Jane Hartt Barben, 94, of Avon Park, Florida passed away peacefully at home after a long and productive life on Tuesday, July 12, 2016. She was born November 8, 1921 in Avon Park, Florida to Vivian Josephine (Purinton) and Earl Wilmot Hartt. For two years she attended and graduated from Stephens College in Columbia, Missouri. She continued her education at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi. Jane graduated in 1942 with a BA in English. After graduation she returned home to work in the office of the Red Cross Field Director at the Avon Park Army Airfield where she met and married her husband, Robert Jackson Barben in 1945. After their marriage, they moved to Carlisle, Pennsylvania while her husband attended law school. They returned to Avon Park in 1950 to work in the family cattle and citrus operation. She later served as Treasurer for Robert J. Barben, Inc. Jane was an extraordinary mother to seven children and her beloved nephew. She was very active in the community serving as a Cub Scout Den Mother and Girl Scout Leader as well as serving on the Board of Directors for the Heart of Florida Girl Scout Council. Jane was presented with a Life Membership in the Florida Federation of Garden Clubs for her longevity with the Founders Garden Club, her talent in gardening, floral arranging, her shared botanical knowledge that enriched the Club and her work in beautifying Avon Park for over 50 years. She and Arden Southerland also started the Christmas Tree Recycling Program in Avon Park. She and others, along with the State of Florida, were instrumental in forming the Highlands County Library System. Jane was a member of Inner Wheel and was awarded a Paul Harris Fellow from the Rotary Club of Avon Park. She served on the Avon Park Planning and Zoning Board and was a member of Gourmet, Bridge Club and Sweet Adelines. As an active member of the Junior Womenís Club, she had great fun participating in the Follies. Later in life she continued her community service by delivering Meals on Wheels well into her 80ís and volunteering at the Depot Museum in downtown Avon Park. She also greeted those attending performances at SFJC Performing Arts as a docent, now South Florida State College. She and her husband attended the First Presbyterian Church in Avon Park. Jane loved her large family and kept up with everyone, which was made easier by the Barben Beach Bash that she and her husband, Robert, hosted for 35 years running. She was adventurous, loved to travel, garden and learn new things. She was famous in the family for sending postcards from her travels and news clippings on subjects she thought you should know about. A number of grandchildren have wonderful memories of trips out west with their grandparents to see Yellowstone and stay at a dude ranch. She learned to snow ski in her 60ís. During her 70ís she took grandchildren on a strenuous Maine bicycle trip and participated in the Miami Orange Bowl Parade as a clown. When she turned 80 years of age, she hiked Mt. LeConte along with her daughters, daughters-in-laws and granddaughters. Jane had a wonderful sense of humor and loved a good prank. We are grateful for the support she received from Good Shepherd Hospice and thank the many wonderful caregivers for their dedication and compassion. She is survived by her children, Anne Furr (Mike), Robert H. Barben (Mary), Jane E. Cassaras (Michael), Melinda Colson, John Barben (Laura), Patricia Garcia (Robert), and William Barben (Nicole); nephew, Steve Hartt (Velva); grandchildren, Allyson Park (Sean), Mary Michelle Immenschuh (Charlie), Stephen Furr (Katy), Robert H. Barben, Jr., Bailey Barben, John Michael Cassaras (Courtney), Robert Cassaras, Nicholas Cassaras (Kristi), Jennifer Jackson (Ryan), Tate Colson, Ashleigh Barben, Jackson Barben, Mark Barben, William Garcia, Stephen Garcia, Kinsloe Barben, and William Barben; great grandchildren, Christopher Park, Lizzie Park, Josephine Immenschuh, Blair Cassaras, and Emma Furr; great nephews, Brad Hartt (Randie Jo) and Ryne Hartt; nephews, Bill, Bob, and John Fuoss. Jane was preceded in death by Robert J. Barben, her husband of 70 years. A memorial service will be held on August 6, 2016 at 11:00 A.M. at the Avon Park First Associate Reformed Presbyterian Church, 215 East Circle Street, Avon Park, Florida. A private interment will be held in Bougainvillea Cemetery. In lieu of flowers, donations can be made to
Avon Park, Highlands County
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