LOONEY, Jayne Montgomery (Nash)

Monday, July 26, 2004

The campus family mourns the loss of a rare woman who lived on this campus as a child when her father was president, later graduated from the Oklahoma College for Women in 1942, was inducted to its Alumni Hall of Fame in 2001, and was serving at the time of her death on the USAO Foundation Board of Trustees.


“Jayne Nash was an extraordinary person,” said USAO President John Feaver. “She demonstrated her love for and dedication to her alma mater in so many ways. Her father, Mel Nash, led this institution through its early ‘glory days,’ from the Great Depression to World War II.

She literally grew up on this campus, and then she lived out her values of hard work, public service and professionalism to lead a distinguished and frequently honored career in law that spanned half a century. She was a leader in her field and become the first woman to achieve several distinctions in Oklahoma, including two terms as Special Justice to the Oklahoma Supreme Court.”


Jayne Nash Montgomery Looney, 83, of Purcell died Monday, July 26, 2004, at Norman Regional Hospital, after a brief illness. Services are scheduled at 10:30 a.m. Thursday at Trinity United Methodist Church in Purcell. Services are provided by Wilson-Little Funeral Home in Purcell.


Mrs. Looney was born June 20, 1921, in Edmond, the second of five children born to Dr. Mell A. Nash and Mae Clarke Nash.

She attended and graduated from Chickasha Public Schools and Oklahoma College for Women where her father was president.


She then began working for the War Department in Washington, D.C., and Oklahoma Senator Josh Lee. She met and married William Hanna Mendenhall while living in Washington, D.C. They had one child, Nancy. Mr. Mendenhall died in a submarine during World War II after 21/2 years of marriage.


Mrs. Looney returned to Oklahoma with her daughter and graduated from the University of Oklahoma School of Law. She was a member of the First Law Review Board, Kappa Beta Pi and the Order of Coif while at OU. She practiced law in Edmond and married fellow lawyer Henry H. Montgomery. They established the law firm Montgomery and Montgomery in Purcell, which has been in existence for more than 50 years. They practiced law together until Mr. Montgomery died in 1998.


Mrs. Looney was a member of the American College of Trust and Estate Council and a 50-year member of the McClain County Bar and the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations. She was a Fellow of the Oklahoma and American Bar Associations. She received the OBA Spotlight Award and the Neil E. Bogan Professionalism Award of the OBA in 1993. She was the first woman associate professor at the OU School of Law, first woman special justice of the Oklahoma Supreme Court and first woman elected to office in the OBA, when she became vice president in 1978. She was president of the Oklahoma Women's Lawyers Association.


Mrs. Looney was selected as Purcell Citizen of the year in 1971 and 1994. She received the 2002 Women in Communication By-Liner Award as a 2001 finalist for the Journal Record Women of the Year. She was a member of the 2002 University of Science and Arts of Oklahoma Alumni Hall of Fame and Chickasha Public Schools Hall of Fame.

She was a member of Trinity United Methodist Church in Purcell where she served as lay leader, children's Sunday school teacher and chairman of the Board of Trustees. She was a 50-year member of the Girl Scouts, a troop leader and officer of the Council. She was a member of the Order of the Eastern Star and Kappa Kappa Gamma.


Mrs. Looney married Robert D. Looney Sr. of Oklahoma City in 2001. Mr. Looney is a 50-year member of the Oklahoma Bar Association. Mrs. Looney and her husband have lived in Purcell and Oklahoma City. Mrs. Looney served as president of the Purcell School Board and was a founder and first president of the Purcell Public School Foundation. She was a trustee of the Oklahoma Foundation of Excellence, the Purcell Municipal Hospital Foundation and the USAO Foundation.


Mrs. Looney was preceded in death by her parents; husbands, Lt. Cmdr. Mendenhall and Henry Montgomery; daughter, Dr. Holly Montgomery Rose; and brothers, David and Carl Nash.


She is survived by her husband, Robert D. Looney Sr.; daughters, Nancy Ford of Shawnee and Sally Clayton of San Antonio; sons-in-law, William Ford, Craig Clayton and David Rose; brothers, Capt. Norman C. Nash and wife of Alexandria, Va., and Donald R. Nash of McAllen, Texas; grandchildren; Jayne Morris, Anne Wallace, Joseph Ford, Jennifer Lawson, Daniel Rose and Amy and Austin Clayton; great-grandchildren, William and Elizabeth Morris; her husband's children, Robert Looney Jr. and wife, Anne, Carole Hill and husband, John, and John Looney; and many step-grandchildren and great-grandchildren.


Memorial contributions may be made to Trinity United Methodist Church, 211 N. 2nd St., Purcell, OK 73080 or the Purcell Public School Foundation, 919 N. 9th St., Purcell, OK 73080.