Mary Jane (McGraw) Cogan (“Jane”), born December 26, 1930 in Kansas City, MO, passed away on November 13, 2017 in San Diego, CA. She is survived by her twin brother, John V. (Jack) McGraw, Jr, and sister-in-law, Joan (Davey) McGraw of Rancho Mirage, CA; her son, Dennis Cogan and daughter-in-law Joan (Sullivan) Cogan, grandson Michael (21), granddaughter Rylin (18) of Bentonville, Ark; son Thomas (Tommy) of Omaha, NE; daughter Molly Cogan of San Francisco, CA; daughter Katie (Cogan) Mittleider and son-in-law Ric Mittleider, of San Diego, CA. She was preceded in death by her father, John V. McGraw, Sr., and her mother, Mary (Cunningham) McGraw of San Diego, originally from Kansas City, MO.
Jane expressed her lifelong love of traveling while working at the AAA Travel department in both Kansas City and Omaha for years, helping to plan her client’s travel needs and trips in the 1950-1960’s before computers, the internet, and Google.
Jane learned to love dance at an early age as she danced in her grandparents basement in Kansas City, MO to the Irish gigs they played on their concertina and fiddle. In her early twenties, she taught ballroom dancing, and continued to love dance all her life. She enrolled in a wheelchair ballroom dance class which she loved in her later years.
After her four children were born, and her eldest son Dennis turned 12 years, Jane moved the family to San Diego, CA in 1970 primarily to escape the cold winters of the Midwest, to enjoy a warmer climate to alleviate pain of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA). In addition to RA, Jane was diagnosed with several other chronic illnesses over the years, and she faced it all with a sense of humor, bravery, humility and grace.
She worked at the global manufacturing company, Solar Turbines, where over a 26-year career she rose from a secretarial position to become their lead Production Inventory Control Analyst. She earned her Bachelors in Business Administration, from National University, in 1982 at the age of 52, with emphasis in Production Inventory Control. She was the Secretary of the San Diego Chapter of APICS (American Production and Inventory Control Society.) She retired from Solar Turbines in 1996.
Jane was more free to travel after retirement, and never seemed to unpack. She made several trips to Ireland where her mother was born (County Limerick), and later in life enjoyed hearing the travel adventures of both her grandchildren as they followed in her footsteps. Jane loved her trips across Europe, Canada, Mexico, and most all 50 states via trains, planes, automobiles, ferries, cruise ships, cars and buses.
Jane was an avid golfer all her life. She loved watching golf every weekend on the golf channel, as well as watching the Pros at Torrey Pines Golf Course every year as her family pushed the wheelchair from hole to hole. She played golf in a handicapped division in San Diego, taught by a PGA Pro, up until a few years ago, through a physical therapy program at Alvarado Hospital. She played in several of the handicapped tournaments supported by her walker, caregivers, and her instructor, and early on, made all 18 holes.
Her love of dogs was renowned, as she regaled her kids growing up with stories of her beloved dogs in grade school, high school and into her adulthood. One of her favorites was a gray Weimaraner named ‘Lady’. Jane’s recent love was a Cocker Spaniel named Casey, who was by her side throughout some of the most difficult of health challenges, as she battled the debilitating effects of Arthritis and recovered from many surgeries. Jane appeased Casey by dosing out his morning Cheerios onto the floor over her meal tray. This provided a good distraction, and a bit of a game for the two of them, as he patiently waited for more. Jane will be buried with her beloved Casey, as he was in life, by her side.
Jane was full of life, funny, generous, hard working, and an amazing mother, grandmother, sister, aunt, daughter, cousin and friend. She was one of the strongest women we ever knew. Mostly she charmed us all with her quick wit, caring ways, and always thinking of us, and others, rather than herself. She never wanted to sit around talking about her multiple disease states, or ailments. Jane surrounded herself with vibrant friends, and family and those who didn’t talk about getting older. She colored her hair red up until the last few months of her life, and always had her lipstick on, and nails polished. Jane will forever be young in our minds, hearts, and memories.
A Celebration of Life will be held on Monday, December 18th, 2017, at Our Mother of Confidence Church 3131 Governor Drive, San Diego, CA at 10:30 a.m. The Holy Rosary preceding at 9:30 a.m. A luncheon to honor Jane and her wonderful life will be held in the church hall, immediately after mass. A family burial will be held at Holy Cross Cemetery in San Diego, CA.
Celebration of Life
- Date: December 18, 2017
- Time: 10:30am
- Location: Our Mother of Confidence Catholic Church
- Address: 3131 Governor Drive San Diego CA 92122
- Directions: Our Mother of Confidence Catholic Church
Holy Rosary preceding at 9:30 am
Stella Hui on December 12, 2017
Marilyn Ryan on December 10, 2017
Bernice Waters Heider on November 26, 2017
Father George Sullivan, S.J. on November 26, 2017
Maria Basu on November 21, 2017
Brenda on November 21, 2017
Kitty on November 21, 2017
Laura Dorr on November 18, 2017
Adela Altamiano on November 18, 2017
Sohair. Sue on November 18, 2017
Diane Yen on November 18, 2017