Jane Louise (Papenberg) French, 71, of Leavenworth, Kan., passed away peacefully November 28, 2016, of renal failure in her home, surrounded by her sons. She was born April 8, 1945, in Belleville, Ill., to Victor Oscar and Elizabeth Mathilda (Parker) Papenberg.
Jane grew up on the family farm in Hecker, Ill., with her older brother Dale. Jane moved to Wichita, Kan., to attend Sacred Heart College (now Newman University) in 1963. After graduating with a mathematics degree in 1967, she was employed by the Boeing Company. It was there that she met the love of her life, Carl A. French (d. 2012). They were married at the Newman Center Church on April 30, 1968.
Later that year, Carl and Jane were transferred to Kennedy Space Center in Florida, where they both worked on the Saturn V Project in support of the Apollo Program for NASA.
They were eventually transferred back to Wichita, where their eldest son Geoffrey was born. Life eventually took them to Fayetteville, Ark., where Carl pursued a postgraduate degree, and Chattanooga, Tenn., where their second son, Matthew, was born. A return to Wichita in 1979 saw them fully enveloped in the Blessed Sacrament Community, where she and Carl were active members of the Altar Society, Men's Club, Sports Leagues, and Scouting Community. It was here that their third son, Michael, was born.
While in Wichita, Jane began her love affair with quilting, an art that she had seen her mother engage in as a young girl. She held various positions with the Prairie Quilt Guild, and built friendships that would last a lifetime. For a time she and Carl lived in Edmond, Okla., where she found great joy in working with children as a librarian's assistant and reading specialist at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Elementary School.
Upon their retirement in 2008, they settled in Leavenworth, Kan., and quickly became a part of the community. They were the proud grandparents of nine wonderful children. Jane loved volunteering, quilting, puzzles, listening to the Cody Choraliers practice barbershop tunes in their living room, joking and laughing with friends new and old, and travelling to visit family.
Jane is survived by three sons, Geoffrey, his wife Melissa, their daughters Fiona and Molly; Matthew, his wife Oona, their sons Everett and Jack; and Michael, his wife Amanda and their children William, Elizabeth, Genevieve, Felicity, and Stephen. She is also survived by her brother Dale Papenberg, his wife Lois, and their five children, Todd, Brad, Jay, Jill and Mark, and her Aunt Cecilia Parker Fulte.
She was preceded in death by her husband Carl.
Visitation beginning with the rosary will be from 6 to 8 p.m. Friday, Dec. 2, 2016, at the R.L. Leintz Funeral Home. Mass of Christian Burial will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday, at St. Casimir Church. A private burial will be at a later date. In lieu of flowers memorials are suggested to Newman University Bishop Gerber Science Center.
Published on November 30, 2016