Jane Ewart McCall of Redding, Connecticut died January 23, 2013 of respiratory complications due to the flu. She was 97 years old.
She lived at Meadow Ridge, a residential living facility for seniors since 2002.
Daughter of Abigail Inghram and Clifford Bateman Ewart, she was born in Chicago on March 23, 1915, and spent her childhood in Winnetka, Illinois. When she was nine years old, her family, including her younger siblings Bateman and Nancy, moved to Ardsley-on-Hudson, New York.
Jane graduated from the Ethel Walker School in Simsbury, Connecticut and attended the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years. When she was 16 years old she won the Women’s 18 and Under High Diving Championship in Colorado Springs!
While summering on Nantucket Island, she met Howard Weaver McCall Jr., originally from Chattanooga, Tennessee. They were married in 1938. They lived in Manhattan, NY where she was a member of the Metropolitan Opera Guild. Shortly thereafter they moved to Darien, Connecticut where they raised their three children and were members of the Wee Burn Country Club.
Jane actively dedicated her time in support of her husband’s banking career. Mr. McCall, since deceased, was President of the Chemical Bank New York Trust Company (presently J.P. Morgan Chase).
As a complement to her family life, she embarked on what turned out to be a life’s journey of volunteerism. She was a member of the Motor Corps during WWII., she put on puppet shows for children’s groups with her dear friend, Van Crouse of Darien, and as a member of the Junior League worked for several years and was Chairperson for two years for the Children’s Aid Sale in Darien — benefitting Family and Children’s Services Norwalk, Ct. One year she won the award for the biggest spender! She also volunteered for over 25 years at Waveny Care Center in New Canaan, Ct. — cheering people up, as well as sharing music and stories with them.
Throughout her life, Jane’s passions were her love of sports and nature. She enjoyed riding, paddle tennis, tennis, sailing, golf, and her garden. Her greatest joy however, was her boundless gift of doing things with and for others — family and her wide circle of friends. She loved being a grandmother and was very interested and engaged in the lives and activities of her grandchildren and seven great grandsons. She enjoyed music and song. Her repertoire of songs was remarkable, legendary, and wonderful. Her love and knowledge of poetry and literature was illuminating. And her memory recall was as deep as can be, right up to her last days.
She suffered from severe vision loss due to macular degeneration, and impaired hearing in the last ten years of her life, which she dealt with, with stunning resilience and inspiration to many. Undaunted, she led her friends in the “stretch class” at Meadow Ridge with a different song every morning. She was grateful to her aides for all of their help during those years.
Jane touched a myriad of people through her song, high spirits, humor and “joie de vivre”.
She is survived by her two daughters, Nancy McCall Watson of New Canaan, CT. and John’s Island, Indian River Shores, Fla., Jane McCall Politi of New York, NY., and her son Buzz McCall of New York, NY.; two granddaughters, Wendy Watson Porter of New York, NY., Katerina Abigail Politi of Guilford, Ct.; two grandsons, Charles Ewart Watson of New Canaan, Ct., James Mauro Politi of Washington DC.; seven great grandsons, Charles McCall Watson, William Gunnar Watson, August Briggs Watson of New Canaan, Ct., Christopher Todd Porter Jr. and Cooper Eagles Porter of New York, NY., Lorenzo James Brian Graham of Guilford, Ct, Leonardo Adelio Kirchgaessner Politi of Washington DC.
In lieu of flowers, contributions may be sent to Waveny Care Center, 3 Farm Road, New Canaan, Ct., 06840.
—by the family