GOODNOW, Jane Malkemus|
Jane Malkemus Goodnow passed away Monday, May 26, 2014 at Seton Medical Center in Austin, surrounded by her family. Jane was born in Louisville, Kentucky on March 12, 1916-- she took pride in the fact that it was the Year of the Dragon. Her early years in Louisville with her mother, father, two brothers, and grandparents inspired a lifelong love of music and theater. Her mother was an accomplished pianist and her grandfather an avid lover of Shakespeare.
She moved with her mother and two brothers to Chicago in 1928, where she attended Immaculata High School, performed in community theaters, and sailed the waters of Lake Michigan. She went on to graduate cum laude from Mundelein College in 1937, excelling in the theater and winning numerous awards for her writing. She also worked as a scriptwriter for WBBN Chicago, performed as a recurring character on the Jack Armstrong Show, and hosted a cooking series called Peepers in the Pantry. During this time, she met James Lawrence (Larry) Goodnow, a University of Chicago and ROTC graduate who shared her passion for art and zest for life. They were married in 1940 in Champaign, Illinois.
As an army officer's wife, Jane embraced a life of travel and global culture with an extraordinary joie de vivre, all while being a devoted and loving mother to six lively children. While the family was stationed in Paris France, she immersed herself in French culture and language subsequently earning her French teacher's certificate.
In 1966, Jane and Larry settled their family in Austin, and shortly thereafter, Jane began her life as a public school teacher at Reagan High School. As in everything she did, Jane excelled. An extraordinary teacher, she coached and mentored many students to claim the highest honors in national French competitions. She continued teaching a conversational French course until she was 97 years old.
Jane's passion for learning sparked her joy for teaching in and out of the classroom. She could often be heard reciting bits and pieces of poems and verse as called for by the time and circumstance. Jane loved beauty, intellect, art, and transcendence, and all that she touched bloomed in her presence. A yellow-dog Democrat, Jane championed causes for social justice, environmentalism, and education -- evidenced by her spearheading the effort to protect Austin's Camp Mabry from urban development.
Jane's love for her family was paramount and her tenacious and compassionate spirit is manifest in her children, nine grandchildren, and seven great-grandchildren.
Preceded in death by her brothers, Billy and David Malkemus, her husband, Larry, her beloved children, Billy and Catherine, and her grandson, David, Jane is survived by her sons John Goodnow of Leavenworth, Kansas, Michael Goodnow of Granges, Switzerland, Stephen Goodnow of Austin, and her daughter, Lisa Goodnow of Austin.
A Celebration of Life for Jane will be held on Friday, May 30 at 7:00 p.m., at Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Home, 2620 South Congress Ave. A Mass will be held on Saturday, May 31 at 11:00 a.m. at St. Austin Catholic Church, with a luncheon to follow.
Memorial contributions may be made in Jane's name to The Audubon Society, The Austin Lions Club, and Austin Lyric Opera.
Obituary and guestbook available online at www.wcfish.com
Published in Austin American-Statesman from May 29 to May 30, 2014