Obituary: Jane MacLeod

Beloved great grandmother, chemist, volunteer, crossword devotee


Longtime Claremont resident Jane MacLeod died April 13 at the age of 95. 

Jane (Drury) MacLeod was born in Brooklyn, New York in 1924. For much of her childhood she lived in Connecticut, Rhode Island and Massachusetts. Eventually, her parents kept a farm near Nobleboro, Maine as a possible retreat from the oncoming Depression years.

She earned a bachelor’s in chemistry from Middlebury College in Vermont. This led her to employment as a chemist at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where she contributed to the development of the Cyclotron for medical purposes.

Prior to MIT, while working at a registration table for fall classes at Middlebury, she met a friendly US Navy veteran who turned out to be Clif MacLeod. The couple were married, and Clif began working for the University of Rochester, New York, where he launched his career and soon after, a family.

The family numbered six when they moved to sleepy, idyllic Claremont in 1959. There they welcomed their fifth child, and Ms. MacLeod became involved in many volunteer and leisure activities, including the Girl Scouts, the Red Cross for 40-plus years, Claremont Congregational Church, Claremont Presbyterian Church, Clan MacLeod in the US as well as in Scotland, tutoring at El Roble Intermediate School, various bridge groups (where she was known as “the shark”), and Jazz Vespers at Claremont Manor. She was also, up until the end, a crossword puzzle devotee.

The MacLeods made The Claremont Manor their home in 2001, joining many longtime friends.

“Jane would mesmerize her children and grandchildren with tales about her younger years, astonishing all with her great recall of details,” her family shared. “She was a warm, loving and sensible mother who was devoted to raising a strong family.”

She is survived by her five children, Libby Casper (Rick) of Long Beach, Peggy Regan (Dan) of Los Alamitos, Barbara Irvine (Bruce) of Concord, Ken MacLeod (Jan) of Coronado and Sarah Harebottle of Indio; ten grandchildren; and 3 great grandchildren.

“She left us grateful for the legacy she imparted to her family,” her family said. “She is already missed by all.”

A memorial service is scheduled for 11 a.m. Saturday, May 11 at Claremont Presbyterian Church, 1111 N. Mountain Ave., Claremont.


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