Jane was born in Chicago and grew up in Richmond, Virginia. She graduated from Arcadia College and St. Louis University with a B.A. in 1937. She was the first alumni to die in WW II and a building on the campus is named in her honor. She was interested in horseback riding, diving, tennis, and of course flying. She learned to fly in 1940 while in St. Louis and got her pilot's license in the Civil Air Patrol
Jane heard about Jacqueline Cochran's WASP recruitment effort while living in St. Louis where she was working for the Railway Express Agency. She promptly quit her job and took up flying almost full time to get the required hours and used up all her savings for two nose operations to correct a sinus and breathing problem. She was able to pass the AAF phycical and was in training at Sweetwater when she lost her life.
She and her baymate Jennie Hrestu were practicing night flying in BT-13s with their respective instructors. Jennie got back to the barracks around 1:00 AM and fell sound asleep. When she awoke later that morning Jane's bunk was still empty.