Jane was born on March 5, 1943 in Ryan, Oklahoma to Mary Blanchard Cephus and Waudia Cephus. As a young girl just beginning school, she received much recognition as a singer. Through high school and college she was called on to sing at weddings, contests, and community events. Jane was a top student in grade and high school. Jane was a varsity basketball player at Ryan High School. She completed a B. S. in Education from Central State University with emphasis in English and music in 1964. Jane was selected as 1st runner-up as Miss Central State. After graduating, she taught middle and high school in Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. She completed coursework for a Masters degree In English at Emporia State University in 1967. And in 1976 she received a Masters degree in School Counseling from Oklahoma State University.
Jane and Tom Newton were married in Arkansas City, Kansas in 1968. They had one son, Brooks, in 1971. Jane served as a school counselor in Cushing, Stillwater, Deer Creek, and Okay before retiring in 1991. After moving to Tahlequah in 1986, she began singing in the First Baptist Church choir where she was often featured as a soloist. Jane also enjoyed the years she was a member of the choir’s Praise Team.
In addition to her singing skills, Jane was known for her caring personality. Jane was a strong, independent woman, supportive of her family. Her positive attitude never allowed her personal struggles to get the best of her. She treated those who knew her with love and kindness.
Besides playing the guitar and singing, Jane loved listening to all genres of music from hymns to county and rock and roll to hip-hop. She knew the lyrics of songs from the 1950s to current hits. She loved flowers, Sunday morning news shows, and slap-stick comedy. She was known for her infectious laughter that brightened the lives of those around her. She loved watching movies and couldn’t wait for the next Marvel adventure.
Jane was preceded in death by her parents, Mary and Waudia Cephus and her sister Judy Padgett. Jane passed away on April 29, 2019 leaving behind her husband Tom and her son Brooks. Others who survive her are her nieces and nephew: Melissa Taylor, Jay Bee Hawkins, Shelly Green, Jimmy Green and Julie Nydam.