Saturday, July 22, 2023, our hearts broke with the passing of our beloved wife, mother, sister, aunt, ‘nana’ and friend, Martha “Jane” McCarthy, her devoted husband by her side.
Jane was beautiful, kind, effortlessly charming and loved by all. Left to cherish her memory are her devoted husband Brian and their three children, Todd, Jennifer “J.J.” (Dean) and Jill; honorary family, Bob Angus, Lisa Lewis and their children, Hale and Marley, who affectionately named her Nana Jane. Her sisters Pat Wetmore (Wayne) and Kate Blackford; in-laws Creighton McCarthy (Christine); Mabel McCarthy (Paulette Foley); Gary Schaupmeyer (Judy Anonson); Clive Schaupmeyer (Willie). Jane is also survived by many treasured nieces, nephews, extended family, and an incredible number of close friends, who won’t be named for fear of missing someone.
Martha “Jane” McCarthy (nee Blackford) was born on August 11, 1942, in St. John’s, Newfoundland, to the late Harry and Harriet (Bennett) Blackford. Her father’s career took the family to Saint John, New Brunswick and later they settled in Amherst, Nova Scotia. It was there she met the love of her life, Brian McCarthy; she loved to tell the story of how they met, at a school dance at the young age of 14. Jane and Brian were together for 66 years, married for 57 years, and still celebrated their special day when Brian asked her to go steady on November 14, 1957.
The happy couple began their married life in Halifax. Brian’s Scotiabank career soon transferred them to Toronto and the young family settled in Oakville, Ontario where they raised their three children and made lifelong friendships that continue to this day. The couple built a cottage in Amherst Shore in 1969 and would bring the family back home every summer. After 46 years in Oakville, they made the cottage their permanent home; daughters J.J and Jill soon followed, building their own cottages close to their parents.
Jane loved to travel with Brian; she was his trusted co-pilot as they road tripped an estimated million miles visiting all 10 provinces and 50 states. They also enjoyed vacations to Barbados, Hawaii, and many cruise port destinations; the favorite being a family Caribbean cruise to celebrate Jane and Brian’s 50th wedding anniversary where their kids honored them with a surprise wedding renewal ceremony. Jane and Brian also spent the past 12 winters in Destin Florida, making meaningful friendships everywhere she went.
Jane loved to be early, everywhere, all the time, and was exasperated that her family didn’t share her obsession for promptness, Brian included! If the kids were performing in a school play or concert, Jane would be there two hours early to ensure front row seats, holding one for Brian as she waited for him to rush from his office to make it just in time.
Jane loved anything lemon, the more tart the better. She loved to read and could devour a novel from start to finish in what seemed like an afternoon. She loved a simple tall glass of ice water with more ice than water. She loved rainbows, especially when they appeared over the cove and watching the ocean on a stormy day, never tiring of the magic of the tides and the renewal it brought with it every day.
Jane’s love for her family was evident in everything she did, always going above and beyond, from agreeing to being a contestant with Jill on the Just Like Mom gameshow, to chaperoning J.J.’s school trips to Washington, to always giving up her front passenger seat to Todd on family road trips.
As family was her priority, Jane was a full-time homemaker until the kids were a bit older and resumed her career as a secretary in the mining industry.
The family’s annual trek through the forest to select the perfect Christmas tree was something she looked forward to; Jane would always bring hot chocolate and marshmallows to roast by the bonfire. Leading up to Christmas she spent weeks baking dozens of her famous Cinnamon Coffee Cake, wrapping them with love and sending to those close to her. Her daughters look forward to inheriting the secret recipe, knowing she’ll want them to measure that cinnamon sugar with their heart and more butter, always more butter.
Jane loved to sing and dance; ABBA, Elvis, Bee Gees, or even the Pointer Sisters would always get her dancing with Brian in the kitchen. During her 80th birthday celebrations at an ABBA Revisited show, she was called to the stage to sing and dance with the band like it was the 1970’s all over again. She had the best sense of humor, funny even when not trying and never lost her enviable childlike sense of wonder. Whether throwing pool parties in Oakville or hurricane parties at the shore, she was happiest surrounded by family and friends.
Jane was proud of her Newfoundland heritage, often making the kitchen the heart of the home; from tautons to summer savory to fish cakes to Sunday roast dinners, there was always room at the table for those eager to join.
Jane was a breast cancer survivor for over 40 years, sadly in her later years, cancer returned to her bone marrow, and we lost her to a rare and aggressive form of leukemia (B-cell lymphoproliferative).
Thank you, Jane/Mom, for your never-ending support and unwavering commitment to your family. We know you are now watching over us, with a song in your heart, a dance in your step and maybe, just maybe, playing the occasional game of ‘old lady hopscotch’.
Jane lived a long and wonderful life; we love her and will miss her always. Forever in our hearts, always our Dancing Queen.
The family is grateful to Dr. Bobadilla and the caring staff at the Cumberland Regional Health Care Center.
Online condolences & sharing of memories may be forwarded to the family at Campbell’s Funeral Home, via: www.campbellsamherst.ca
As per Jane’s wishes, there will not be a funeral service, cremation has taken place. A graveside service will be held in the St. Charles-Nativity Cemetery, Amherst at a later date.
A Celebration of Life will take place on Saturday August 12, 2023 between the hours of 2-4pm held at Campbell’s Funeral Home, 98 Church St., Amherst, NS (902) 667-9906.
In lieu of floral tributes, memorial contributions in Jane’s memory can be made to the Cumberland Hospice Palliative Care Society.