Jane Donnell Graham, age 97, died on August 26, 2022, in Boerne, Texas. Born March 29, 1925, in San Antonio, Texas, she was the youngest of 10 children born to Lucile Conly Donnell and James Webb Smith Donnell. She graduated Thomas Jefferson High School in San Antonio in 1943 and wed John Graham on July 31, 1943, at Christ Episcopal Church, San Antonio. During WWII, they moved to Virginia, California, and Connecticut. Following the war, they lived in John’s native New Jersey before settling in Dallas, Texas, in 1951.
Jane and John, with their son John Jr. and their daughter Sally, enjoyed a rich life in Dallas filled with regular summer vacations to Michigan, many trips to the Hill Country with Jane’s siblings and their families, and close friendships with their neighbors on Caruth. While living in Dallas, Jane attended Southern Methodist University.
In the 1980s, Jane and John moved to Bandera, Texas, where Jane spent many years working at The Frontier Times Museum. Her efforts greatly enhanced the visitor experience there. After John’s death in 2011, she relocated to Menger Springs in Boerne, Texas.
Jane was an unparalleled entertainer, and merely stepping over the threshold of her front door meant you were a guest to be doted upon. The Graham house always drew people in, whether it was as the destination for Texas/OU weekend, the “Graham Country Club” where the Highland Park High School kids liked to gather, or the stone house in Bandera to which countless nieces, nephews, grandchildren, friends, and neighbors escaped any time they could and where magical Easter, Thanksgiving, and Christmas celebrations were held. Jane could be counted on to provide delicious meals. She was famous for her chocolate chip cookies and chocolate pies. Jane was adept at making a simple meal magical and held a well-set table in high regard.
Jane was a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution, Colonial Dames, and was named to the Yellow Rose of Texas Society by Governor Rick Perry. A Texan to her core, she recently celebrated her birthday with a large Donnell family reunion at the Flying L Guest Ranch in Bandera, where she proved she was still able to crack a bullwhip at the age of 97. Jane enjoyed quilting and many of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren own pieces of her handiwork.
As the last surviving Donnell sibling, Jane was beloved by her nieces, nephews, grand-nieces, and grand-nephews and all their spouses and children, all of whom held a special place in her heart.
Jane is predeceased by her parents, her husband, all of her siblings, son-in-law Dr. Keith Douglas Peterson, various nieces and nephews, and one great-grandchild, Grace Elizabeth Graham. She is survived by her son, Retired Colonel John Graham (Cris), of Fredericksburg, Texas, her daughter Sally Graham Peterson, of Clarksville, Tennessee, her granddaughter Kristine Donnell Peterson Rudolph (David), of Atlanta, Georgia, her granddaughter Alice Lindsay Welder (Clark) of Fredericksburg, Texas, her grandson Keith Douglas Peterson, Jr. (Monica) of Ottawa Hills, Ohio, her granddaughter Kathryn Peterson Cartwright (Josh) of Brentwood, Tennessee and her grandson Lieutenant Colonel John Stieler Graham (Lisa) of Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is also survived by great-grandchildren William, Margaret, and Avery Jane Rudolph; Alice, Lilly, and Lindsay Welder; Jack and Ellie Cartwright; Olivia, Walker, and Knox Peterson; and John Stieler and Caroline Graham.
Graveside services for Jane will be held at Mission Park North in San Antonio at 10 am on November 5, 2022. In lieu of flowers, donations may be made in Jane’s memory to The Frontier Times Museum, 510 13th Street, Bandera, TX 78003, or Pipe Creek Presbyterian Little Rock Church, PO Box 63377, Pipe Creek, TX 78063. You are invited to sign the online guestbook at www.missionparks.com.
Mission Park Funeral Chapels North
3401 Cherry Ridge Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78230