Jane K. (Kennedy) Johnstone

(Nov. 10, 1922 – Sept. 9, 2019)


Jane K. (Kennedy) Johnstone (formerly of Powell, Wyoming) died peacefully at her home in Mesa, Arizona, Sept. 9. She was 96.

She was born Nov. 10, 1922, in Ogden, Iowa, to Lincoln and Helen (Knupp) Kennedy.

As a young girl, Jane was fascinated with the West and tales of Buffalo Bill Cody. So, after graduating from Iowa State Teacher’s College in Cedar Falls (now the University of Northern Iowa), she looked for positions in the West, which led her to take a teaching job in Powell in 1952.

She married Robert N. Johnstone, Jr. on July 23, 1955. They made their home in Powell and welcomed a daughter Bobbi to the family on March 24, 1961.

In 1966, Jane earned a master’s degree in guidance counseling from Eastern Montana College in Billings. She taught English, reading, and served as the guidance counselor at the Powell Junior High/Middle School for 35 years.

Jane loved her family, friends, faith, and Powell and Mesa communities. Throughout her life she worked with her neighbors in pursuing projects and activities that made a difference in the life of the community.

In Powell, she was active in several organizations. She was a member of the Union Presbyterian Church, life-member of Epsilon Sigma Alpha International (ESA), and Order of the Eastern Star (past Worthy Matron, Alcyone Chapter). With her husband Bob she was active in the Powell Valley Stock Car Club and the Big Horn Basin Boat Club. During the 1960s and 1970s, she was an outspoken participant in a state-wide movement of Wyoming women educators who demanded that women teachers receive pay and retirement benefits equal to that of male teachers. She also served on a Park County advisory board that sought to improve mental health services for youth and families in the county. After retiring, Jane was an active member of the Ladies Club in her Mesa neighborhood, and she and Robert enjoyed traveling many happy miles in their Winnebago.

Jane found pleasure in cooking, reading and clipping recipes, writing poetry, painting, making new friends, and sharing a laugh with friends over a cup of coffee or a toddy. Her friends and family will miss her warmth, smile, and indomitable spirit.

She was preceded in death by her parents and her two brothers, Eugene K. Kennedy (Gene) and Frederick L. Kennedy (Fred); former sister-in-law Jane B. Kennedy; nephew Craig; sister-in-law Ruth Ann (Johnstone) Cooley; and Ruth’s husband Robert.

Survivors include her husband of 64 years, Robert (now of Mesa, Arizona); daughter Bobbi of Atlanta, Georgia; sister-in-law Alice Kennedy, brother-in-law Charles (Cecil) Johnstone, and numerous nieces, nephews, great-nieces, and great-nephews.

As per her request and wishes, cremation has taken place and a memorial service will be held privately. If desired, donations in her memory may be made to St. Joseph’s Children’s Home in Torrington, Wyoming, P.O. Box 1117, Torrington, WY 82240 or to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital at www.stjude.org. The family has requested that condolences be sent to 8421 East Apache Trail, Space 118, Mesa, AZ 85207.