Chaos accelerate on August 17, 2018 with the death of Jane Davis Hartford. Jane, with her energy, enthusiasm, creativity, and lists could accomplish in a couple hours what the combined effort of her children fail to do in a week. If she was upright, she was creating (even if the creation was relaxation); once prone, her eyes closed like a baby doll's. She now sleeps, soundly as always, secure in the knowledge that she wrested everything she could from the course of her days.
Born in Erick, Oklahoma, on August 21, 1927, Jane was the youngest child of Lonie Lee Jeter Davis and Bunyan Hoyt Davis. Her two sisters, Leota (deceased) and Margaret, comprised the rest of the family, which soon moved to Norman, where Jane attended elementary, middle, and high school, as well as university.
Jane obtained a BFA from the University of Oklahoma in 1949, earning this year's silver Letzeiser award. The following year she studied abroad with the Parsons School of Design. In a nearly unbelievably romantic twist, Jane met her future husband, Thomas J. Hartford, Jr., aboard a ship on the way. Upon her return, she worked at Marshall Fields & Company in Chicago as an interior designer. Jane and Tom married in 1951, a union that lasted 44 years, until his death. They had two children, Jane Anne Hartford and Thomas J. Hartford III, for each of whom Jane created a halcyon childhood.
In 1960, Jane received what she believed was the first master's degree in art therapy from the University of Louisville, the country's earliest university-based such program. Throughout her life, Jane was often enrolled in a class, seminar, or workshop and she did coursework in art history at the University of Illinois and printmaking under Jean Charlot at the University of Hawaii. Though she practiced many art forms, she found her niche in handweaving, to which she was introduced by Miss Harp, her fourth-grade teacher. Jane picked up weaving again at the Little Loomhouse in Louisville under Lou Tate, after being referred by her master's program. She was an active member of the Mary Megs Atwater Weavers guild in Salt Lake City and, after moving to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in the Las Tejedoras de Santa Fe y Los Alamos guild. Jane was on the board of the Handweavers Guild of America from 1980 to 1988, serving as President from 1983 to 1985 and Chairman from 1985 to 1988. Jane's weavings were in exhibits from coast to coast, including a solo exhibition at the University of Oklahoma in 1998, and she received numerous commissions, including several for liturgical vestments.
Jane enjoyed seeing new places and she made many trips within the USA, Mexico, and Greece. For their 25th anniversary, she and Tom explored Guatemala and the Yucatan for a month and for their 35th returned to Europe. Their 40th anniversary trip was to St. Croix, where they rode out Hurricane Hugo before being evacuated by the U.S. Navy.
Always the consummate hostess, Jane opened her home to many friends, Pi Phis, PEOs, former teachers, fellow church members, bridge enthusiasts, weavers, and the neighborhood children. Some of these friendships lasted 85 years, but there was always room for a new friend.
As the need arose, Jane lovingly cared for her mother, her sister Leota, and her mother-in-law, Anne Hartford. Whether caring for them, working with her children, or teaching a weaving workshop, Jane was a patient teacher who could find the fun in the task.
A graveside service will be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico. In lieu of flowers, please donate to your favorite Alzheimer's disease charity or to the Handweavers Guild of America; 1255 Buford Highway, Suite 209; Suwanne, Georgia 30024.