Dedicated teacher, loving mother
Jane Ellen Raser, a Claremont resident and longtime educator, died peacefully at age 69 on July 31, 2015 at Pilgrim Place due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. Her husband was at her side.
She was born on June 29, 1946 to C. Alvin and Sarah Jane Light and grew up in Palmyra, Pennsylvania. She received a bachelor’s degree from Messiah College in Grantham, Pennsylvania, a Master of Education from Shippensburg University and later a Master of Public Health degree from UCLA.
While at Messiah College, she met Carl J. Raser. They were married on June 22, 1971, and recently celebrated their 44th anniversary. Mrs. Raser enjoyed music and played piano and organ beautifully. She valued staying connected socially with family and friends and spiritually through Peace Fellowship, a local Anabaptist house church. She had an inquisitive nature and a sharp wit, matched by the ability to find the perfect words to express her views.
Jane was known for her frugality, clipping coupons with zeal and buying quality products only at deep discounts. She was upbeat and energetic about life, making a hobby of “liking” Facebook photos of her new granddaughter. Most important to her was being a mother. Her children are forever grateful for the innumerable hours she spent on southern California freeways carting them to-and-from school, sports practices, art classes and music lessons. She was completely devoted to her children, and was rewarded by seeing them become the kind of young adults she had hoped to raise.
Mrs. Raser was a dedicated and respected educator with more than 25 years experience in elementary education, retiring in 2008. She taught at Rowland Elementary School, St. Mark’s Episcopal School and Foothill Country Day School, making lasting impacts on students and parents alike. She stayed connected with many of her students and their families throughout the years.
After retirement, Mrs. Raser enjoyed getting together for coffee and chats with her many friends, going to water aerobics with her gym buddies and volunteering at REAL Connections, a resource network for seniors located in Claremont. She will be remembered as a loving wife, dedicated mother, adoring grandmother, caring friend and passionate educator, and will be greatly missed by all.
She is survived by her husband Carl J. Raser; by her daughter Sarah Jane Raser and son-in-law Ben Sherwood; by her son Andrew C. Raser and by her granddaughter Jane Gladys Sherwood. She also leaves her brother Earl Light and her sisters, Jean Macfarlane and Eleanor Hess.
The family will hold a memorial service on Saturday, August 15 at 3 p.m. in the Kresge Chapel at the Claremont School of Theology, located on the corner of west Foothill Boulevard and north College Avenue in Claremont. All are welcome to attend; a reception will follow.
Jane was a much-loved volunteer with REAL Connections, a program of Community Senior Services, and her family is thankful for the multiple resources provided by the program as Jane’s Parkinson’s progressed.
In lieu of flowers, contributions to REAL Connections made “in memory of Jane Raser” are appreciated. Memorial donations may be mailed to 141 Spring St., Claremont, CA 91711 or made online at www.communityseniorservices.org.