Jane Stevenson Heitman
Heitman, Jane Stevenson Jane Stevenson Heitman died peacefully in her home in Columbia, Missouri, on Friday, May 18, 2018. She was 85. From 1973 to 1993, Mrs. Heitman provided practical wisdom and connections to social services as the Post-Dispatch's ninth and final Martha Carr. In addition to her daily columns, she personally answered over a hundred letters and phone calls each week while writing frequent travel and feature articles. She created and edited the award-winning KIDS DAY page for elementary school children, and oversaw the identification and write-up of the Post's annual 100 Neediest Cases. Mrs. Heitman retired from the Post in 1999. She was a lifelong volunteer for service and professional organizations including the Girl Scouts of America; the American Cancer Society; the St. Louis Better Business Bureau; the American Association of University Women; Women for City Living; the St. Louis Newspaper Guild; the St. Louis Press Club; the Food Crisis Network; and the East-West Gateway Coordinating Council Environmental Task Force. In the early 1960s, Mrs. Heitman developed the Delmar-Cates pilot preschool program at Ascension Episcopal Church, which later became the Head Start program in St. Louis. She later served as a member and President of the board of directors of the Grace Hill Settlement House. Mrs. Heitman was an honors graduate of Swarthmore College and pursued additional studies at the University of Edinburgh, Northwestern University, University of Illinois-Carbondale and Eden Seminary. Prior to joining the Post, she served as Director of Public Relations for Maryville College (now Maryville University) through the institutional changes of Vatican II; as the first Coordinator of Alumni-Student Relations for Washington University in St. Louis during the national upheaval over civil rights and the war in Vietnam; and as Director of Public Relations for the Missouri Botanical Garden. She was preceded in death by her husband of 57 years, Robert Donald Heitman; her sister, Louise Stevenson Chalkley of Kensington, Maryland; and brothers, Kenyon Stevenson of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, and James D. Stevenson of Cleveland Heights, Ohio. Survivors include her children, Elizabeth Heitman, Kristin Heitman, John F. Heitman III, and Emily Heitman; her grandchildren, James K. Heitman, Alexander I. Heitman, Catherine Heitman Berry, Laura Heitman Berry, and Kathleen S. Heitman; son-in-law, James M. Berry and daughterin-law, Michelle M. Heitman; and beloved nieces and nephews. The family is deeply grateful to Cleora Hughes for her professional and intellectual camaraderie and enduring friendship. Services: A private committal service was held at Christ Church Cathedral, 1210 Locust Street, St. Louis, Missouri. Memorial donations may be made to Grace Hill Settlement House, 2600 Hadley St, St. Louis, Missouri 63106.
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Published by St. Louis Post-Dispatch on Jun. 24, 2018.
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I first knew her as Martha Carr, one of the first features besides the comics that I read in the Post-Dispatch when I was a child. Later, after I joined the Post-Dispatch staff, I knew Jane as a wise and valuable colleague. She had a heart as big as outdoors and a talent not only for writing, but for understanding the sometimes unspoken pain behind the letters to Martha. That was one reason why Jane could never simply ignore all the requests for advice and "friend find" that came in, and why she wrote so many personal letters to folks whose questions didn't make it into her column. Jane, you were a role model well before we met. My condolences to the family.
Virginia (Hick) Gilbert
June 25, 2018