This afternoon I attended a funeral of a very special woman, Jane. Jane was the wife of my favorite law partner during the many years I practiced. In 1985, when I moved to Charlotte, she was one of the few professional spouses. But she was also a phenomenal hostess. She was just plain out fun.
The funeral was at Christ Church. The sanctuary was packed, and it was a perfect day; the light was streaming in, and everyone attending was feeling clearly less than light. Jane was 66, cancer. I and still enjoyed being a part of her world and sharing this time together.
The service was a very traditional Episcopal service. Psalm 23, three hymns, lovely homily by Rev. Lisa Saunders full of anecdotes of Jane, Steve, her boys, her sisters and their epic Nordstrom Annual Sale adventure in Southern CA, and all her professional achievements as an advocate and champion for exceptional children … then a very brassy upbeat tune played for the recessional … I was sitting next to a former law associate, Dave Brown… What is that? We both paused, then Dave got it … “Brown-eyed girl”
Everybody walked out of the service with a huge smile on their face.
And as a walked my labyrinth later, I found a wedding rendition of “Brown Eyed Girl” … So close your eyes and imagine a church filled with people grieving, filled with sunshine and then filled with smiles (and laughter).
RIP, Jane, one truly extraordinary Brown Eyed Girl! I wish I had reconnected when I returned to Charlotte, 11 years ago … You are a special lady.
“Solvitur Ambulando” – It is solved by walking, 2015 Advent Labyrinth Walks (24/40), Avondale Presbyterian Church – Charlotte, Jane Rhyne, Brown Eyed Girl, Rev. Lisa Saunders, Christ Church Episcopal- Charlotte.
And here is Jane’s obituary …
She was a woman of incredible grace, warmth and professionalism. Most of all, she was a tenacious champion and advocate for children.