Beverly Jane Knight With a loving family at her bedside, Beverly Jane Knight passed away February 18, 2014. Jane was born June 16th, 1932 in the middle of the Great Depression. Her father Jim Spousta and Mother Mae endeavored to offer a life of learning and opportunity. Jane embraced education. She graduated at the top of her class from St. Johns High School (Rodney B. Wilson High) in 1950. She was President of her Senior Class and a member of the National Honor Society. Jane met the love of her life at age 13. Dale Walter Knight and Beverly Jane Spousta were married December 28th, 1952. Jane became an avid fan of the MSU Spartans, accompanying Dale and the MSU Spartan Football team to a national championship and Rose Bowl win. Jane enjoyed season tickets to Spartan Football and Basketball for much of her adult life. Jane earned her Bachelor of Science and Master's Degree from Michigan State University, graduating Summa Cum Laude, in 1964. She was granted membership to the National Honor Society. Jane's degree from MSU specialized in reading. She embraced countless students with reading difficulties. Jane taught in St Johns for 25 years, receiving numerous accolades. She was elected President of the "Clinton Reading Council" upon its inception in 1985. In 1988 she was awarded the "Celebrate Literacy Award," for excellence in her field, by the Presidents Council. Jane's true legacy is centered around family. Jane and Dale were married 62 years. Dale and Jane spent every day together. She was proud of her daughter Diane (Sis) and son Kevin (Butch.) Diane and Kevin celebrate Jane's life as do her 4 grandchildren, Emily (Diane's Beautiful Daughter,) Cameron, Landon and Elizabeth Knight. Jane was 10 when her brother Jim Spousta was born. She loved her little brother dearly. Jim and his wife Dottie survive Jane. The Spousta Clan was close and proud of their Slovak heritage. Family picnics were a Spousta Ritual. Jane is survived by many nieces and nephews. They all loved their "Janey". Dale's family included 5 brothers. The Knight Family celebrated many holidays together. Raucous affairs filled with laughter and children. Jane developed fast friendships with her "Sisters and Brothers" (in law.) She is survived by Gwen Knight, Rex and Georgie , Doug and Jane (Doug's Jane,) and Aldie Knight. Jane was very active in the Big Sisters Program. She was extremely proud of her "Little Sister" Karen Howell Tossavainen, who credits Jane with changing her life. Beverly Jane Knight was born into a time of great change. She embraced the new world, creating a successful professional career, while proudly nurturing a marriage and family. She will be missed, but never forgotten. The family will receive visitors on Thursday, February 20th, from 3:00 to 7:00 at Keck-Coleman Funeral Home. The funeral will be held Friday, February 21, 11:00 at the Congregational Church in St. Johns. In lieu of flowers, Dale requests donations be made to The Alzheimer's Foundation or Big Brothers Big Sisters.
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Published in Lansing State Journal from Feb. 19 to Feb. 23, 2014