Jane Dale Owen was born September 30, 1942 and passed away on June 11, 2014 at her home in Dallas, surrounded by her beloved caregivers and her son, Erik. She was the first child born to Jane Blaffer Owen and Kenneth Dale Owen of Houston, Texas and New Harmony, Indiana. She attended the Kinkaid School until she contracted polio in 1951. She subsequently moved to New York to be near the New York Hospital for special surgery to mitigate the ravages of the disease. She attended the Nightingale-Bamford School and Bennington College. Jane courageously faced her challenges with beauty, a sense of humor, a gentle spirit and grace.
In 1963, she was married to the Norwegian ship broker, Per Arneberg, and was blessed with two children, Erik and Ingrid. They lived in New York City. Jane loved caring for her family and pets. They enjoyed weekends and summers in Oyster Bay Long Island, sailing and taking long swims. Jane was an accomplished chef. In New York, she was involved in fund-raising for the Public Broadcasting System (PBS). Jane taught remedial reading to school children. She loved her dogs and shared this love with others in need. Through the Pet Partners, she took her dogs to hospitals and nursing homes where they brought joy to patients and the elderly. Jane and Per were amicably divorced in 1976. In 1980, she married Peter Leslie Jarvis. They divorced in 1987.
She had a love of adventure, spoke three languages and traveled extensively to Great Britain, France, Italy Spain, Greece, Japan, Holland and Norway. No trek or terrain was impossible for Jane. Her strength and will enabled her to traverse shores, mountains and cobble-stone streets. There was never a time when she gave up or out --she willed herself to do what everyone else could do with ease.
Jane moved back to Houston in 1993 to be closer to her parents. She soon became involved in alerting the public to the hazards of air pollution and other environmental issues. In 2000, she founded Citizens League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN).
For more than a decade, she boldly spoke out about the responsibility of energy companies, government leaders, state agencies and citizens to reduce pollution and work toward clean energy solutions in opinions published in the Houston Chronicle and Climate Progress. She also provided funding to local projects including a citizen air sampling project known as the "Bucket Brigade" and Texas Environmental Advocacy Services, TEJAS. She was the only non-scientist member of the Federation of American Scientist. Jane endowed The University of Texas School of Public Health, with a professorship of Environmental Health Protection, established in 2008.
Her philanthropy extended to the protection of prairies and other natural areas. In addition to Jane's environmental work, she has made a significant contribution to the quality of life in Houston as a patron of the arts and historic preservation. She has served on the advisory board and executive committee of the Blaffer Gallery at the University of Houston. She has been honored by the gallery for her dedicated support, leadership, and for continuing her mother and grandmother's legacy and vision for the museum and arts in Texas. She also served on the executive committee of the Moores School of Music. She funded the popular Children's Film program and served on the film committee at Museum of Fine Arts.
Jane had a home in Rhode Island where she spent summers with children, her mother and many friends. She loved going out on the boat with Captain Dave and swimming almost every day. She was deeply committed to preservation of historic homes in Middletown, Rhode Island.
In 2008, after one hurricane too many, she moved from Houston to Dallas. She also has a home in Palm Beach, Florida.
In New Harmony, Indiana, she made significant donations to preserve the family legacy through the preservation of historic homes. She also contributed to the New Harmony Artist Guild which sponsors the New Harmony Music Festival and School.
Jane's homes were a safe haven for her friends, sisters, children and many loving cousins. She was always there to provide encouragement, wisdom and compassion. Her boundless generosity enhanced the lives of her family, friends, and bolstered charitable causes.
Jane will be greatly missed by her son, Erik. his wife, Lora, their children Per Erik and Ellis Jane; her daughter, Ingrid and grandaughter Sarah; her sister, Anne Owen Pontez, and her husband Harold J. Pontez; her niece and godchild, Abigail Owen-Pontez; nephew, James Owen Coleman; and her brother-in-law, James J. Coleman, Jr. She was predeceased by her parents, Jane Blaffer Owen and Kenneth Dale Owen, and sister, Carol Owen Coleman.
The family would like to say a special thank you to those who loved and cared for her during good times and bad: Brad, Comfort, Maria, Claudia, Angela, Zandra, Adriana, the nurses at Baylor University Medical Center and Aspen hospice care.
A memorial service will follow in New Harmony, Indiana. Announcements will be sent out when the date is confirmed.
In addition, there will be a memorial service in Houston on September 30th (Janie's birthday) at 5:00 pm at her family's home in Houston.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Citizens League for Environmental Action Now (CLEAN), Gulf Coast Restoration, American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals and/or the