P. Jeane (Daniels) VanDerbeek was born March 7, 1936 in the Hilldale Community of Neosho, Missouri, the daughter of James Russell and Catherine Jewel (Kirby) Daniels. She entered into rest on Feb. 13, 2020, at KU Medical Center at the age of 83.
Jeane graduated from Southwest Baptist College in Bolivar with a degree in education and earned a master’s degree at Pittsburg State University. She was a lifelong educator with her first job as the teacher at Hilldale School. She taught learning-disabled students in Joplin R-VIII and Fort Worth Independent School Districts and later taught history and other social studies at Pulaski Technical College in Little Rock, Arkansas. Shortly after completing her master’s degree, she had the opportunity to move to San Francisco in the early 1960s to work at the Presidio of San Francisco as a journalist for the U.S. Army. She had a strong interest in politics and was active in the Democratic Party, serving as a Missouri delegate to Democratic National Convention in 1984. Jeane resided in Neosho and Joplin, Missouri, Fort Worth, Texas, and Conway, Arkansas before moving to Excelsior Springs, Missouri. She had a passion for teaching and believed in the power of education. She spent time gardening and cooking. Jeane loved history and later in life volunteered at the Excelsior Springs Museum. Most of all, she adored her grandchildren and cherished spending time with them.
Jeane was married to Denis William Thompson and had two children, Lara and Graham. Later, Jeane married William Cole VanDerbeek on July 30, 1981, and he preceded her in death on April 19, 2013. She is survived by her daughter, Lara Zacny of Kansas City, her husband, Jim, and their children, Jordan and Cara; her son, Graham Thompson of Lowell, Arkansas and his wife, Tiffany, and their children, Naomi, Isaac and Claire; sister, Mary Lee Elliott and husband, Roy, of Neosho and brother, Joe Daniels, and wife, Belinda, of Shamrock, Texas. In addition to her husband, she is preceded in death by her parents; sister, Francis Kay Evinger; and brother, James Leon Daniels.
Services took place at 2 p.m., Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2020 at Hilldale Baptist Church, 8606 Lime Kiln Drive, Neosho, Missouri, with Dr. Phillip McClendon officiating. The family received friends at the church beginning at 1 p.m. Wednesday until service time. Interment will follow at Kenney Cemetery, Neosho. Contributions to honor Jeane may be made to either Kenny Cemetery or to the American Cancer Society, c/o Clark Funeral Home, PO Box 66; Neosho, MO 64850.