Jane Adair Richards, 82 of Heppner, passed away on Sunday, June 7, 2020 at her home.
She was born July 15,1937 in Portland, lived her early years in Salem, and attended high school in Gold Beach, where she was a cheerleader and played trumpet in the school band. She joined the Army with her two best buddies right after graduating in 1955.
Jane met and married Herb Mattair in 1956 and they moved to his hometown of Chicago. They had two children, Michelle and Marc. After divorcing in 1962, Jane returned with her kids to Oregon to be near her parents, Gus and Grace Leathers, who ran Lexington's V & G Tavern in the 60s and 70s.
In Heppner, Mom met her dearest and lifelong friend, Anna. They attended nursing school together in Pendleton, graduated as LPNs at the top of their class, and Jane remarried in 1965 to Gary Richards in a double ceremony with Anna and Pete Schwarzin of Heppner. Daughter Melissa was born in 1966 and through the years, the family lived in many parts of the Pacific NW.
Jane got a real kick working as a nurse in a variety of settings -- including ER, OR, on the ambulance team at Meridian Speedway (Idaho), and in Seattle's renowned Harborview Burn Center. But her grand passion was always medieval and ancient history. She was an amateur archaeologist, earned her geology degree from Southern Oregon State College, and published a novel set in ancient Egypt, “Tombs, Temples & Thrones”.
In the early 2000s, Jane settled again in Heppner with Gary, who passed away in 2007. She spent her final years enjoying genealogy and the companionship of her oldest grandson, Justin -- for whose constant, loving care we are so grateful. Jane is survived by her daughters and son, grandsons Justin, Ian, Sean, and Frank, great grandsons Brandon and Caiden, and great-great grandson, Isaac. Our mom was a feisty, one-of-a-kind gal and will be forever loved and missed.
Private family graveside service was held on Wednesday, June 10, 2020 at the Heppner Masonic Cemetery.
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