OBITUARY

Jeanette Louise McColligan

November 13, 1940March 4, 2018
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Jeanette Louise “Jan” McColligan entered the world on November 13th, 1940, one week after Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected as president. She was born in Camden, New Jersey to Arthur and Florence Escott. She was the third of four children, and their only daughter.

From a young age, Jeanette demonstrated a passion for music and dancing. Despite their humble means, her mother and father encouraged her to cultivate these gifts with voice, dance, and acting lessons. At eleven years old, she attended modeling school. Her poise and natural beauty was only a reflection of an inner beauty, one that was frequently manifested in her care and compassion for others.

Jan was a good student and enjoyed school. Her strongest areas included reading and writing. Both would serve her well, as she enjoyed poetry and letter-writing throughout her lifetime.

It wasn't all about school. She would also use her writing skills as the president and newsletter editor of the Bill Haley and the Comets fan club. Her love of music and dancing led to her appearing on the American Bandstand on a number of occasions. She was thrilled to dance among the regulars and be on television, waiving to her proud mom in New Jersey.

It was during this time that she met a young man “Jim” from Gloucester, NJ. They dated throughout high school and married soon after Jan’s graduation. They were married for only a short time when Jim was drafted into the Army. Jan followed her husband to the South when he was sent for training. It was at this time that Jan was first exposed to racial segregation. Witnessing this injustice on a daily basis left an indelible mark on her. As a form of protest, she refused to recognize ‘whites only’ drinking fountains and bathrooms and purposefully crossed unjust racial boundaries to demonstrate solidarity. Echoing King’s words, she embraced the idea that no person should be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Jan’s husband was next deployed to Germany. This marked a difficult period in Jan’s life. While writing letters helped, the separation became too much to bear. Always determined, Jan found a way and soon traveled to Germany to reunite with her young husband. These years were full of adventure and new experiences. They hiked in the mountains and met shepherds, toured castles, and enjoyed Oktoberfest. While living abroad broadened Jan’s horizons, it also reinforced her love of America and the American political process. She believed change could only come through involvement and giving of one’s time and resources. She embraced Democratic ideals and would have a life-long affiliation with the Democratic Party.

Jan worked at a bank, and later Time Life books in Philadelphia. Her natural aptitude for organization and accuracy made her a valuable asset to her employers. She was well liked for her fun-loving attitude and sense of humor.

In 1966, Jan and Jim welcomed their first of four children (all boys). After years of infertility, the arrival of their first child (Mike) brought great joy to them both. It was during this period of life that Jan discovered her greatest calling: Motherhood. She truly embraced being a mother, teaching and showing her children how to love and be loved. Joe would follow in 1969, then Dan in 1972, and finally Rich in 1975. Ever the organizer, it was said that Jan planned the three-year age gaps to foster mentoring and camaraderie among the brothers.

Though quite busy, 1970s were a time of great joy for Jan and her young family. They bought their first new house in Williamstown, New Jersey. This tight knit community sat on the edge of the Pine Barrens, a dense forested area in south-central part of the state. Neighbors became close friends and life was very good. It was not uncommon for neighborhood children to randomly show up for Mrs. M’s famous pancakes or pot-roast. The summers meant going to the Jersey shore and the cabin in the woods. Despite never learning to swim, Jan had a life-long love of the water. For nearly a decade, they watched their children grow and thrive.

In 1979, the family moved to Kansas City. While very difficult at first, Jan finally embraced her new life in Kansas and quickly assimilated to Midwestern living. Always the supportive mother, Jan made certain that her children were afforded every opportunity to grow through involvement in activities and sports. Like in New Jersey, her house became a gathering place for neighborhood kids. She took a liking to baseball and faithfully followed the Royals.

Soon grandchildren would come: Mike, Mark, Andrew, Kate, and Lydia. Like with her children, she found great pleasure in being involved in her grandchildren’s lives. She was proud of each of them for their unique giftedness. She never forgot a birthday, graduation, or school event.

In retirement, Jan enjoyed spending more time with her family. She enjoyed visiting her lake house in Missouri and traveling to Florida. She purchased a boat, and took great pleasure in seeing her kids and grandkids enjoy being out on the water. As a longtime Royals fan, she particularly enjoyed attending games at ‘The K’ with her son, Dan. She remained politically engaged, financially supporting candidates that advocated for social justice. She also contributed to a number of local and national charities that assisted unwanted and neglected animals.

