Jane Stocke Greenfield, 106, died Saturday, November 2nd at her current residence in Bellaire, Mich. Greenfield was born July 26, 1913 in St. Louis to Amanda and Christian Stocke. She graduated from Mary Institute in 1931 and attended Smith College where she graduated in 1935 with a bachelor’s degree in Mathematics. In May 1936 she married Lieut. George W. Beeler, a West Point graduate and career officer. Her two children George W. Beeler Jr. and Janet (Beeler) Nesin were born at West Point and the family lived around the country during her husband’s service before, during and after World War II. Jane returned with her children to live permanently in St. Louis in 1952 after the death of her husband. In 1956 she married Milton Greenfield Jr., a St. Louis probate attorney and they made their home in St. Louis until she was in her 90s.
An avid volunteer, Jane used her interest and skill in mathematics and finance to provide support as a member of numerous political campaigns, boards and organizations. Jane chaired the Arts and Education Council’s Camelot auction in 1971 and was honored with St. Louis’ Woman of Achievement award that same year for her cultural enrichment work. The award recognizes and honors the achievement of women’s commitment to improving the quality of life in the St. Louis community through their volunteer efforts.
“I never thought of her as a stay-at-home Mom,” commented her daughter Janet Nesin. “Every day she was out working somewhere. I was determined if I did as much good and work as she, I would at least try to earn a paycheck.”
From the time she was a toddler, Jane spent her summers in northern Michigan on the shores of Elk Lake where she made a habit of swimming each morning well into her 80s. She spent more than a century of summers at the same resort community in Michigan and moved permanently to Michigan, following her 103rd birthday after living in Huntsville, Ala., for several years.
Jane was adept at drawing her close-knit family near constructing a bunk room in Michigan to house all six of her grandchildren and adding an indoor pool to their home in St. Louis providing non-stop entertainment during holiday visits. She loved sharing stories about her travels and experiences which included dining at her home with Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. and purchasing a vacation home in Jamaica with three other couples.
Birthdays were always a cause for celebration for Jane whether she was organizing a Mystery trip family tour for 70th milestone birthdays or scheduling individual trips with each grandchild on their 10th birthdays introducing them to new places and new foods. At her 100th birthday she was thrilled to be feted by family and friends in Michigan. It was a celebration that would be recreated again five years later when she turned 105.
She credited her longevity to her good sense of humor, positive attitude and two Dewars at the end of the day. Jane took pride in her impeccably dressed appearance. Always wearing pearls and stockings with bright skirts, blouses and jackets. Jane was an adept bridge player and was never far from a deck of cards with which to play solitaire or competitive games with others. An accomplished golfer she had two holes-in-one during her career – one at Elk Rapids Golf Club and one at Bellerive Country Club.
She is preceded in death by her two husbands Col. George W. Beeler Sr. and Milton Greenfield Jr., her son, George W. Beeler Jr. and her sister, Lucille Cobb. She is survived by her daughter, Janet, six grandchildren and their spouses and 14 great-grandchildren.
Jane was a longtime member and supporter of The Church of St. Michael & St. George in St. Louis. The family will hold a funeral service in her honor there on Saturday, December 7 at 3:00 pm. Memorial donations can be made to the Elk-Skegemog Lake Association.
Arrangements are in the care of the Bellaire Chapel of Mortensen Funeral Homes. Please sign her online guestbook at www.mortensenfuneralhomes.com
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