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Call now for immediate attention: 772-999-5547

Jane Elizabeth Catlett Pickett

July 29, 1939 ~ August 16, 2023

With profound sadness we announce the passing of, Jane Elizabeth Pickett (Catlett), devoted wife of 62 years to James E. Pickett, loving mother to James Pickett Jr., Michael Pickett, and Vaida “Liza” Sama (Pickett). Mother-in-law to Tammy Pickett, Kim Pickett, and Andrew Sama, MD.

It is profoundly difficult to try and capture the breadth and details of such an incredibly beautiful soul and vibrant life such as hers; there are not enough words or pages. But, we will attempt to do our best. She was born July 29, 1939 at Quantico Naval Hospital, Quantico, Virginia. She was pre-deceased by her parents Vaida Louise Bourne (Catlett) and Thomas James Catlett, and her brother Thomas Catlett. Jane was an adoring and deeply loving grandmother to Lauren, Lane, Ashlyn, and Addison Jane Pickett; and Drew, Sebastian, Michael, Hugh, and Griffin Sama (Liza Pickett) as well as great-grandmother to Hartley and Bennett. Jane was loved and cherished by many nieces, nephews, cousins and countless friends.

She loved every person in her life fearlessly and faithfully. So many people in need of encouraging compassion and love, were quickly welcomed into her heart, becoming forever her friend. We would like to especially thank Fay Saunders for her unwavering, life long friendship. Jane loved her “Fayzey” like a sister and spoke with her almost every day. Thank you also to every online or in person   “bestie,” and friend. There are so many who loved her, as she did them.

Jane spent the first few years in the mountains of VA. on her grandparent’s farm. It was a humble place with no running water, bathrooms, or electricity. Eventually, Tom, her dad was sent overseas and the marine “brat,” as she referred to herself as, along with her mom and younger brother, moved with him to Guam in the Pacific. She recalled traveling  on the USS Thomas Jefferson and singing with her mother for the soldiers on the ship at the age of eight. One of the songs was titled, “Slow boat to China.”  She had a beautiful singing voice, and later sang in a band before graduating from Appomattox High School. She was voted “Most Popular,” and the caption placed under her school photo was, “A pal to many, a friend to all.” This was a perfect description of Jane.

After graduation, she moved down to Mobile, AL to work at Brookley Air Force Base. It was a trip to Dauphin Island in the Spring of 1959, where she noticed a handsome student from Spring Hill College across the room! It didn’t take long for him to notice the stunning raven haired, green-eyed beauty. She became quickly “his girl.” Jane married Jim Pickett on Sept. 3, 1960 at St. Joseph’s Chapel. Jim and Mike were born and eventually the young family moved to Rock Hill, SC (where Liza was born), and then Durham, NC.. It was 2 years later  when they would move to Lake Worth, FL. Here, Jane experienced her first health challenge. She was diagnosed with inoperable stage 4 Esophageal cancer. The news was quite grim, as length of survival from this cancer was quite short at that time. In the 1970s, only about 5% of patients survived at least 5 years after being diagnosed. Her husband was told to get their affairs in order because his wife would not survive. Jane never allowed this to diminish her hope, remained positive and always maintained the belief that she would live. She took every moment, every day as a gift. Many prayers were said by family and friends, and one morning, her oncologist walked into the room with the astonishing news that her tumor and cancer had completely disappeared with no explanation. She credited the miracle to God, the prayers of many, and a positive attitude. Jane went home and resumed her busy life as a wife and mother.

Jane made countless friends in Florida Gardens then Delray Beach whom she cherished and kept in contact with throughout her life; too many to name, but each greatly loved. She worked as a realtor,  sales person, manager of a timeshare hotel on the beach, and owned several women’s clothing stores. She enjoyed bowling, tennis, fishing, bingo, antiquing and thrift shopping. Jane’s life revolved around her children and grandchildren! She played Monopoly with them for hours, rocked and sang them to sleep, cooked endless trays of m&m and chocolate chip cookies, fried her famous fried chicken, prepared crab boils, seafood gumbo, cornbread, wild plum jelly, milkshakes etc., and tried every method she could to spoil them. She was successful! Each loved her in a special way, and will continue to keep her memory alive by remembering her at every turn of their lives, and sharing the dedicated affection she had for them with others. She was Grandma or “Gee Gee” and the true stories of her tireless labor and sacrifice along with her maternal love, will not fade for generations. We will ache for her comforting presence always.

Jane also became a legend in the Esophageal Cancer Community. After recovering from more health issues; triple bypass surgery, multiple infections of pneumonia and malt lymphoma, she became involved with the Esophageal Cancer Awareness Association, an online information and support group for those suffering from this terrible disease and their families. She began counseling people from all over the world such as  Asia, India, etc..So many patients and their families reading her story of survival online and seeking hope and comfort, turned to her. It became her passion to council and encourage them. She spent many hours a day working for this wonderful cause.  She privately worried and prayed for each of these people facing the horrible diagnosis of Esophageal Cancer. This act of unconditional caring and compassion for those who were in need,  exemplified who Jane Pickett was. She received news last year that she once again had cancer of the esophagus, and she faced it with the same indomitable courage and positivity that she had 33 years before.  The tumor was removed and once again, her pet scan and margins were clear and the cancer was gone. Twice in one life, she had beat this awful disease, with the help of skilled Dr.’s, a hopeful spirit, and many prayers. We are thankful to both the University Health Shands Hospital (1970’s), and Memorial Sloan Kettering for their professional and exemplary treatment of our mom.    To us, her heartbroken family, she was our rock, our dearest mother and grandmother. No words can suffice to properly describe such a lovely, graceful, elegant yet tremendously strong champion of life.  In the end, it was not cancer that took her life, but an acute case of Covid. She passed within 24 hours of being diagnosed and showing symptoms. We are devastated at her leaving, but feel blessed that God allowed us to have her so many “extra” years. We are eternally grateful for her, and will miss her every day. May her soul and the souls of the faithfully departed by the mercy of God, rest in peace.

If you would like to make a donation to ECAA in her honor, the information is below. Thank you. https://www.ecaware.org/give/donate/ Esophageal Cancer Awareness Assoc, Inc.  d.b.a. EC Aware | 501(c)(3) Non-Profit P.O. Box 55071 #15530 Boston, MA  02205

Condolence

Charlie & Chris Pope

August 23, 2023, 12:15 pm

We only knew her briefly as our neighbor at Walker’s Glen but to know her was to love her.

Charlie & Chris Pope

August 23, 2023, 12:18 pm

We only knew Jane briefly as our neighbor at Walker’s Glen but to know her was to love her.
Charlie & Chris Pope

Elizabeth Eagen

August 24, 2023, 2:20 pm

Remember her when she lived in Florida Gardens Lake Worth she brought so much to the community. She had a great haunted house in the community center for Halloween.But, then it was when she came down with the esophageal cancer,the long struggle fighting the cancer,they moved from area.Long remembered Jane.

Debbie and Sam Huey

August 28, 2023, 5:11 am

My Jane, my Sweetness, there are truly no words to tell you how much I miss you, your love, your laughter, your fun and funny postings and comments but mostly I miss how much you helped me when I needed it. I miss your “good nights, Deb, I love you” in messenger, the things we shared, all the times you truly cared. Yes, Sweetness, I know there is a Heaven and you are there, you have met our Maker and He is so joyful in having you Home. I will love you forever, I will. I will miss you forever, I will. To me, you carried my momma’s loving heart, how blessed I was to have been loved by you and to love you. God, hold this special angel tight, so many of us are missing her so very badly, take care of the love of her life, her sweet Jim, hold him ever so tightly.

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