Jan spent her last year at Villa St. Francis. Here she made friends and continued being involved with her community. Always quick with a smile, she was often recognized as the woman in the Blue Royal’s hat. She enjoyed visiting with her friends and attending worship services and devotional time. Eight weeks before she passed away, she could be heard singing the Hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ in her clear, well-trained voice.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Bob and Tom, and her husband, Jim. She is survived by her sons and their spouses: Mike and wife, Dolores, Joe and wife, Ching, Dan and wife, Melanie, and Rich and wife, Sara. She is also survived by her grandchildren Mike, Mark, Andrew, Kate, and Lydia.

She lived life to the fullest and will be greatly missed.

Her Celebration of Life Service will be held 11:15 am, Friday, March 9th at Villa St. Francis Chapel, 16600 W. 126th Street, Olathe, KS 66062. Her graveside service will follow at 1pm in Resurrection Cemetery, Lenexa, KS. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions may be given to The Obama Foundation, P.O. Box 15400, Chicago, IL 60615 (Checks made payable to The Barack Obama Foundation) or The Humane Society of Greater Kansas City, 5445 Parallel Parkway, Kansas City, KS 66104.

  • FAMILY

  • Arthur Escott, Father
  • Florence (Vissell) Escott, Mother
  • Thomas Escott, Brother
  • Robert Hettrick, Brother
  • James McColligan, Husband
  • Michael James McColligan and wife, Dolores, Son
  • Joseph Mark McColligan and wife, Ching, Son
  • Daniel Ryan McColligan and wife, Melanie, Son
  • Richard John McColligan and wife, Sara, Son
  • Michael John McColligan, Grandson
  • Mark Anthony McColligan, Grandson
  • Andrew Thomas McColligan, Grandson
  • Kate Irene McColligan, Granddaughter
  • Lydia Elizabeth McColligan, Granddaughter
  • Arthur Buster Escott, Brother
  • PALLBEARERS

  • Michael McColligan
  • Joseph McColligan
  • Daniel McColligan
  • Richard McColligan
  • Michael McColligan
  • Mark McColligan

Services

  • Celebration of Life Service Friday, March 9, 2018
  • Graveside Service Friday, March 9, 2018
REMEMBERING

Jeanette Louise McColligan

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Susan Stivala

March 18, 2018

I was heart broken to hear of Jeanette's passing. My Mother, Pat Cheves, has also been a resident of Villa St. Francis this past year. Every time I would visit my Mom, Jeanette's sweet face and blue KC ball cap would brighten my day and subsequently my visit! I always made a point of hugging her and spending time with her! She enjoyed talking to my Mom about Germany, travel, kids, grandkids, baseball and politics! She had a wonderful sense of humor and only knowing her a short time, I could tell what a special lady she was and I will miss her on my visits to see my Mom!

Linda Harvey

March 7, 2018

Jeanette was such a lovely lady. We got to be grandmothers together and I appreciated her very much. She has the loveliest family, Mike and I send our love and prayers to all of them.

Michael Nachlas

March 7, 2018

There are stars whose light reaches the earth only after they themselves have disintegrated and are no more.
And there are people whose scintillating memory lights the world after they have passed from it
These lights -which shine in the darkest night -are those which illuminate for us the path.

A sweet woman who loved her family. She will always shine the light. RIP

Scott Satterfield

March 6, 2018

I only had the privilege of meeting Jeanette a few times. She was a very kind lady. My condolences to the McColligan family.

FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY
FROM THE FAMILY

Biography

Jeanette Louise “Jan” McColligan entered the world on November 13th, 1940, one week after Franklin Roosevelt was re-elected as president. She was born in Camden, New Jersey to Arthur and Florence Escott. She was the third of four children, and their only daughter.

From a young age, Jeanette demonstrated a passion for music and dancing. Despite their humble means, her mother and father encouraged her to cultivate these gifts with voice, dance, and acting lessons. At eleven years old, she attended modeling school. Her poise and natural beauty was only a reflection of an inner beauty, one that was frequently manifested in her care and compassion for others.

Jan was a good student and enjoyed school. Her strongest areas included reading and writing. Both would serve her well, as she enjoyed poetry and letter-writing throughout her lifetime.

