"Life is a joy and every day is a gift"

Jane Belk Moncure - December 16, 1926 - July 30, 2013  

We are personally saddened and spiritually joyous to let you know that on Monday night at midnight, Jane Belk Moncure was called to come home and join her heavenly family and, in particular, her late husband, James Moncure. . . . She was ready for the Lord to take her into His Kingdom and I am certain that there are many children in Heaven this morning, who are thrilled to have Jane in their mist.

"Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." – John 14:1

In life, Jane was a wonderful person and inspired millions of people, particularly children. A respectful daughter, a loving wife, a thoughtful mother and mother-in-law, a giving grandmother, an attentive teacher, a prolific writer, poet, a compassionate friend, a trustworthy “confidante”, a forgiving Christian and an all-around passionate person. For Jane, “Life was a joy and every day was a gift”; “Your body is a temple”; “Never to go to bed angry”; ‘Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, “Be the Willow Tree”, “What would Jesus do?”, “Don’t sweat the small stuff”, and, “Above all else ‘Love’.” She was humble and lived a Christian life and believed that we are all “God’s Children”; Jesus had taught us how to live a Godly life.

“‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’” – Matthew 22:37-40

For those who don’t fully know Jane’s history or background: she was born in December of 1926 to a Presbyterian Minister, Dr. John Blanton Belk and his wonderful wife Jennie, in Orlando Florida. In fact the morning she was born her father was out hunting, and brought home a 30 pound Turkey! Having returned home to find his wife Jennie with their newly born baby girl in her arms, he crawled up the stairs, on his knees, to apologize for not being at her side during labor! It must have been then that Jane learned the importance of forgiveness.

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.” - Corinthians 13:4-5

Jane grew up in a loving home and had many fond memories of the times with her family including her brother Blanton and two sisters Lillian and Barbara. They often went on camping trips to Pisgah National Forest in the Mountains of North Carolina. Jane’s Father and Mother bestowed God’s code of ethics on Jane at a very early age which she repeated and lived by each day of her life – Honesty, Integrity, Love, Kindness and Unselfishness.

As a teenager and young adult Jane volunteered as a cast member of Morale Re-Armament’s (MRA) “The Good Road” which focused on Post World War II, “war torn” Europe as a way to bring hope and compassion to the people across Europe. This movement later spurred the formation of “Up With People” which was founded and led by Jane’s brother. During this time Jane would also meet the “love of her life”, a young history professor, James Ashby Moncure.

In June of 1952, they were married and lived in Richmond Virginia. James, also known as Jim, was the Dean of University of Richmond’s University College while Jane established a kindergarten, taught at Southside Day Nursery, and William Fox School. When Jim was selected to be the Dean of Elon College in 1974, Jane and Jim moved to Burlington, North Carolina where they spent 14 wonderful years. Upon retirement, they moved to Seven Lakes, North Carolina where they enjoyed the community, nature, and many close friends. In 2003, Jim and Jane moved to Twin Lakes Retirement Community in Burlington, North Carolina where Jane provided local volunteer services while also caring for Jim as his health, due to Parkinson’s disease, began to deteriorate. On July 27th, 2007, his suffering ended as he took his last breath in the presence of his loving family. Following his death, Jane volunteered to work for Hospice of Alamance County as it had inspired her in helping others with the difficult task of dealing with death, as it did for her and her family. Jim and Jane were married for over 55 years; a testimony to the love and compassion they possessed.

She loved her family. Her Son Jim, Daughter-In-Law Beth, Granddaughter Lauren and Grandson Michael were always in her heart. She liked to provide advice and council to them. Her spirit was always looking for the best in people and she always liked to bestow wisdom to make oneself a better person as life was always a joy and each day, a gift.

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.” - Psalm 32:8

Beyond her compassion for people, her love of life and her joy of being married to James Moncure, Jane followed her passion in Early Childhood Education for over thirty-five wonderful years. Her specialty lay in teaching children, at a very early age, how to read about and understand the world. Her hands-on experience as a teacher combined with a very unique ability to communicate with very young children made her an exceptional teacher and children’s author.

