At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Mel Trotter Ministries
225 Commerce Ave SW
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
864 W River Center Dr NE
Comstock Park, MI 49321
St. Jude Children's Research Hospital
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With a warm heart and a terrific sense of humor, Jayne Mitchell lived a life rich in family and friends. Jayne loved to joke around and laugh and used humor to navigate difficult times. She welcomed each moment as a gift, chose hope over fear, and inspired love and laughter everywhere she went. When faced with decisions, she always did the right thing, even when it was a hard choice. A devoted wife, mother, sister, and friend, Jayne will long be remembered by those she so dearly loved.
1945 was a year marked by much celebration and hope. With the victorious end of World War II, families tuned into the celebratory tunes of Bing Crosby, Perry Como, and the Andrews Sisters. At the same time, children delighted in the debut of the slinky. Nowhere was there greater promise for the future than in the hearts and home of John and Priscilla “Peggy” (Bouwens) White as they welcomed their daughter Jayne Yvonne to their family on September 18 in Grand Rapids, Michigan.
The oldest of five, Jayne grew up in Grand Rapids and was close with her four brothers: Jim, Jon, Jack and Jerry. The family had a lot of fun, and even though a lot of the good fun came from picking on Jayne as the only girl. Jayne knew it was all in good fun. She enjoyed having fun and had a bit of a mischievous side. She was very quick-witted and very good with puns, too. Jayne attended Hall Elementary School and helped her mom a lot with the daily responsibilities of the home. She also worked at Rogers Department Store for a while
While in high school, Jayne and a friend enjoyed driving the “circuit” downtown. Kids would pile into cars and cruise the same circuit of streets for hours in an evening, checking out kids in other cars. One fateful drive, they caught the eyes of a couple of young men who were cruising in a convertible. The boys began to follow them, and in an effort to lose the boys, the girls turned down a one-way alley, heading the wrong way. The boys drove from the opposite direction and stopped the girls in the alley, where they began to talk and get to know one another. And that’s how Jayne met her sweetheart, Terry Mitchell. The pair began dating and were soon setting their hearts on building a future together.
Jayne and Terry married in 1965 and settled into a little apartment in downtown Grand Rapids. After a time, the couple moved to Jenison, where they soon welcomed their daughter Thresa into their family. Their son Marc completed the family five years later. Thresa and Marc were the centers of Jayne’s world, and she cherished her role as wife and mother. With great skill and loving care, she saw to it that every need of the family was attended to while keeping an immaculate home.
Like Terry, who was a mechanical engineer, Jayne had an eye for detail and had things done just so. She ironed everything and was a wonderful cook and baker. Many of the family’s meals were traditional meat and potato recipes. Jayne's strawberry bread was unrivaled, and her pumpkin muffins, baked beans, beef stew, macaroni and cheese were always well received. When the children were young, the family enjoyed car trips throughout the Midwest and also traveled around Lake Michigan in their motor home. Traverse City and Mackinac Island were two of their favorite places. Jayne particularly liked the slower pace, quaintness, and quiet of Mackinac Island. Trips to Disney and many amusement parks in the summer, where Jayne enjoyed roller coasters, also proved treasured memories.
Together, Jayne and Terry easily made friends. Some were from their earlier years; others were from his work and the neighborhood. Jayne loved to golf, and she and Terry were members of Green Ridge Golf Club for many years and then Egypt Valley, where she also enjoyed the social part of the membership. The couple also enjoyed traveling together and, with friends, enjoyed trips to Mexico, Las Vegas, Florida, Hawaii, and Europe. Jayne really loved cruises as she felt spoiled on them.
As her family grew, Jayne relished her role as grandmother. She loved her grandchildren dearly and was so very proud of them. She made sure the entire family gathered for Christmas and spoiled the grandchildren with lots of gifts donned in elaborate wrappings. She started a family tradition of giving clues on cards for each gift tag, which proved to be great fun for all.
One of the greatest gifts Jayne gave her family was her 50-year marriage with Terry. In their example, their children and grandchildren witnessed a partnership rooted in love, respect, and genuine companionship. Sadly, after a short illness, Terry passed away in 2015. A time later, Jayne moved to her final home, a Condo in Rockford. Though she struggled with health issues for the last few years, she continued to enjoy being a part of her children’s and grandchildren’s lives but never wanted to interfere.
Though the world feels far less certain in the absence of Jayne’s steadfast companionship, may we find much comfort in our many treasured memories and in the honor of carrying her beautiful legacy forward. In each moment we enjoy traveling, reading, hitting the greens, cheering on our loved one’s endeavors, sharing laughter, or confidently face life’s challenges, we will keep Jayne’s joyful spirit alive and inspiring others as she inspired us.
Jayne Yvonne Mitchell, age 78, of Rockford, passed away on January 5, 2024. She was preceded in death by her husband, Terry, in 2015 and by her brothers, Jon White and Jack White.
Jayne is survived by her children, Thresa and Tony Clark, Marc and Kari Mitchell; grandchildren, Reese (Erin) Clark, Mia Mitchell (Cam), Kianna Clark, Paige Mitchell; brothers and sisters-in-law, James White and Penny Schwandt, Diane White, Jerry and Judy White; brother-in-law Lon Mitchell; and several nieces and nephews.
Relatives and friends are invited to visit with Jayne’s family on Sunday, January 14, 2024, from 1-3 PM at Heritage Life Story Funeral Home, Van Strien – Creston Chapel, 1833 Plainfield N.E. For a more lasting memorial, the family suggests memorial contributions to either Mel Trotter Ministries, Feeding America or St. Jude Children's Hospital. To read more of Jayne’s life, share a memory, or sign the online register book, please visit www.heritagelifestory.com