Lula Jane Winstead was born on November 27, 1931. Growing up in the great depression was never something Jane talked about, choosing instead to focus on the many blessings in her life. As her hair stylist at The Kensington, where she lived the last of her years said, “Jane loved her life.”
Lula Jane was named after her two grandmothers Lula Ball and Jane Crook. She preferred to go by Jane. Jane’s father and mother William Harvey Ball and Elsie Salina Crook Ball raised Jane in Arkansas. That’s where Jane came to know the Lord as her savior. At a young age she was actually baptized in a creek.
Jane had one sister Gloria who she never fought with (or so they said) They were not twins, but so much alike that everyone thought they were. In fact, as the sisters grew up and had families of their own, the families were inseparable even moving to California, then back to Arkansas, then back to California together.
Just after WWII, when Jane was 22 years old, living in Richmond California with her parents and Gloria, Jane met Bill Winstead. Bill was Jane’s “boy next door.” Quite literally, they were neighbors. The neighbors became husband and wife not long after, and would remain husband and wife for 65 years. The two were very much in love. In Jane’s last days, when her discomfort was getting really hard to manage, she would say, “I know I am going to heaven to be with Jesus. I just hate to leave Bill.” Jane loved her mother-n-law too. Susan endearingly named her "Hody." And that was the name we all called her. Jane’s relationship with Hody was a model to Cindy for what a mother-n-law/daughter-n-law relationship should look like.
In June of 1955, shortly after the wedding, their first daughter was born, Susan Diane. Susan’s sister Cindy Lane followed in May 1959. Unlike Jane and Gloria, Susan and Cindy wouldn’t say they never fought, but they get along pretty well.
Jane loved to have hobbies. She enjoyed sewing and knitting. When Susan and Cindy were little she made most of their clothes. In fact, when Cindy was 7 years old she broke her arm and didn't want to wear an ugly sling. Jane made Cindy 5 dresses with matching slings, one for each day of the school week. Jane was also an avid reader and wrote her own stories. She even once tried her hand at photography. Jane liked to bake as well, and was famous for her pies. Apple was her specialty. When Joe was little he convinced her to make a pumpkin pie from a fresh pumpkin, it took her forever but she did it. She always wanted to make her family happy, but this was especially true for her grandkids.
Susan married Reagan Perry in 1973 and a new grandson Ryan Perry was born in 1975. While Cindy married George Lubas in 1981 and another grandson Joe Lubas was born in 1986. Gloria’s family grew in this time too. Jane loved Gloria and Gloria’s husband Phil, daughter Dana, son-in-law Bob, and grandson Tony like they were her own. When Dana was In Junior high it was Jane who sewed Dana’s dance costumes, because Gloria couldn’t sew. In fact when Dana was hospitalized as a little girl, Jane brought her a book of paper dolls. Then sat with her and cut them all out. Later, when Jane was a glass dealer, she was able to find a candy dish Dana wanted going only off the description Dana gave her from seeing it in a movie. She treated her two son in laws George Lubas (who she compared to Mother Theresa for all he did to help over the last couple of years) and Reagan Perry as if they were sons.
Jane went on to pass her love and affection on to the next generation. She welcomed to the family her grand-daughter in law Tiffany Perry and two great grandsons Aidan and Traigh Perry. Later, with her sister Gloria gone, it was so important to Jane to be at her nephew Tony’s wedding, she got a passport. She’d never been out of the country before and never wanted to be. But she went and danced with Bill, Tony and Tony’s wife Allie at their wedding in Mexico. The following Christmas Jane wanted to see Tony and Allie’s new baby so much, that she went to Santa Barbara for Christmas to spend it with Tony, Allie, Dana, Bob and her new great-grand-niece Kingsley Rose.
Jane loved to FB with all her cousins, great neices and nephews. She knew where all her family members lived across the country and kept up with each family. Family and friends were the most important blessing the Lord had given her and she valued everyone.
These relationships would come back to bless her. Toward the end, Jane’s situation was so hard that Susan and Cindy did not know what to do. They prayed and told the Lord they felt like we were drowning. That very day one of Jane’s friends, Linda Flummerfelt, a retired hospice nurse supervisor, told us she felt like the Lord was telling her she needed to help Jane. She came to The Kinsington here from over 200 miles away to care for Jane. While raising her family Jane worked as a legal secretary for her favorite boss, Ron Rubinstein for over 33 years. Ron remained her friend the rest of her life. His last visit was just a week before she died.
Prominently among these friendships throughout Jane’s life were church congregations and pastors. These would take on the role of Jesus for Jane throughout her life. When Bill came to know the Lord as savior and Jane married Bill on June 26, 1954 at Grace Baptist Church it was Dr. G Sherman Lemon. When Jane’s father Harvey fell ill in 1966, Pastor Nelson Zarfas provided comfort and care. In 1969 during their return to Arkansas they were blessed with Pastor, Red Baker. Charlie Nason, mama’s final pastor, and his wife Anna were with Jane as she struggled with cancer. She loved to sing Hymns and listen to Charlie’s sermons, taking notes and keeping all of them in her Bible. The members of Charlie’s church were Jesus to her as well during this trying time with visits and art classes or just with hugs. It made Jane feel loved and supported, seeing Jesus in these acts of love and kindness.
Jane went to be with Lord on her mother’s birthday October 21, 2019, with her Pastor Charlie and her family around her. It was hard for us to see her leave. But she is with her family and friends who have gone before her and with her Pastors, whom she had served in her life.
“He (Jesus) will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain for the old has passed away” -- Revelation 21:4
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