Risser, Jane H.

March 17, 1920 - February 20, 2013

Jane Horton Risser died in her sleep early February 20, 2013.  She was born in Newark, NJ on March 17, 1920 to the late Ellis C. Horton and Augusta Berry Horton.  She moved many times throughout her life, beginning with a couple of moves in New Jersey then on to Cincinnati, OH and Chicago, IL.  After getting a college degree and doing an unpleasant one year stint teaching kindergarten, she was happily employed as a stewardess in the mid 1940’s for Pennsylvania Central Airlines and was based in Milwaukee, WI. It was there that she met Carl Risser while sharing a taxi. Although his opening line was a critique of her “ugly shoes”, they got past that and were married in June, 1948. Carl’s job with American Airlines meant her nomadic life continued as they moved to various cities in New York while starting their family.


In 1958, they moved to north Texas with their three children, moving first to Dallas then to 3 different houses in Irving. Carl died suddenly in 1967, leaving Jane to manage a household on her own after having been a housewife for the previous 19 years. She moved the family back to Dallas and registered in vocational nursing school. Because she had never learned to drive, she had to take the bus to classes in downtown Dallas. After getting her LVN license, and eventually her driver’s license, she began her 16 year career at Parkland Hospital, working in pediatrics until her retirement in 1984.  Subsequently, she kept children in her home for the next several years to supplement her retirement income. Eventually, she was able to retire completely and then began 10+ years of volunteering in the library at F.P. Caillet Elementary School. Some of her happiest moments were when she was in that library doing simple chores that helped the librarian tremendously and he became one of her closest friends.


Jane will be remembered for her sometimes bawdy, irreverent wit, her obstinacy, and her almost childlike ability to thoroughly enjoy the little things in life. Some of her greatest joy was found while listening to music, especially opera and classical. From girlhood, she was an avid fan of dance, particularly ballet.  WRR Radio was a constant companion in her home and she managed to make small donations to it while living on a very limited income.   She could sing or hum along with much that they played.  Saturdays frequently included radio performances of the Metropolitan Opera.


Jane was preceded in death by her parents, her husband, and her sister and brother-in-law Carol & Brady Anthony.


She is survived by her daughter, Judy Williams & husband Keith; her son, Michael Risser & her younger daughter, Karen Risser.  Jane has two granddaughters, Rachel Wolf and Alana Sidener and 3 great grandchildren: Campbell and Will Sidener and Luke Wolf.  Also surviving Jane is her niece, Elinor Anthony Mazé, her husband Louis, of Waco, TX, and their daughters, Ghislaine and Angelica of San Francisco, CA.


The family wants to thank all the wonderful staff at The Gardens of Richardson for the care they provided for Jane over the last years.  Also thank you to the staff of Hospice Plus for the extra care they provided for the last couple of months. A celebration of her life is scheduled at 6:00 P.M., Tuesday, February 26, 2013 at ARIA Memorial Chapel at 19310 Preston Road, Dallas, TX 75252 with Rev. Jerry Hays officiating. If desired, please send donations to WRR Classical 101.1 FM at P.O. Box 159001 Dallas, TX 75315-9001, SPCA at http://www.spca.org/waystogive, Hospice Plus at 3100 McKinnon St. Suite 200, Dallas, Texas 75201 or to the charity of your choice.

11 replies on “Risser, Jane H.”

Susan Spiller Frindt says:

Remember the laughter. Remember the love.

Gina R Williams says:

I will always remember her quick wit and zest for life. My heart-felt sympathies go out to each and everyone that loved her.

May the sweet memories ease your hearts.

Melinda Smith says:

Jane is at peace, which we all can hope for. She had such a fun sense of humor, but got tired and needed peace!

Lee Paez Barber says:

Your dear Jane gave so much to others, especially children, over the years. May your many memories of the lovely person she was comfort you in your loss. Love, Lee

Luke Barber says:

Jane was one of a kind, which is a complement in this world with so many carbon copies. I send my condolences to her family. May she rest in peace.

Luke Barber says:

Jane was one of a kind, which is a complement given that this world has so many carbon copies. I send my sincere condolences to all in her family. She will be missed. May she rest in peace.

Lori Doherty says:

Karen and family, I am so sorry for the loss of your lovely mother. You are all in my thoughts and prayers.

Ralph Roberts says:

Jane volunteered in the F.P. Caillet library for 10 years. She like to shelve books on Friday afternoons. She would come anytime I needed extra help. She enjoyed looking at all the new books as they arrived. She was cheerful and full of humor. She and I both enjoyed out time at the library.

Les and Karen Porter says:

We offer you our sympathy in the loss of your Mother. Jane was a good neighbor for many years. She and I used to walk every morning at 6 a.m. She was proud of her children.

Carol Dumont says:

Always loved it when Jane came to see us at Park Forest Branch Library. She was always smiling and full of fun. My prayers are with you as you celebrate her beautiful life. May you be consoled by your many happy memories of time spent with such a wonderful woman.

Wanda Smith says:

The obituary made me smile. I remember the hours of Opera music at your house when we were kids, and Jane’s always funny sense of humor.

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