Jane Zora Pyle, 70, passed away on December 24, 2016, in Houston, Texas. She was born to E. M. Pyle III (Sonny) and Louise A. Pyle. Jane grew up on the Pyle Ranch, south of Kingsdown in northern Clark County. Her many and varied talents ranged from training horses, to getting her private pilot’s license and included playing the organ for the Kingsdown Presbyterian Church. She also played the piano beautifully.
She attended grade school in Kingsdown, graduated from Ford High School in 1964, and received her Bachelor of Arts from the University of Kansas in 1968. In 1969 she, along with her parents, opened Zoe’s, a high fashion woman’s boutique in Wichita.
In 1972 she moved to Houston and began working as a store manager at Palais Royal, a specialty department store that was acquired by the public company Stage. Jane retired from Stage in 2003 as a Vice-President, Senior District Manager.
Throughout her career, Jane lived in several cities, New Orleans among them. And, upon retirement, it was there she chose to live. She embraced the city and served on the Board of Directors of the Lafayette Square Conservancy, an all-volunteer, non-profit group dedicated to the preservation and improvement of New Orleans’ downtown park.
She was equally devoted to Start the Adventure in Reading (STAIR), a program that, at no cost to their families, provides volunteers to tutor and mentor public school students who are in danger of failing reading. In addition to helping with general preparations for Mardi Gras, she was a member of the Krewe of Cork.
Jane inherited her mother’s artistic talent and, in her retirement, discovered her great love of and talent for painting. She enjoyed taking regular painting classes from New Orleans artist Freddie Guess and shared her work generously with family and friends. Another of her great interests was travel. She did so extensively throughout the US and overseas.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents and her older sister, Joan Munger. She is survived by her brother, E. M. Pyle IV (Butch) and wife, Nan of Dodge City, and their children, Ashley, Tristan and Noah; her sister, Vicki Baucum and husband, Carl of Houston, and their children, Casey and Brett; her brother-in-law Leonard Munger of Kansas City, and daughter, Gretchen.
Jane was devoted to her nieces and nephews, and enjoyed time spent with them during each stage of their lives.
In November, Jane was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and told she had a short time to live. It was her goal to spend time with her family before she died. Thanksgiving was spent with her sister Vicki and her family. With Vicki’s help, Jane made a trip to Dodge City to see Butch and his family. She achieved her goal and passed away three days after leaving Dodge City.
A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at a later date in New Orleans, her home for 13 years. Memorials may be made to STAIR (stairnola.org);
Lafayette Square Conservancy (lafayette-square.org/donate); or Houston Hospice (houstonhospice.org/donate.aspx).