Florence M. Jayne spent most of her 89 years surrounded by children.
She taught school in Washington for more than 30 years and Sunday school for more than 50 years. And, although she never married, she adopted and reared a family of her own, an unusual undertaking then.
Miss Jayne adopted Richard A. Hadley and his sister, Muriel, then aged 8 and 7, more than 40 years ago. Several years later she adopted a baby, nine months old, and let the first two children name him. He became Ronald E. Hadley.
Miss Jayne died Tuesday at The Hermitage in Alexandria following a stroke. Her family over the years had expanded to include nine grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
She was born in Vassar, Mich. Her mother died when she was only two weeks old, and Miss Jayne was reared by foster parents. She later cared for her foster parents until their death in the early 1930s.
Richard Hadley remembered that he was living and working on a farm and his sister was in an orphanage when they were adopted by Miss Jayne.
"We were pretty badly behaved," Muriel Hadley Cox said, remembering those days, "but Miss Jayne straightened us out. She was very stern, very religious, and demanded that we always tell the truth. Although she had great compassion for us, she really did not have a sense of humor in those years. We learned to respect her."
Mrs. Cox recalled a home that was filled with learning and religion, and where respect grew into love.
In her later years, according to her daughter, Miss Jayne exhibited a wry sense of humor about these early years, one she would not show to her childrem when there were young.
Miss Jayne was a graduate of the old Farmville Normal School in Virginia and earned a master's degree in teaching at the University of Chicago.
She taught English at the old Central High School here for 28 years before retiring in 1946. She later taught for several years at Potomac Christian School, a private elementary school, in Washington.
She also taught Sunday school for many years at Wallace Memorial Presbyterian Church of Hyattsville when was located in Washington.
After retiring as a teacher, she worked for a time as a station clerk at George Washington University Hospital. SHe then went to California for a number of years, tutoring students and teaching Sunday school there. She returned to Washington about nine years ago.
Miss Jayne then taught Sunday school at Arlington Forest United Methodist Church until about three years ago. She was a member of St. James United Methodist Church at the time of her death.
Her son Richard A. now lives in Blackstone, Mass., her other son, Ronald E., in Castle Rock, Colo., and her daughter, in Arlington.