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1953 - 2019

Jane Ann McKellips
March 2, 1953 - June 6, 2019

Jane Ann McKellips was born on March 2, 1953, to Dale Eugene Hassinger and Bernice Jane (Dreyer) Hassinger in Alva, OK. Jane was raised in Weath-erford, OK, graduating Summa Cum Laude from Southwestern Oklahoma State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education and a minor in English. She went on to earn a Master's degree in Elementary Education from Southwestern Oklahoma State University. Jane was an educational writer and editor for over thirty-five years, writing mainly elementary and middle-school grade educational publications in the subjects of reading, language arts, spelling and social studies. Recently, her focus turned to writing children's books. Jane was an only child and attributes her love of books to reading alone as a child. "I developed a love of reading that lasted throughout my life," said Jane. She was proud of her large collection of mystery books. Jane was the author of a biography series book titled "Bill Wallace: Author of Adventure and Animal Stories," published in 2015. Her next book, "Dust Storm," published in 2016, was a historical fiction tribute to her Great-Aunt Clara Dreyer who had polio as a child. "Dust Storm" won first place in many book contests, most prominently the 2017 Oklahoma Book Award for the best Children's Book. Jane was also awarded the Delta Kappa Gamma Creative Women of Oklahoma Children's Author Award in 2018. Music filled the Hassinger house when Jane was a child, and Jane loved playing the piano. She began piano lessons when she was 6 and continued for 13 years before becoming a piano teacher herself. Jane continued her piano teaching career that included both adults and children for 50 years. Her students considered her a role model and a teacher of life lessons, as well as the piano. She loved teaching, and loved her students. Jane was preceded in death by her beloved grandparents, William and Opal Dreyer; her father, Dale Hassinger, in 1970; and her mother, Bernice Hassinger, in 2012. Surviving relatives include her first cousins, Dr. Luanne Thorndyke, of Shrewsbury, MA; Dr. Julie Thorndyke, of Atlanta, GA; and Dr. Perry Thorndyke, of Atherton, CA. Jane's closest friends, considered to be part of her extended family, include Pati Hailey, who provided loving care day and night for the last five months; and Kyle Sparkes, who provided valuable assistance at her farmhouse. One of Jane's favorite sayings was: "Friends are the family you choose." Memorials in honor of Jane may be made to Keith Cemetery, Burlington, OK (c/o Floyd Knopf). A Memorial Service will be held at the Resthaven Chapel in Oklahoma City on Monday, June 10, 2019, at 2 p.m.
Published in The Oklahoman on June 9, 2019
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