To have known Jane was to know a fine woman, a world traveler, and a kind, loyal, and excellent friend.
Jane entered our world November 18, 1937 in Fort Lewis, Washington, and passed to her reward on June 29, 2021. She spent most of her formative years on Evergreen Point in Bellevue; the daughter of Dr. Jesse and Christie
(Edith) Wachs Henderson. Her father was a well-regarded psychiatrist. Jane attended Bellevue schools and subsequently went on to graduate from the Bush School and the University of Washington in Seattle. She was married to Mr. David Shelmandine and subsequently married to Mr. Chris (Daniel) Byrd in 1986 until his untimely passing in 1993. Jane had many influential moments growing up in the Pacific Northwest, where she eventually resettled in 2010. One such memory
that she recalled was starting a berry business at the age of nine under the close mentorship of her father. In this familial venture, Jane grew and harvested all the raspberries while at the same time cultivating all the necessary business acumen of accounting, marketing, and sales. These skills would later prove instrumental in her tenured time in the airline industry. Jane’s nascent career began in 1959 in the reservations department and successfully grew in a variety of corporate roles. It eventually culminated in her becoming the General Manager of International Sales at Continental Airlines. During these many years of jet-setting travel, Jane became very well regarded professionally and personally. Along the way Jane left many contrails of “family” forged all the way from the wine country in Northern California to Paris. Her favorite travel destinations were Paris – #1, Africa, Egypt, Prague, and shopping in Hong Kong and Korea. Although Jane was tall in stature and carried a seemingly commanding presence by her cultured and authoritative knowledge; her kindness, loyalty, and heart were equally matched in size.
Her ‘motherly’ role was effused with her ever sage-like manner and genuine acceptance afforded to all she encountered and encouraged. Jane took a protected pride in caring for the beautiful flower garden surrounding her appropriately dubbed sanctuary, the ‘Hedgehog Lodge’ (given her inordinate and eclectic hedgehogs collection). In Janes own words, she had been doing battle with squirrels and rabbits to protect her flowers and saving the fish in her pond from raccoons and grey herons.
Jane was preceded in death by her brother, Norman Henderson, but is survived by his wife Carol Henderson, niece Laura Paszek, her husband, Jason, and their children Ella and Evan. Unfortunately, due to constraints of the pandemic, there will be no on-site or virtual celebration. Jane was very generous and most recently supported ‘Doctors Without Borders.’ In lieu of a service and as per Jane’s wishes, her ashes will go into her favorite garden in Giverny, France, in the spring. It is fitting since her favorite quote of Audrey Hepburn was, “Paris is always a good idea”. A suggested request is that all special acquaintances take time on her birthday, November 18th, to fondly celebrate and remember her extraordinary life. Godspeed Jane on your next journey!