Jane Belk Moncure’ s legacy is having become one of the most successful American authors of early childhood non-fiction, fiction and poetry literature. Today her books are in many homes, and every school and major library in the United States. They are in twenty-seven countries and have been translated into British English, Spanish, French, Chinese, and Malay. The Belk Library, at Elon University, holds a collection of all published books by Jane. Her legacy for The Magic Castle Series, The First Steps to Reading, Math and Science, The Sound Box Books and particularly The Word Bird Series are all household names for many people around the world; and, have made a very positive impact on the lives of millions of children around the world. In addition to her work with Children, Jane donated over 40,000 books to children around the United States as part of a project to provide reading comprehension for three to five year olds in underprivileged settings. Jane was the proud recipient of the C.S. Louis Award for Writing and in 2008; she received the Scholastic Teacher's Choice Award for he6r outstanding contribution to the My First Steps to Learning Program. Jane also didn’t let technology pass her by. In addition to her writings, she was the co-founder of “LearningStation.com” which was designed to deliver educational content to children over the internet.

At the end of her life, she graciously lived with her wonderful friend Lillian Falls Michael where they shared a beautiful little home in Fallston, North Carolina. Jane was immediately accepted by the wonderful people in the Fallston Community; a gift we know she thanks Lil for. Many in the community, as with every community that Jane touched, will remember her compassion, her love of people and her constant giving of herself on behalf of her Christian faith. While in the Hospital in Lincolnton, NC, she fought for 30 days to live another day; and as time progressed, we witnessed several signs from above that indicated that Jane was being called home and she passed in the comfort of her family by her side. While at the hospital, Jane was blessed to be under the care of one of most professional and Patient-oriented Doctors we have seen in our time; Dr. Neveen Habachi, and the team of nurses who “fell in love with her” and who pulled her back “from the brink” and set her on the path to health as we headed to the top Rehab facility that week. Of particular note and importance was that the Lincolnton Hospital had a wonderful lady who was contracted to perform massage therapy on patients within the Hospital. Jane had been introduced to “Tammy” who gave her a wonderful massage to ease the tired and sore muscles in her body. She and Tammy quickly became friends and Tammy showed up three nights later at 9 pm, after completing all her rounds, to give Jane a gift. Another session! Jane was overtaken with the emotion of receiving this wonderful random act of kindness from what had been a complete stranger until three days earlier.

After leaving Lincolnton Hospital, Jane went to the Rehab Hospital in Mount Holly for several days to begin the process of building her strength back. But the Lord had other plans for Jane because it was “her time”.

On Friday, July 27th, 2013, Jane slipped into a coma state from a stroke and never really recovered. When asking God for a sign to help us decide on how aggressive to treat the latest setback, we were sent a sign. To our amazement we were reminded by The Lord, in his own way, that Jane’s husband, James, died on July 27th, 2007... 6 years earlier to the day. Jane was being called home and our man-made capability for sustaining life beyond God’s will was taking its toll in prolonging her life; she had told all of us that she was ready to go and in the final thirty days, she was actually fighting harder for the pain of others as she saw the pain we were going through in letting her go. For a woman who weighed 94 pounds, who had overcome a heart attack, kidney failure, bronchitis, pneumonia, and blood loss, she put up a tremendous fight for her family. But as she had told us all, over and over, “I’m ready to go” and “you may just have to let me go…have faith”. We all surrounded her with the love of a family and told her we were ready to let her go.

She will be missed by all. But her love will continue through her works and the people she touched while with us. And all the children in Heaven, will have both a new best friend and new best teacher.

 

Church Services will be held at Friendship Methodist Church in Fallston, North Carolina on Friday, August 2nd, 2013, at 3:00 pm. A reception will follow.

Graveside Services are being planned for early September in Black Mountain, North Carolina. Please contact jim.moncure@brightcompass.net for details.

In lieu of flowers, Jane would have appreciated a donation to either Friendship United Methodist Church, or to the James A. and Jane B. Elon Scholarship Fund or to the newly founded, in her honor, The Jane Belk Moncure Foundation for Early Childhood Education.

 

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