Jane Frances Combs McLaughlin
A life well lived was rewarded to Jane Frances Combs McLaughlin, 93, as she entered into eternal life during her sleep the morning of January 3, 2013. She joins her husband of 64 years, Raymond Stephen, who predeceased her on November 29, 2008.
Fran, the daughter of Bertha and Cleveland Combs, was born August 14, 1919 in Clinton County. She grew up with her brother, John Combs and two sisters, Marian Miller and Phyllis Huffer (Mike) on a 500-acre farm in Mulberry, Indiana. All four kids worked hard on the farm, faithfully attended church and Sunday school, and participated in 4-H, Scouts, sports, and played musical instruments. Fran was a natural musician; she enjoyed playing her saxophone in the family band, but her real talent was the ability to play the piano "by ear" any song she heard!
After graduating from Mulberry High School, she attended Purdue University, working several jobs in order to graduate in 1942. Two years later, she married Ray, a Purdue graduate engineer and moved to Milwaukee, Wisconsin. There she developed a following with her foods preparation show on early TV, and her foods demonstration classes at the Wisconsin State Fair. Her family grew with the addition of her two sons, David (Katie Jo) McLaughlin of Carmel and Ronald (Patty) McLaughlin of Centerville, and then thrived when they moved to Connersville, Indiana, in 1956.
Fran taught Home Economics and Bachelor Living at Connersville Senior High School. After attending summer schools at Miami University, she received her Masters Degree in 1967. She had an unusual zest for helping students become the best they could be, and instilled a good work ethic, practical knowledge and life values into them. She believed in her students and could be counted on to give them a helping hand as they were confronted by many of life's challenges.
In 1983, after 24 years of teaching, she retired and was elected to the Connersville City Council and Fayette County School Board for two terms, each. During her retirement, she compiled two cookbooks, served as a 4-H foods judge at county fairs, was President of American Association of University Women and Retired Teachers of Fayette County for 4 years each, and Secretary of Tri Kappa for 12 years.
Besides being survived by her brother, two sisters, and two sons, her extended family includes several nieces and nephews, grandchildren and great-grandchildren-all of whom savored the taste of her amazing Chocolate Chip Chips!
Please join her family and friends in celebrating her amazing life during her visitation at Urban-Winkler Funeral Home , 513 W 8th Street, Connersville, IN, Sunday, January 6th from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. and funeral services on Monday, January 7th, at 11 a.m., with Rev. Curtis Hurley officiating. Burial will follow at Dale Cemetery. To sign the online guestbook or to send the family a personal message, please visit: