Mary Jane McKee

Obituary of Mary Jane McKee

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Mary Jane Challener McKee (age 92) died on January 15 after a brief illness at the University Medical Center in Princeton. Born on May 16, 1918 in McKeesport, Pennsylvania, she was the only daughter of Laura Jane Cummins Challener and John C. Challener. As a child, she enjoyed singing in choirs and playing the piano which led her to pursue and receive a degree in music education from Westminster College in New Wilmington, Pennsylvania. She taught music in elementary schools in the McKeesport area until she married and had two sons. Soon afterwards the family moved to Princeton where she dedicated herself to her family and her new community. Every summer since 1958, Mary Jane could be found at her beloved "Camp" -- a rustic lakeside cabin in the Adirondack Mountains of New York. It served as a peaceful, favorite retreat for family members and many, many friends. She was actively involved with the Nassau Presbyterian Church in Princeton; Big Moose Community Chapel in Big Moose, NY; the Presbyterian Women's Association; and P.E.O. whose philanthropy supports higher education for women. In addition to her love of family, community and music, Mary Jane was an excellent cook and a baker of delicious pies. She is survived by her sons, David of Philadelphia and Joseph of Monroe Township, NJ; her two grandchildren, Andrew and his wife Kanako and their 8 month-old daughter Annika of San Francisco and Elizabeth of Pittsburgh; and nine beloved nieces and nephews. A memorial service will be held in her honor at the Nassau Presbyterian Church, 61 Nassau Street, Princeton, NJ 08542 on Saturday, January 29 at 2:00 pm followed by a reception at the church. Driving directions & parking information at In lieu of flowers, the family requests donations to the Ben Tregoe Memorial Fund for Deacon Training at Nassau Presbyterian Church or the P.E.O. Foundation, P.E.O Treasurer's Department, 3700 Grand Avenue, Des Moines, IA 50312 (more information at
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