Thursday, February 25, 2016

Obituary: Elizabeth "Jane" Surra, 88, Shinglehouse

Elizabeth “Jane” Surra    “beloved mother and grandmother”
SHINGLEHOUSE, PA---Elizabeth “Jane” Surra, 88, of Shinglehouse, passed away with her loving family by her side on Wednesday, February 24, 2016 in the Olean General Hospital, Olean, NY, after a long illness.
Born on July 19, 1927 in Philipsburg, she was a daughter of Paul N. Taylor and Jeannette V. Grebe Taylor Langham.  On July 24, 1948 in St. Bernard’s Roman Catholic Church in Indiana, PA, she married John L. Surra, who passed away on January 18, 2002.
Jane was a graduate of Lewistown (PA) High School, Class of 1945 and a graduate of Indiana University of Pennsylvania with her Bachelor’s degrees in Home Economics and Science.  She did graduate work at St. Bonaventure University, Penn State University and Indiana University, earning her Master’s equivalent.
In 1948, Jane took her first teaching position in Bennetts Valley High School in Weedville as a home economics and health teacher.  From 1961 to 1962, she taught in the Johnsonburg Area School District.  After moving to Shinglehouse in 1963 when her husband became the principal of Oswayo Valley High School, Jane taught at the Olean High School in Olean, NY for 3 years.  She later worked for Penn State Cooperative Extension in Coudersport as a coordinator for Preventative Health Education.  She then was employed by BOCES in Allegany, NY for Allegany, Cattaraugus, and Chautauqua Counties as the Nutrition, Education and Training coordinator.  She later was employed at the Allegany Indian Reservation Health Center as a supervisor of nutrition.  In addition to her work as an educator, Mrs. Surra was an Electrolux sales representative, a Horizons Unlimited Goal Setting representative, a profession that helped individuals and businesses in setting goals.  She was also a broker with “Be the Boss” for businesses.  Ill health in 1986 forced her to retire from working, but she remained an active volunteer and advocate for many charities and causes.
Jane was a member of St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church in Shinglehouse, having served on the Parish Council for many years.  She was also a member and officer of the Church Guild, was instrumental in organizing fundraising events and dinners, was a prayer group organizer, and a CCD instructor.  She was a member of the Rosary Society of the Sacred Heart Church in Portville, NY. Jane was a member of the Pennsylvania State Educators Association.  She was also an initial member of the Shinglehouse Food Cupboard and volunteer for 18 years.  Jane established the former Jack Natzle Memorial Scholarship, which was a scholarship in memory of Mr. Natzle at the Oswayo Valley High School.  She organized the support group, P.A.T.S. (Parents, Administrators, Teachers and Students) to get community involvement and support for the school district.  She was also a coordinator for Cystic Fibrosis fundraisers, an advisor for the Jr. Red Cross while working in Olean, was a coordinator for 10 years for St. Jude Bike-a-thon in Shinglehouse, and was a member of the American Life League and a member of the PA Pro-life Association.  She also served on the Potter County Heath Council and for a short time served on the Northwestern Pennsylvania Health Systems Agency.
Surviving are four sons, John L. (Diane) Surra of Deming, NM, Mark C. (Cathy) Surra of Shinglehouse, Dane M. (Bonnie) Surra of Shinglehouse, and Paul C. Surra of Port Allegany; a daughter, Lisa J. (Robert) Wilson of Aledo, Texas; eight grandchildren, Melanie K. Brisco, Jocelyn D. Deeb, Nickolas D. Surra, Skylar S. Surra, Kameron A. Surra, Lindsey M. Surra, Vance D. Surra, and Chelsea L. Surra; nine great-grandchildren, Dominic Briscoe, Mia Briscoe, Brennen Briscoe, Lucenzo Deeb, Maxamus Deeb, Isaac Surra, Dylan Pippen, Axel Sage, and Sage Surra; one niece; and three nephews.
In addition to her parents and husband, Jane was predeceased by a brother, James H. Taylor.
Friends may call from 2 to 4 p.m. and 7 to 9 p.m. on Friday at the Virgil L. Howard Funeral Home, 118 South Union Street, Shinglehouse, PA.  A Mass of Christian Burial will be celebrated at 11 a.m. on Saturday, February 27, 2016 at St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, Shinglehouse, with the Rev. Thomas Brown, pastor, as celebrant.  Committal services and burial will be in Maple Grove Cemetery, Shinglehouse.
A prayer service will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Friday afternoon in the funeral home.
In lieu of flowers, memorials may be made to St. Theresa Roman Catholic Church, PO Box 277, Shinglehouse, PA 16748; to the Shinglehouse Food Cupboard, c/o Brenda West, 57 S. Branch Canada Hollow Road, Shinglehouse, PA 16748; or to the Shinglehouse Volunteer Ambulance Association, PO Box 98, Shinglehouse, PA 16748.