Jane Best

Jane Best

Monday, January 18th, 1926 Saturday, April 24th, 2021

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Obituary for Jane E Best (Evans)

Jane Evans Best, 95, was born January 18, 1926 in Lancaster, PA. She was the daughter of James Herbert and Florence Styer Evans. She died April 24, 2021 at the Willow Valley Communities, Lancaster PA.

Jane graduated from New Holland High School in 1943 and graduated from Hood College in 1946 with a BA in Chemistry and Mathematics.

She married Albert M. Best of New Holland on June 15, 1946. Their family includes David and Janet Best, Spencerport, NY; Barbara and Paul Ruskin, State College PA; Nancy and Gary Bennett, Lancaster, PA; Susan Best and Francis Talarowski, Philadelphia PA; nine grandchildren and 15 great grandchildren. Her brother, James Herbert Evans, Jr., died in 1994.

She was a life-long member of Trinity Lutheran Church, New Holland; serving on numerous committees and was the first woman president of the church council and was the first woman Lay Minister. She was also an associate member of Holy Trinity Lutheran Church, Lancaster PA.

Jane taught in the Eastern Lancaster County School District, beginning in 1960 as a substitute teacher and then seventh-grade math at Garden Spot Jr. High School from 1963 to 1970. She was the first woman elected as a director to the School Board, serving from 1979-1989.

Prodded by her oldest grandchild who asked, “where are the rest of them” in relation to the family tree, she delved into family history. Jane started this journey in 1981 and studiously worked on it for over 25 years, pursuing various family branches. One of her main goals was to connect her grandchildren, her windows into the future, to her grandparents, who were her windows into the past.

This endeavor led her to take many trips to various governmental archives, both in the United States and Europe, mainly Wales and Germany. While in Germany, she conducted research while her husband researched tall case clock cases (of which he built nine). She co-authored two books on the Groff family history and personally authored numerous articles for the Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society’s Pennsylvania Mennonite Heritage, where her voluminous archives can be found.

She embraced new technology, purchasing one of the first Macintosh computers in 1984 for her genealogy work, and joined Facebook to help keep in touch with her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren.

She and her husband served as role models for social justice, generosity and education for her entire family and others who knew her.

Memorial services and interment will be planned at a later time. To send the family online condolences, visit us at www. Arrangements by Groff-High Funeral Home, New Holland.

In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to Lancaster Mennonite Historical Society.

To send flowers to the family or plant a tree in memory of Jane E Best (Evans), please visit our Heartfelt Sympathies Store.
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Service Details

  • Interment

    Trinity Lutheran Cemetery
    221 E. Main St.
    Get Directions: View Map | Text | Email |
Service and interment will be held at a later date.

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Yvonne Styer

The Caernarvon Historical Society would like to send our prayers to Janes family.
Comment | Posted at 02:34pm via Condolence

Nancie and Robert Weaver

David, Barbara, Nancy, and Susan.
Your mother was definitely a role model to me as well as a friend. We worked together resettling refugees, not only at Trinity Lutheran, but in eastern Lancaster County when we were both volunteers and later while I worked as a resettlement caseworker for Tressler Lutheran Services. After I retired, Jane actively helped my husband and me build a library in a very stark camp in Thailand for refugees fleeing Myanmar. When Jane understood a real need, I could always count on her compassion and generosity and I respected her intellect along with those traits. She was a giant in many ways and an influence on me.
Comment | Posted at 03:41pm via Condolence

Richard Blatt

So very sorry to hear of your Mother's passing.
Rick Blatt
Comment | Posted at 10:32pm via Condolence

Terry Webb

I will miss Jane. We swam together at the North pool. We shared our compassion for social justice.
Comment | Posted at 09:57am via Condolence

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