Laura Jane Loker

Sept. 3, 1915 - Dec. 1, 2005

Laura Jane Loker, loving wife, mother and grandmother, passed away Thursday, Dec. 1, 2005. She was born Sept. 3, 1915, in Indianapolis, Ind., daughter of the late Chester W. and Rose (Oddy) Birch. She attended elementary and high school in Waukesha. Laura Jane earned her bachelor of arts degree at Carroll College in 1937, where she met Harley Loker, whom she married April 12, 1941. Laura Jane taught social studies at South Milwaukee High School until World War II. A role model for the next generation of women, she was one of the first female teachers in the Milwaukee public schools to be allowed to complete the academic year following her marriage. After sharing the joys and challenges of raising three children with Harley, she completed graduate work at the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh in the late ‘60s and taught reading in the Neenah public schools for more than a decade.

Upon retirement, she continued to connect with others and the community though teaching; first as a volunteer tutor and member of the Fox Valley Literacy Council. She founded and co-directed the English as a second language school at the Neenah First Presbyterian Church for 10 years. Laura Jane was always ready to contribute to volunteer efforts, especially at the First Presbyterian Church, her spiritual guide, where she was a member for 50 years, served on the session and was a teacher and church school superintendent.

Laura Jane spent many happy years in creative pursuits, especially sewing, passing on her love for design and color to her children and influencing their life choices. Laura Jane will be remembered for her caring spirit, determination, love of travel and as the 64-year partner in golf, tennis and bridge with her life’s mate, loving husband Harley, who will miss her each day.

Laura Jane is survived by her husband, Harley; sons, Rex (Juli) of Madison and Stephen (Roxanne) of Oshkosh; daughter, Suzanne (Tom Fyles) of Ithaca, N.Y.; and granddaughters, Megan Loker of Oshkosh and Alexandra and Emily Loker of Madison.

She was preceded in death by her brother, Chester W. Birch Jr.

Funeral services will be held at 2 p.m. Tuesday, Dec. 6, at First Presbyterian Church in Neenah, with the Rev. Richard Moore officiating. The family will meet relatives and friends at the church from 1 p.m. until the time of the service.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests memorial gifts to the First Presbyterian Church, Neenah, the Fox Valley Literacy Council or a charity of your choice.

Westgor Funeral Homes of Neenah, (920) 722-7151, is serving the family.