Return to Class of 1964

11/09/2021
Jane Ann (Walter) Bousman was born May 5, 1946, to Mary Esther and Chuck Walter in Knoxville, Iowa. Growing up in Knoxville, opportunities abounded for her to have adventures in the countryside near her home. Raising baby raccoons, ducks, chickens, rabbits, and lambs, often in the family kitchen, spurred her lifelong love of animals— dogs, cats, and especially horses.

She attended Knoxville public schools and graduated with the KHS Class of 1964 with honors. She enjoyed teaching swim lessons and was a lifeguard at the municipal pool during the summer months. She continued to be passionate about swimming and was always up for some time in the water

She attended the State College of Iowa in Cedar Falls. Her family remembers fondly when, as a college student, she was selected Miss Knoxville and went on to win First Runner Up in the Miss Iowa Pageant. In 1968 Jane graduated with a BA in Art Education.

That same year she married her high school sweetheart, Ron Bousman, and moved to Iowa City. Jane taught art in nearby Lone Tree, Iowa, as Ron completed his studies at the University of Iowa Medical School. After living briefly in Boston, MA, and Ventura, CA, they settled in Wenatchee, WA, where Jane has made her home for the last five decades.

They became parents in 1976 with the adoption of their son, Brian.

As Brian grew Ron and Jane became property owners and started Sandcastle Orchards— growing apples, peaches, pears, cherries, and Christmas trees. During this time Jane also taught preschool at Head Start while helping Ron establish his family care practice.

Jane was passionate about early childhood education and to provide more insightful curricula, she achieved a Masters in Elementary Education with an emphasis on Developmental Learning. She became Education Manager for Head Start, now known as Chelan-Douglas Child Services. She is remembered as a key strategic planner for Head Start and its teachers preparing preschool children for school. “She made the program what it is today. Her staff wanted to be their best because of her,” said former Head Start Director Sara Bartram. “She would recognize people’s gifts and put them in the right positions to be successful.” Jane also taught in both the Wenatchee Valley College Early Childhood Education Program and the Art Department. She retired in 2010.

Jane’s passion for art, particularly drawing and painting, was well known. While working and raising Brian, she fit in what she could, including studying figure drawing with artist William F. Reese. After retirement and divorce, she was able to dedicate much more of her time to painting and those in the Wenatchee area will remember a beautiful showing of her work at Two Rivers Gallery in 2018. As well as creating her own works, Jane was passionate about supporting the art community and collected many works by local artists.

Love of the arts, environment, community, and education were all reflected in her philanthropy. In addition to being a patron of community arts, she was a proud supporter of the Chelan-Douglas Land Trust and RLS Productions Endowment for Wenatchee Valley College, as well as starting a scholarship for veterans at WVC in her father’s name, the Charles H. Walter Jr. Scholarship

Throughout her life Jane enjoyed hiking, exploring, and traveling, whether near home or abroad. Jane glowed when she described often spontaneous adventures with Brian around the hills and mountains in Washington and Arizona. Some very memorable travels for her included trips to Europe with her close friend Marie Coe, with Marie’s son Matthew as a tour guide, and her birthday trip exploring Iceland with Brian.

Friends remember shopping excursions, gallery visits, spa times, going on walks together, and quiet conversations on her patio with coffee or wine, whether at her home in East Wenatchee, WA or Surprise, AZ. On any given day she could be seen walking with Marie, working in her lovely garden and bird sanctuary, or dancing at a rock and roll concert at Ohme Gardens.

Unfortunately, cancer challenged her in recent years. Her battle was lost when she died on November 9, 2021, with her son, family, and cat Skye at her bedside. Jane will be remembered by those that knew her as a warm, loving, fun, thoughtful, and generous daughter, mother, sister, aunt, cousin, and friend.

Jane is survived by her Son Brian and partner, Chalia Bakker of Seattle, Washington, her brothers Dan Walter of Knoxville, Iowa, Tom Walter and spouse, Kate Walter of Knoxville, Iowa, and John Walter and spouse, Diane Walter of Chariton, Iowa.

Nieces, Bridget Mohler of Knoxville, Iowa, Lindsey Walter of China, and nephews Alex Walter of Korea, and Jared Walter of Des Moines, Iowa. As well as many friends in Knoxville, Iowa and Wenatchee, Washington

Interment will be held at Graceland Cemetery in Knoxville, Iowa.