Jane B. Wagner
2022 Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker Award
Saturday, May 28, 2022
The St. Regis Houston
Jane B. Wagner learned from her mother and father what love, devotion, and respect look like, and from loss, the preciousness of our limited time on earth.
A native of Oklahoma City, Jane has called Houston home since 1979. She attended Pitzer College in Claremont, California and graduated from the University of Oklahoma with a BA in anthropology. Along with her siblings, Jane is a partner in, and owner of, a third-generation family owned Oklahoma oil company. She feels it has been a profound privilege to have continued the legacy begun by her maternal grandfather.
Jane suffered the untimely death of her father when he was only 48 and Jane was 16. From him, she learned to have confidence in herself and, by his example, humility, and empathy. Witnessing her mother’s strength and resilience during this period, Jane learned how important it is to live fully, purposefully, and passionately, even if it means living a life other than the one you planned.
When Jane made the difficult decision to end her 16-year marriage at the age of 40, she found the strength to carve out a more authentic life for herself and her children. Like her mother, she learned to thrive in a life that was not the one she had envisioned.
During this time, Jane volunteered at SEARCH Homeless Services (SEARCH) where she helped adults learn to read and prepare for their GED. The experience opened her eyes to how many of us take the essentials in life for granted. Currently, she supports Anti-Defamation League, Interfaith Ministries, KNOWAutism, SEARCH, Children at Risk, Houston Area Women’s Center, American Heart Association, Jewish Family Services, Arthritis Foundation, The Alley Theatre, Houston Ballet, and Stages. In 2020, Jane served on the auction committee for the Heart Ball.
For her service to the community, Jane, along with her daughters, Dr. Jill Roth and Emily Van Laan, received a Legacy Award from The Twelve Days of Christmas, Inc. in 2018.
Writing has always been central to Jane’s life. After her divorce, however, she became more serious about marketing her work. She has had over 100 essays, works of short fiction, and poems published in small press journals. In 2002, she edited an anthology entitled, We Used to be Wives: Divorce Unveiled Through Poetry, which included the works of 72 female poets describing their divorce experience.
In 2006, Jane married Larry Wagner, her unexpected best friend and unlikely love of her life. They celebrated their fifteenth anniversary last year.
The pandemic has been a catalyst for Jane to reassess her priorities and make changes that would allow her to spend her time going forward in a way more closely aligned with her intentions. Mindfulness meditation classes and following Suleika Jaouad’s The Isolation Journals helped illuminate that path, helping her prioritize her time and identify her goals.
Jane is the proud mother of three adult children, whom she deeply admires. Her greatest joy is to watch them parent their own children. Their spouses, her stepson, and four young grandchildren round out her amazing family. Jane is also passionate about theatre, fashion, and traveling, but nothing compares to the time she spends with her husband and children, their spouses, and her grandchildren.
It is for all the reasons mentioned above, and many more, that Jane B. Wagner has been named a Top 20 Inspiring Woman Impact Maker for 2022.