Jane Lee Vail Ward, 61, passed away on Thursday, September 12, 2013 after a long battle with Frontotemporal Degeneration. Jane was born in Glens Falls, New York, on January 11, 1952. She grew up in Hudson Falls/Lake George, New York, and Stamford, Vermont. Jane married Christopher Allan Ward in Williamstown, Massachusetts on May 29, 1976.
Jane was a devoted wife, loving mother and adored teacher. She had a yearning and zest for life. Jane was a strong-willed and determined woman, who brought her own flare to all aspects of her life. She had a unique and contagious energy that spread joy to those around her. Jane expressed herself through many artistic outlets including weaving, knitting, sewing, ceramics and sculpture.
Jane graduated from Randolph-Macon Woman's College in 1974 and began her teaching career at Stoneleigh-Burnham School in Greenfield, Massachusetts. She moved to Houston in 1976, where she discovered the Montessori Method of education. In 1978, she became a certified Montessori teacher and taught at schools in the Houston and Kingwood areas. Jane and her family moved to Kingwood in 1986, where she achieved one of her lifetime goals of creating her own school. Jane founded and directed Kingwood Day School from 1988 to 2004.
Jane was an avid sailor, having learned to sail on Lake George, New York, at her family's summer camp. In the Houston area, she enjoyed sailing with her family on Galveston Bay for over 20 years. During this time she was active in youth sailing on Galveston Bay and throughout Texas. Jane's other athletic passion was swimming. She was an active member of US Swimming, as well as an official at Kingwood High School and neighborhood swim meets. Jane also competed in master's level swimming.
Jane was preceded in death by her father, Atlee Gerow Vail, Jr.; infant daughters Ann McKenzie Ward and Elizabeth Morgan Ward. She is survived by her loving husband of 37 years, Christopher Allan Ward; daughter Allyson Jean Ward Rapacki and husband Christopher Rapacki of Spring, Texas; daughter Katherine Lee Ward and her fiancé Christopher Helton of Chicago, Illinois; mother Audrey Baker Vail; sister Jocelyn Vail Thach and husband Presley Thach; nephew Drew Thach all of Charlottesville, Virginia; and niece Vail Thach Weiglein of Durham, North Carolina.
A memorial celebrating Jane's life will be held on Saturday, September 21, 2013 at 2:00 pm with reception following at Kingwood Funeral Home, 22800 Highway 59 North, Kingwood, Texas. In lieu of flowers, gifts in Jane's memory may be made to the Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration or Mischer Neuroscience Institute at Memorial Hermann-Texas Medical Center.