Jane Underkofler

Jane Marie Underkofler

1935 - 2022

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Obituary of Jane Marie Underkofler

Jane M. Winarski Underkofler, 86, of Vineland, New Jersey, formerly of Edenton, NC, passed away on March 10, 2022, at Inspira Medical Center. She had been a resident of the New Jersey Memorial Veterans Home in Vineland since 2014.  

Born in Hartford, CT, on September 16, 1935, she was the daughter of the late Edward John and Stephanie Mechonski Winarski and moved with her parents to Miami in 1936. In addition to her parents, she was preceded in death by her husband, William Jesse Underkofler; sons James Joseph Underkofler and George Stephen Underkofler; sister Irene Winarski Williams; and brother Edward J. Winarski, Jr.

Mrs. Underkofler is survived by her children Col (Ret) Michael J. Underkofler and spouse Lt Col (Ret) Dr. Denise M. Proctor of Southampton, NJ; Laura A. Kelly and spouse Col (Ret) Dr. Michael A. Kelly of Bristow, VA; and Julia Underkofler Zimmermann and spouse Kelly A. Zimmermann of Baltimore, MD; grandchildren Jake Underkofler, Will Underkofler, 1st Lt Rachel Kelly, USAF, and spouse 1st Lt Jake Sonzogni, USAF, and Alexander Kelly; niece Debbie Winarski Mendez; and nephew David Winarski.

A graduate of St. Theresa Catholic School in Coral Gables, FL, and St. Mary’s Hospital School of Nursing in West Palm Beach, FL, where she was class president, Mrs. Underkofler did graduate nursing studies at The University of Miami and East Carolina University. She was commissioned in the U.S. Air Force Nurse Corps in 1957 and served in succession as an operating room nurse at Nellis AFB, NV; Chief operating room nurse at Pepperell AFB, St. Johns, Newfoundland; and Chief operating room nurse at Tinker AFB, Oklahoma City, OK.

Mrs. Underkofler separated from the Air Force, as was required then, once she and her husband had their first child. After a few years as a homemaker, she was the volunteer nurse at the parochial schools her children attended, and later worked in hospital and public health nursing. While her husband was stationed in Las Vegas, NV, she was selected to serve in the distinguished visitor wing of the city’s major hospital where she cared for well known entertainers and political leaders.

Throughout her life she had wonderful experiences, often faith-based, including visiting Ephesus, Constantinople, Vatican City, Walsingham, many countries, and living abroad for numerous years. One of her more recent experiences she enjoyed was being invited by the commanding general of Officer Training School to speak with newly commissioned officers on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of her own graduation. She regaled them with her service stories and was the guest presiding officer of their graduation parade. She definitely was a talker and storyteller.

Extremely proud of her Polish heritage and her Polish tenacity, Mrs. Underkofler often made traditional fare for her family and friends as well as dishes from her travels. Afflicted with Multiple Sclerosis since age 42, she participated in many experimental drug therapy studies and research programs. She enjoyed being a subject patient for medical students and neurology residents. She also loved teaching, having taught several EMT and Red Cross courses. Even while a resident of the NJ Veterans Home her passion was to teach biology and health once a week to local elementary school children and serve as a reading coach.

A Memorial Mass will be held Saturday, March 19, 2022 11:00 AM at Our Lady of Guadalupe Parish St Lawrence Campus, 135 N. White Horse Pike, Lindenwold, NJ, with Visitation at the church the hour prior. Interment at Arlington National Cemetery will occur at a later date.

The family would like to thank all her caretakers, especially Dr. Kovach and staff at Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital who for the last nine years worked tirelessly on her behalf. Also, all the military personnel and service organizations who frequently visited and supported her, in particular her Air Force Nurse Corps buddies.

In lieu of flowers, the family suggests donations to a charity supporting Ukrainian relief operations in Poland, a military veteran organization, or to Deborah Heart and Lung Hospital which never turns patients away or presents them a bill.  Arrangements under the direction of the COSTANTINO-PRIMO FUNERAL HOME, BERLIN NJ. To leave lasting condolences, photos or to make a donation, please use the links on this page.

 

 

 

 

Saturday
19
March

Visitation

10:00 am - 11:00 am
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Our Lady Of Guadalupe Parish St. Lawrence Campus
135 N. White Horse Pike
Lindenwold, New Jersey, United States
Saturday
19
March

Memorial Mass

11:00 am
Saturday, March 19, 2022
Our Lady Of Guadalupe Parish St. Lawrence Campus
135 N. White Horse Pike
Lindenwold, New Jersey, United States