St. Peter Lutheran Church in Scribner, by Rev. O.W. Wehrmann. They would be blessed with three children: Jenny, Tim, and Chris. The couple’s first home was in Wayne, and then the family lived in three Nebraska cities, Tecumseh, Omaha, and Chappell, before moving to Auburn.
Jane worked as Secretary to the President of Wayne State from 1958 to 1960. In addition to be a full-time mom, she had other jobs in the places they lived. After moving to Auburn in August of 1977, Jane began her career in banking at Carson National Bank, which continued until 2006. Starting as a teller, she eventually became operating officer and served on the bank’s Board of Directors. She became very knowledgeable in banking compliance regulations, and taught classes at banking seminars.
In every town in which she lived, Jane was a member of and extremely active in Lutheran churches. She sang in church choir, belonged to LWML, and taught Sunday School and Catechism. In Auburn, as a member of Trinity Lutheran Church, Jane was instrumental in forming the Trinity Foundation.
After suffering a heart attack on April 17, 2017, Jane spent the next 11 days fighting for her life at St. Elizabeth Medical Center in Lincoln, Nebraska. She was transferred To Eastmont Towers in Lincoln, where she passed away on Saturday, April 29, 2017, one week after her 78th birthday. Her parents and brother Roger preceded her in death.
Those who will forever remember and cherish Jane’s loving ways include her husband Gary of Auburn; children Jenny and husband Keith Long of Matthews, NC, Tim and wife Suzanne Spear of Olathe, KS, Chris and wife Michelle Spear of McLean, VA; grandchildren Mykayla, McKenzy, and Maleigha Long; Joshua and Madison Spear; and James, Anna, Thomas, and Eva Spear; brother Robert Cordes of Hope, ID; 14 cousins, many other relatives and many friends.
A celebration of life will be Saturday, May 27, 10:30 a.m. at Trinity Lutheran Church in Auburn. Inurnment of ashes will take place that day at 4:30 p.m. in the Scribner Cemetery at Scribner, Nebraska. Visitation will be at the funeral home Friday, the 26th, 9:00 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with family greeting friends 6:00 to 8:30.
Memorials are suggested to Trinity Lutheran Church, Auburn Rescue Squad, Auburn Volunteer Fire Department, or Nemaha County Hospital.