It wasn't all about school. She would also use her writing skills as the president and newsletter editor of the Bill Haley and the Comets fan club. Her love of music and dancing led to her appearing on the American Bandstand on a number of occasions. She was thrilled to dance among the regulars and be on television, waiving to her proud mom in New Jersey.

It was during this time that she met a young man “Jim” from Gloucester, NJ. They dated throughout high school and married soon after Jan’s graduation. They were married for only a short time when Jim was drafted into the Army. Jan followed her husband to the South when he was sent for training. It was at this time that Jan was first exposed to racial segregation. Witnessing this injustice on a daily basis left an indelible mark on her. As a form of protest, she refused to recognize ‘whites only’ drinking fountains and bathrooms and purposefully crossed unjust racial boundaries to demonstrate solidarity. Echoing King’s words, she embraced the idea that no person should be judged by the color of their skin but by the content of their character.

Jan’s husband was next deployed to Germany. This marked a difficult period in Jan’s life. While writing letters helped, the separation became too much to bear. Always determined, Jan found a way and soon traveled to Germany to reunite with her young husband. These years were full of adventure and new experiences. They hiked in the mountains and met shepherds, toured castles, and enjoyed Oktoberfest. While living abroad broadened Jan’s horizons, it also reinforced her love of America and the American political process. She believed change could only come through involvement and giving of one’s time and resources. She embraced Democratic ideals and would have a life-long affiliation with the Democratic Party.

Jan worked at a bank, and later Time Life books in Philadelphia. Her natural aptitude for organization and accuracy made her a valuable asset to her employers. She was well liked for her fun-loving attitude and sense of humor.

In 1966, Jan and Jim welcomed their first of four children (all boys). After years of infertility, the arrival of their first child (Mike) brought great joy to them both. It was during this period of life that Jan discovered her greatest calling: Motherhood. She truly embraced being a mother, teaching and showing her children how to love and be loved. Joe would follow in 1969, then Dan in 1972, and finally Rich in 1975. Ever the organizer, it was said that Jan planned the three-year age gaps to foster mentoring and camaraderie among the brothers.

Though quite busy, 1970s were a time of great joy for Jan and her young family. They bought their first new house in Williamstown, New Jersey. This tight knit community sat on the edge of the Pine Barrens, a dense forested area in south-central part of the state. Neighbors became close friends and life was very good. It was not uncommon for neighborhood children to randomly show up for Mrs. M’s famous pancakes or pot-roast. The summers meant going to the Jersey shore and the cabin in the woods. Despite never learning to swim, Jan had a life-long love of the water. For nearly a decade, they watched their children grow and thrive.

In 1979, the family moved to Kansas City. While very difficult at first, Jan finally embraced her new life in Kansas and quickly assimilated to Midwestern living. Always the supportive mother, Jan made certain that her children were afforded every opportunity to grow through involvement in activities and sports. Like in New Jersey, her house became a gathering place for neighborhood kids. She took a liking to baseball and faithfully followed the Royals.

Soon grandchildren would come: Mike, Mark, Andrew, Kate, and Lydia. Like with her children, she found great pleasure in being involved in her grandchildren’s lives. She was proud of each of them for their unique giftedness. She never forgot a birthday, graduation, or school event.

In retirement, Jan enjoyed spending more time with her family. She enjoyed visiting her lake house in Missouri and traveling to Florida. She purchased a boat, and took great pleasure in seeing her kids and grandkids enjoy being out on the water. As a longtime Royals fan, she particularly enjoyed attending games at ‘The K’ with her son, Dan. She remained politically engaged, financially supporting candidates that advocated for social justice. She also contributed to a number of local and national charities that assisted unwanted and neglected animals.

Jan spent her last year at Villa St. Francis. Here she made friends and continued being involved with her community. Always quick with a smile, she was often recognized as the woman in the Blue Royal’s hat. She enjoyed visiting with her friends and attending worship services and devotional time. Eight weeks before she passed away, she could be heard singing the Hymn ‘Amazing Grace’ in her clear, well-trained voice.

She was preceded in death by her parents, brothers Bob and Tom, and her husband, Jim. She is survived by her sons and their spouses: Mike and wife, Dolores, Joe and wife, Ching, Dan and wife, Melanie, and Rich and wife, Sara. She is also survived by her grandchildren: Mike, Mark, Andrew, Kate, and Lydia.

She lived life to the fullest and will be greatly missed.