Mary Jane (Barnett) Thorpe, 92, died peacefully June 15, 2014 at her home in Rush County. Mary Jane was born Nov. 26, 1921 in Zeeland, Michigan to Robert Vance and Henrietta Martha (Van Zee) Barnett, the oldest of three children. She spent most of her life in Rush County, her family owned and operated the Hoosier Dairy.
Mary Jane was a graduate of Rushville High School, Hanover College, Columbia University School of Library Service and Western Reserve University School of Nursing. She taught school in Aurora, worked as a librarian in Washington, D.C. and Cleveland, Ohio, and was the first full-time nurse for the Rushville schools.
In 1961, she married Marlan Lee Thorpe and he preceded her in death on Jan. 28, 2007. She and Marlan had one daughter, Lee Ann (Thorpe) Devine of Indianapolis. In 1978, the family moved to Rush County and built a home near New Salem on the Sefton family farm.
Mary Jane was a member or the Alpha Delta Pi and Psi Iota Xi sororities, the P.E.O. sisterhood, Monday Circle and Music Study Club. She was ordained as both a deacon and elder in the Presbyterian Church (USA). She was a member of the First Presbyterian Church in Rushville where she served as both an elder and Clerk of Session.
She was preceded in death by her parents, her husband and both her brothers, Robert Vance Barnett, Jr. and John Paul Barnett. In addition to her daughter, she is survived by nephews, John Chris Barnett and John Steven Barnett; and nieces, Dean Bullock (Barnett) Fowler, Jane Vance (Barnett) Scrafford and Martha Clark (Barnett) Hodges.
Services will be held at 2 p.m. Thursday, June 19 at Moster Mortuary, Rushville, where friends are welcome from 1 p.m. until time of service. Rev. Dena Vittorio will preside and burial will be in Rushville's East Hill Cemetery.
Memorial contributions may be made to Our Hospice of Decatur County or to the First Presbyterian Church in Rushville.