Elizabeth Jane Little was born December 30, 1929 to John Roy Little and Mary Zita Mills Little at the home of her grandfather John Mills in Russell, Kansas. She grew up on a farm between Russell and Gorham. Jane (as she was known all of her life) attended St. Mary’s Church and Grade School and Gorham Rural High School.
Jane married Francis L. Rhyne June 25, 1947, in Gorham, Kansas. To their union was born seven sons and two daughters: Gerald, Timothy, Susan, William, John, Richard, Charles, Dorothy and Patrick. Their marriage ended in divorce in 1965.
Jane attended business school in Wichita and at Butler Community College and later worked for K-T Oil Corporation. She was hired by the City of El Dorado in 1971 as the secretary to the Director of Public Safety and was also the Municipal Court Clerk, and mostly ran the place until she retired in 1992. She then took off a year to travel to England and Ireland, and later greeted a new grandson whom she called Precious, and eventually she worked part-time at Bradford Memorial Library for five years. Jane also gave comfort, counsel and assistance to others whenever she could, especially her younger sister Alice as her health declined.
Jane’s early life was alive with music. She took piano lessons for approximately ten years. She played all the time. She was the accompanist for Glee Clubs and soloists and was the organist of St Mary’s Catholic Church Men’s Choir in Gorham while she was in high school. She played two years for a dancing teacher’s class. She played drums in the school band as there was no one else to do it. She rocked the organ at St. John’s in El Dorado for about two years and also played the organ at Mass at the Little Sisters of the Poor Home for a longer run. Jane then played keyboard at weekly services at the Big House, i.e., El Dorado Correctional Facility, for about nine years of hard time. All of this took a back seat to her children whom she adored, sometimes. Her grandchildren became a highlight in her life. The family was very important to her.
Jane was preceded in death by her sons Gerald and Patrick; her parents Mr. and Mrs. Roy Little; and her three sisters Aurelia Coady, Imelda Little and Alice Kaps. Surviving are her children Tim, Susan, Bill (m. Callie), John (GF Jeanne), Richard (m. Benedicte), Charles, and Dorothy (m. Jess). Her sisters Aurelia Coady and Alice Kaps each bore seven nieces and nephews to whom she was very close. But Jane won the sweepstakes by having nine children, and to match that she was blessed with nine beloved grandchildren and two great-grandchildren (so far): Eric Rhyne (daughter Zoe); Charles R. Rhyne; Jillian (son Dorian), Steven (m. Kyra), Tom, and Aaron (m. Jaci) Plummer; and Löic, Camille and Charles Benoit Rhyne.
Friends may gather with the family from 5-7pm on Monday, April 5 at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. A rosary will be held following visitation at 7pm. Mass of Christian Burial will be held on Tuesday, April 6, at 10 am at St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Jane will be laid to rest at Sunset Lawns Cemetery in El Dorado. Memorial contributions in her name may be directed to the St. James Catholic School or to St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church. Please sign her online guestbook and leave a memory of Jane at www.kirbymorrisfuneralhome.com
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