Jane Cobb Langhorne, 95, a resident of The Manor in Carmel Valley, died on Feb. 4, 2014, having suffered a stroke two days earlier.
Born in Philadelphia on April 14, 1918, she was the only child of Emily Ruth Terry and Henry Quigg Cobb. Her parents divorced, after which she moved with her mother to Greenhill Farm in Overbrook, on the Pennsylvania Main Line. There she attended Friends Central School, and graduated from the Harcum School in 1937. She went on to study chemistry at the University of Pennsylvania, but left the university after two years to marry jazz musician Andrew P. Skillern. That marriage ended tragically a year later with his death from an accidental fall.
Moving to Clewiston, Fla., she worked at the Blood Bank as a medical technician and an assistant to Dr. Strumia in developing the freeze drying of plasma. She also acquired her pilot’s license. Through aviation, she met William Keene Langhorne of Charlottesville, Va., who was serving as a flight instructor for Royal Air Force cadets. They were married in 1943 and lived first in Miami, where Jane Langhorne gave birth to her two eldest daughters, then to Brazil where her youngest daughter was born.
Keene Langhorne’s work as a pilot and later captain for Pan American World Airways gave the couple the opportunity to travel widely and live abroad for extended periods. Establishing a home base in Atherton, Calif., they also lived in Germany and Hong Kong. While in Atherton, she was a founding member of the Menlo-Atherton League of Women Voters and the Committee for Foreign Students at Stanford University. She also studied psychology at Stanford and San Jose State University. While in Hong Kong, she studied acupuncture and became adept at painting in the traditional Chinese manner.
Avid skiers, she and Keene began visiting Sun Valley in 1960 and established a second residence there in 1969. She last competed in the Bradford Slalom Cup in 1998, where she took first place in her age group. Combining culture with her love of skiing, she was instrumental in bringing opera to the Sun Valley Opera House.
When their children had all left home, the Langhornes moved to Portola Valley, where Jane continued to tend a large garden and pursued her various cultural, social and political interests. Following Keene’s death in 2000, she moved to Carmel, where she volunteered at the Community Hospital of the Monterey Peninsula. She met her partner of 11 years, Alonzo Parsons. Together they shared family gatherings with not only her birth daughters but also his daughters: Jody Parsons, Susan Parsons and Julie Meinike who graciously took her into their family.
Jane Langhorne will long be remembered for her timeless beauty, unending curiosity and immense vitality.
She is survived by her daughters Terry Morawitz of Half Moon Bay, Calif.; Dana Howell (Gregory) of Ketchum, Idaho; and Julie Langhorne (Peter Schlenzka) of Tahoe City, Calif., as well as grandchildren Werner Morawitz (Laura) of Ketchum, Idaho; Dana Morawitz of Marin, Calif.; Emily Howell Thomsen (Ian) of Missoula, Mont.; Alexander Schlenzka of San Francisco, Calif.; Priya Schlenzka of Charleston, S.C.; and great-grandchildren Keene Morawitz, Peter Morawitz, Audrey Morawitz and Elsie Thomsen.
In lieu of flowers, donations may be made to www.populationconnection.org (formerly Zero Population Growth).
Condolences may be sent to Langhorne, 191 Del Mesa Carmel, Carmel, CA 93923.
A memorial service will be celebrated on April 12, 2014, at 3 p.m. at The Manor, 8545 Carmel Valley Road, Carmel.