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Jane (Fowke) McCluskey

This world has lost one of its most generous & compassionate ladies, Jane McCluskey, who passed away January 19, 2014, in the home she loved surrounded by family. Born March 22, 1928, in Baltimore, "Janie" grew up in La Plata, MD, where, as the youngest of 3 children, she loved small-town life, her large circle of family & friends, climbing trees & roaming fields with her beloved dog, and, with her pal Pat Case, playing pranks on her teachers. After graduating from University of Maryland, Jane moved to California, where she met her beloved husband, Clovis "Mac" McCluskey, with whom she had 4 children and celebrated 52 years of marriage before his death in 2007. While taking a break from her profession as a social worker to spend time with her young children, Jane, Mac, and their kids moved from San Leandro to the small town of Cloverdale, where Jane became active in her church, PTA, VFW Auxiliary, and other local organizations. The driving force behind passage of a school levy (which failed 3 times before her leadership), Jane was selected "Woman of the Year" in 1962 by Cloverdale's Business and Professional Woman's Club. After moving with her family to Carmichael in 1966, Jane resumed her profession at the Sacramento County Welfare Department, working first with the permanently & totally disabled before finding her real passion in child welfare. Jane worked tirelessly to help children whose parents were unable to care for them, often going out late at night to pick up a child, testifying before the House Ways & Means Committee in the 1980s, and even testifying in court shortly after she was involved in an auto accident, still shaken & with bits of glass in her hair, because "her" kids were so important to her. After retiring in 1989, Mac and Jane settled in Pine Grove, and Jane threw her energy into activities at her church, Trinity Episcopal, where she was president of Episcopal Church Women in 1990 & 1991, and other local organizations, including Patriots for Peace, PEO, and Amador County Democrats, giving generously of her time in the Bill of Rights Contests, "Valentine Lunches", and volunteering for many years in Trinity Treasures (later Great Finds) thrift shop. Jane loved furry friends, especially dogs, and included them in her family all her life; she also loved most wildlife "critters" and took pleasure in feeding the deer and foxes that came around her home. She enjoyed playing bridge and continued games with her buddies in Sacramento even after moving to Pine Grove. An avid reader, Jane's collection of mystery, historical, and biographical novels rivaled that of most libraries; as her collection grew, her son Steve built bookshelves and storage rooms to house her books, many of which she found while enjoying another of her favorite activities--wandering through used-book stores and thrift stores in search of treasures. Possessing an extensive vocabulary and an eye for detail, Jane was a formidable Scrabble player and made short work of even the most difficult jigsaw puzzle. She loved watching old movies, and never tired of her favorite, Gone With The Wind. A woman of great integrity and lover of all humanity, Jane always saw the best in everyone and overlooked their faults; she was filled with respect for all and celebrated our differences. Jane especially cherished her family and always found time, patience, and energy to share in their lives. Predeceased by her parents Gus and Agnes, her siblings, Bill & Eleanor, and her beloved husband, Jane will be greatly missed by her four children Mike, Eyleen, Steve (who lovingly devoted his life to caring for her during her struggle with Alzheimer's), & Scott, as well as her "favorite" son-in-law Jack Shouman, her daughters-in-law Myriam & Dina McCluskey, her grandkids George, Nick, Brian, Kayti, Nadine, and Erika, her niece Pam, nephew Dale, brothers-in-law, Dan McCluskey and Jim Clark, sister-in-law Lois Clark, and extended family and many friends. A memorial service will be held for Jane on Saturday, March 22, 2014, at 2:00 p.m. at Trinity Episcopal Church, 430 State Highway 49, Sutter Creek, CA 95685. In lieu of flowers, contributions in Jane's honor will be welcome at Interfaith Food Bank of Amador County, 12181 Airport Road, Jackson, CA 95642.


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