RIP Jane Leigh Lyle
Jane Lyle's Heart reached the speed of light on the afternoon of April 16th, 2021.
For those of us who knew her well, she was a soul filed with a love for people and the arts.
Jane went by several nicknames- Jehane (pronounced Jane or Ya-ha-Knee), Janiski, and also as Sandala. She relished social gatherings and sharing wonderful food with friends and relatives. One of her favorite things was a fire-in the fireplace or a campfire. She loved the outdoors.
Jane was born prematurely at only 3 pounds gestation, and if she had not been born in New York City she would not have survived since that hospital in 19555 was the only hospital in the country equipped to deal with newborns born that prematurely. This was an indicator early on of Janes ability to survive, and proved to be a lifelong trait.
Jane had a happy childhood with her family living in New York, New Jersey, and Florida, Moving to California when she was years old. She practiced the flute, art, and had beautiful flowing blond hair below her waist.
It was om California that Jane discovered her love of dance, swimming, and outdoor activities . During her youth and into her twenties she became quite the athlete. In between dance classed and getting involved in theater in Ventura CA, she became an outrigger canoe paddler. Jane had a strong back and would row out to the Channel Island and back with female "paddlers". One day the men's outrigger canoe team, comprised of very large men, were short a person so they asked Jane if she would like to sit in on the team. She agreed and soon she replaced any man who didn't show. It wasn't long before Jane was placed at the heard of the boat as a regular team member, and became the team member who would call each stroke. Not a small feat considering she was the only woman on a men's team. Jane never faltered and was a very valuable team member. So much so that when the team was trying out for the Olympics, Jane was to try out too. However on the evening before Jane was to try out for the Olympics at Lake Casitas, her sister, who had a history of mental illness, went missing, and her Mother needed help, finding her. So Jane made the choice to help her mother find her missing sister, missing a once in a lifetime opportunity. This was an easy choice for Jane, who always took care of her mother and sister.
During her twenties, Jane went "on the road" and to Europe with the rock banks doing merchandising at concerts with her brother and friends.
She learned to play the guitar and sometime sang at weddings She also worked with her brother in the business of making glow in the dark necklaces for amusement parks and concerts. But, her love of the arts never left her
Jane lived with and helped her parents in their art restoration business during her 's 30's and 40's, learning the family trade. After her father passed away Jane stepped in full time to assist her mother with art restoration. They restored many paintings of incredible value including art for the Carnegie Museum, and a previously unknow Alma-Tadema.
Jane was always there to help whoever and however she could. She was a champion of the poor, the sick, and the downtrodden. Jane was by her fathers side when he passed away at home. And when her mother ended up in a long term care facility on a ventilator, Jane was there every day. After 4 years of watching Jane came to see her mother on a daily basis, the hospital asked Jane if she would like a job there-which she applied for and got. She became the Recreational Director for the subacute unit where her mother was housed. And she would bring her cat, Maynard (who she had rescued) to visit patients. Maynard died at the age of 21, a remarkable age for a car to live
.Janes patients were sometimes in a coma, some were unable to communicate, some were quads, or had various disabilities. But Jane fiercely defended their rights and that they be treated with dignity and respect. Jane worked there for 17 years.
It was shortly after Maynard died that Jane's cancer was discovered. She continued to work at the hospital for a while. A year after surgery she packed up her life and moved to Colorado to hang our with a friend she had known since the age of 12, Kat Rhein. They had many wonderful adventures in Colorado, but Jane seemed most at peace sitting with a cup of tea quietly watching the snow fall outside. Jane's last 6 months have been extremely difficult & painful for her. But she is a very private person, and kept it mainly to herself. She did not want anyone's pity or sympathy. She had a sense of humor to the last.
Jane never married, and had no children, although she would have loved that. Jane is preceded in death by her mother, artist Linda Mason Lyle, her father William Lyle, and sister Sally. Her older brother Richard Lyle lives abroad. She leaves behind a niece, Tara Lyle, and nephew, Kasey Stenglein. Also a great nephew, Evan Yost (Lyle). age 2, who she was able to get to to get to know over the last two years. She was grateful to be able to spend time with him and her friends and family over the last few months of her life.
Rest In Peace Janiski. Dance the light fantastic!!!!
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