Jane Etta Lease ( Omer) born April 10, 1924 passed peacefully on October 20, 2016. Jane Etta was born in Kansas City, Kansas, the third daughter of Dr. Joy Alva and Emma Jaggard Omer. She was preceded in death by her parents, sisters Virginia Jameson and Helen Conley, her first husband Jackson Edwards and second husband Richard J. Lease. She is survived by four daughters, Janet (Jacky) Radifera, Joyce (Lou) Segaloff, Julia Marvin, and Catherine (Ed) Warren, two stepsons, Richard and Bill Lease, nine grandchildren and nineteen great grandchildren.
Jane Etta, sisters and parents moved to Ajo in 1927 where her father was the surgeon at the mining hospital until the copper prices fell. They moved to Tucson and in 1929 bought the home at 2648 E 7th St. Jane Etta attended Sam Hughes Elementary, Mansfield Junior High, and graduated from Tucson High School in 1942.
She graduated from the University of Arizona in 1957 and was hired to be the first Home Economics teacher at Fort Huachuca. She was determined her students would know how to manage a home independently from sewing straight lines to wool suits and coats, balancing a budget, planning, shopping, and preparing a week’s worth of meals. Jane Etta took learning seriously, if her students did not earn 100% on an exam, they were required to write the question and answer 15 times and turn it in the next day. On Sunday afternoons after church, she would take her four girls and explore the countryside which often included dirt roads. They explored mines, hills, and ghost towns.
In 1960 she married Richard J Lease, whom she had met as a teenager. She would telephone the weather report and social life at Mount Lemon to the newspaper in Tucson. Richard was the radio operator on Mount Lemon ranger station. They moved their family to Bloomington, IN where Richard was an associate professor in Police Science at Indiana University. He helped Dr. Borkenstein perfect the Breathalyzer. Jane Etta taught Special Ed for the Stonebelt Council, high school chemistry, and was a substitute teacher. She received a Master of Science in Elementary Education from Indiana University in 1962
They returned to Arizona in 1963 for Richard to receive his doctorate in Educational Psychology. Jane Etta taught Home Economics at the Williams Air Force Base Accommodation School and worked for Arizona State University Library.
She and Richard moved to Las Cruces, NM in 1966. Jane Etta went to Denver to the University of Denver where she earned a second masters in Library Science. She returned to Las Cruces and became a librarian in the Education Division of NMSU.
In 2003 she and Richard returned to Mesa, Arizona to live near her daughter, Julia
Over the years she belonged to the DAR, PEO, ALA, NEA, Oh Lambda Theta, and National Honor Society. She also belonged to various Ladies Auxiliaries of husband’s organizations; Including Faculty Wives Club and NM State University Faculty, and Antique Cars Club. She is the author of “Toward Stabilization Mine Dumps and Tailings Dams” published by NM Bureau of Mines and Mineralogy.
Jane Etta was always passionate about exercising her right to vote, and did so up to the end. Throughout her life she was involved in getting people signed up to vote, and didn’t hesitate to let her Congressman know how she felt about the issues.
Services to be held on October 27, 2016 at Mountain View Funeral and Cemetery, Mesa, AZ. Viewing at 9 a.m. and service at 10:00 a.m. Interment at National Cemetery, Cave Creek, AZ.