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Jeanne McFall

Jeanne Robinson McFall

84, passed away Wednesday, December 5, 2012, in the Indianapolis home where she spent most of her life.

In many ways Jeanne was her generation's version of social media. She thrived on the connections to be made among those she met, and she made them with frenetic yet warm energy and rich hospitality. In return, her family and friends counted on Jeanne, like Facebook and Twitter, to keep them connected.

Jeanne will be remembered for the impromptu gatherings around her kitchen table and on her back porch, for the Christmas stockings she knitted for over hundreds of family and friends, for the gifts of oatmeal chocolate-chip cookies for any occasion or none at all, for her annual post-Indy 500 brunches, and for her incurable urge to document the lives of those around her through photos, scrapbooks, clippings from the Indianapolis Star and News, and long, newsy handwritten notes. She will be missed by a wide network of family and friends who knew her almost universally as "Aunt Jeanne."

She was born on June 27, 1928, in Indianapolis, to Robert D. and Blanche Robinson, both deceased. She graduated from Indiana University in 1950. She attended Orchard School, Shortridge High School, and Tudor Hall, where she graduated in 1946 and was cited in its yearbook for always having "a camera in one hand, pencils in her hair, and an ability to be heard despite any noise."

Jeanne was an active member of Junior League, the Garden Club of Indianapolis, the Dramatic Club, the Lambs Club, and Meridian Hills Country Club. She spent summers with extended family in her parents' cottage on the east shore of Lake Maxinkuckee. She also was an avid campaigner for the Republican Party, serving as a precinct committeewoman for over 20 years. She was rewarded by meetings with four different Presidents and attendance at two Presidential Inaugurations - and has pictures in her kitchen to prove it.

Jeanne's knack for welcoming and connecting people served her best in her job as prime-time hostess at Daddy Jack's Restaurant and Bar. She was owner Jim Thompson's real aunt, but all the customers' adopted one, so they all called her "Aunt Jeanne." She was honored for her work in 2002 as a recipient of the city's ROSE Award for excellence in hospitality, and she still has a reserved parking space at Daddy Jack's years after she has been able to use it.

Jeanne was preceded in death by her husband Frederick T. McFall. She is survived by her daughters Marjorie "Nupi" McCreary and husband John; Anne Cremer and husband Tripp; Robin Gehrt and husband John (deceased); and her son Frederick T. McFall, Jr. and wife Carrie.

Jeanne's grandchildren and great grandchildren, whom she loved deeply, are Janie Gowland Mahoney, husband Ryan, and their daughters Ellie and Anna, Annie Gowland, and Joe Gowland; Alex, Trip, and Keeley McFall; and Charlie and Lucy Cremer.

Jeanne also leaves behind 15 nephews and nieces and 56 great-nephews and nieces, many of whom grew up on the family properties surrounding hers and played basketball in the hayloft of its big red barn, like the kids in the generation before them.

Jeanne was also preceded in death by her sister Janis Robinson Thompson, and is survived by her brothers Dr. Robert D. Robinson, Jr., and Jay Douglas Robinson, all of whom she adored.

Jeanne's family gratefully acknowledges the loving in-home care provided by all the wonderful caregivers over her recent years of declining health.

There will be a private burial and service on Sunday afternoon, December 9. Friends are invited to join the family in a celebration of Jeanne's life on Sunday evening, 4 to 7 pm, at Meridian Hills Country Club.

You are invited to the website http://www.leppertmortuary.com where you may share a personal memory of Jeanne, sign the guest book or arrange for a memorial contribution to the Washington Township Schools Foundation, 8550 Woodfield Crossing Blvd. Indianapolis, IN 46240 (http://www.wtsfoundation.org).

Funeral arrangements entrusted to

Leppert Mortuary, Nora Chapel.

Funeral Home

Leppert Mortuary Nora Chapel
740 E 86th Street Indianapolis, IN 46240
(317) 844-3966

Published in the The Indianapolis Star on Dec. 7, 2012
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