Jane Carswell Corrigan
October 11, 1931 – June 20, 2021
Jane Carswell Corrigan (Mrs. Robert Foster Corrigan), 89, of Coral Gables, Fla., died June 20, 2021 at Baptist Hospital of Miami after a short illness.
She was born in Syracuse, N.Y., on October 11, 1931 to Clara Hunt Carswell of Schuylerville, N.Y., and Earl Thomas Carswell of Fort Miller, N.Y. She was the granddaughter of Annette Newcomb Hunt and Clarence Hunt of Schuylerville, N.Y., and of Grace Angle Carswell and Daniel F. Carswell of Fort Miller, N.Y.
Jane grew up in Glens Falls, N.Y., where her father owned and managed Carswell Motors, an International Harvester distributorship that sold trucks and tractors. She helped out at the dealership for much of her youth and as a result was known for her ability to drive anything on wheels and fix most things mechanical.
A junior prom queen, Jane graduated from Glens Falls High School in 1949 and then enrolled at Mount Holyoke College. While studying at the University of Geneva during her junior year, she met her future husband, a Foreign Service Officer with the State Department who was stationed in nearby Heidelberg, Germany.
In 1952 she married Robert Foster Corrigan of Cleveland, Ohio, and spent the next 20 years living overseas in Dakar, French West Africa (now Senegal), Santiago, Chile, Guatemala City, Guatemala, Panama Canal Zone, São Paulo, Brazil, and Kigali, Rwanda.
Jane was the consummate hostess and an elegant, intelligent and beloved partner to her husband as he served in his many posts, which included being Deputy Chief of Protocol in Washington (and attending many state dinners at the White House with President & Mrs. Eisenhower) and culminated with his appointment as a U.S. Ambassador.
She raised five children in what were sometimes very difficult circumstances that included attempted coups d’état. She once had to talk her way through a curfew checkpoint late at night to get to the hospital in order to give birth.
She was multi-lingual, and attended parent-teacher conferences in Spanish, Portuguese and French.
Jane flew single-engine planes in both Guatemala and Panama and in 1967 participated in the U.S. Southern Command’s tropic survival training program alongside special forces teams preparing for Vietnam deployments. She wrote an article about her experience which was published in the Foreign Service Journal.
Jane also managed all the Red Cross volunteers at Gorgas Hospital in the Canal Zone.
In most of the countries where she lived, she travelled to very remote areas to visit and encourage religious missionaries. She sent food and supplies to, among others, the Maryknoll sisters and priests who served the poor in remote areas of Guatemala.
Her Catholic faith was very strong and was an inspiration to her family and friends.
After Robert’s retirement from the State Department in 1973, the family returned to Chevy Chase, Md.
While continuing to raise her children, Jane studied to become a registered nurse. For over two decades she worked at Suburban Hospital in Bethesda, Md., both as a critical care nurse and later as director of quality assurance, and at the Washington Hospice. Jane was an alumna of Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley, Mass.; the University of Geneva in Switzerland; and American University in Washington, D.C., where she earned a B.S. in Nursing. She also took master level courses at The Catholic University of America. She was a Dame of Malta, a member of the Daughters of the American Revolution (DAR), and was active in many other religious, civic, nursing and volunteer organizations.
Jane was preceded in death by her husband in 2005; her only sister, Joan Carswell Clarke (Mrs. Vincent Clarke) of Glens Falls, N.Y., in 2015, and by 3 babies who died in their infancy.
She is survived by five children: Kevin Corrigan of Hedgesville, W.Va. and his wife Nancy Novotny Corrigan; Mary Annette Corrigan Ogden of Houston, Texas; Martha Jane Allison of Santa Cruz, Calif. and her husband Michael Allison; Robert Foster Corrigan, Jr. of Houston, Texas and his wife Gwendolyn Killam Corrigan; and Susan Corrigan of Coral Gables, Fla. She is also survived by nine beloved grandchildren: Cecilia Ann Corrigan and her wife Stephanie Jeanne Williams; Christina Jane Corrigan Matthew and her husband Eric Shaun Matthew; Robert Andrew Corrigan; Kevin Francis Corrigan; Maj. Wesley Robert Ogden, USMCR and his wife LCDR Mary Katherine Dann Ogden, USNR; Sheila Corrigan Ogden and her husband John Webb Shaddix; Kelly Corrigan Ogden Elliott and her husband Garrett Wesley Elliott; Robert Foster Corrigan, III; and William Perry Corrigan. She is also survived by eleven great-grandchildren: Sara Elizabeth Matthew, Anna Sofia Matthew, Rebecca Jane Matthew, William Robert Ogden, Emma Corrigan Ogden, Katherine Elizabeth Ogden, Madeline Claire Ogden, Evelyn Jane Shaddix, Lorna Anne Shaddix, Glenn Wesley Elliott and Asher Ogden Elliott. Jane is also survived by her beloved nieces and nephews Annette Clarke Hewitt, David Vincent Clarke, Sheila Hannah Duggan, John Corrigan, Blaise Corrigan, Ned Corrigan, Kim Corrigan Stojic, Martin Corrigan, Michael Corrigan, Kathryn Corrigan Woods, Peter Corrigan, Maura Corrigan McCurdy, Francine Pappano Jacome, Patrick Pappano and Carla Pappano Goldberg and their families.
Visitation will take place on Friday, June 25, 2021 from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. at Helsley-Johnson Funeral Home & Cremation Center, 95 Union Street, Berkeley Springs, W.Va.
A Mass of Christian Burial will be held at St. Bernadette Catholic Church in Hedgesville, W.Va. on Saturday, June 26, 2021 at 11 a.m., followed by Jane’s interment next to her husband at Hedges Chapel Cemetery in Hedgesville, W.Va.
Online condolences may be expressed at www.helsleyjohnsonfh.com.
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. – Romans 8:38