COLUMBUS — Helen Jane Bush Norvell, 81, died Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, at Riverside Methodist Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. Jane was born Feb. 22, 1932, at Fort Knox, Ky., the daughter of Helen Elizabeth (McDade) and Maj. Gen. George Elial Bush.
Jane spent childhood years in her hometown of Gallipolis, and on numerous Army posts where her father was stationed. On Dec. 7, 1941, she and her mother were evacuated to the U.S. after the bombing at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii.
A 1950 graduate of Mt. Vernon Seminary in Washington, D.C., Jane went on to attend the University of Kentucky, Auburn University, and the University of Washington in Seattle, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and English. Jane married John Bernard Norvell, a West Point graduate, on May 24, 1958.
Jane was thrilled and proud to be an Army daughter and wife; a mother, grandmother and sister; a dedicated colleague, and a most loyal and loving friend. Over the course of her life her employers included: the U.S. military, the American Red Cross, Northwest Orient Airlines, Holzer Medical Center, the Ohio Department of Aging, and Traditions at Mill Run.
Jane's interest in, and dedication to, the elderly began when she ran the Optical Shop at Holzer Medical Center, where many patients were senior citizens. This work led to formal study and a career in the gerontology field. On May 12, 1985, Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, conferred a Master of Gerontological Studies degree and Jane began a new career as a planner for the Ohio Department of Aging in Columbus. She became a caregiver for her own elderly father in 1993. In later years, Jane worked for Traditions at Mill Run, an assisted living community, until her retirement at age 75.
Along with her parents, Jane was preceded in death by her husband, Col. John Bernard Norvell.
She is survived by her daughters Melissa Jane Norvell, of Columbus, and Lucy Jackson Norvell and her husband, Thomas H. (Tuck) Barclay, of Auburndale, Mass., and grandchildren George Albert Norvell Barclay and Catharine (Cate) Bush Norvell Barclay; and sister Susan Bush, of Columbus.
A private service will be held at Dayton National Cemetery. A celebration of life gathering in honor of Jane will be held at a later date.
In lieu of flowers, the family suggests that contributions be made to Disabled American Veterans, P.O. Box 14301, Cincinnati, OH 45250 (www.dav.org) or Gallia County Animal Welfare League (www.galliaanimalwelfare.com ), P.O. Box 216, Gallipolis, OH 45631.
Arrangements by Schoedinger Midtown Chapel in Columbus (www.schoedinger.com).