Jane McGraw Cogan

December 26, 1930 to November 13, 2017

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.

Jane respectfully requested in lieu of flowers, memorial gifts be made to the American Lung Association (www.Lung.org)  or the Arthritis Foundation (www.Arthritis.org) in her honor.

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

Holy Rosary preceding at 9:30 am

My deepest condolences to Jane's family and friends. She was an amazing woman, truly one of a kind. I will never forget her, she lives in my heart, always. Love, Liz

Elizabeth Rose on December 18, 2017

Jane was a wonderful lady and she will be missed dearly. May she rest in peace in heaven. My deepest condolences to her family. Warmest regards, Stella

Stella Hui on December 12, 2017

Will be thinking of you and praying for all of you on the 18th. Jane was a dear friend for a very long time! She will be missed by so very many. Looking forward to seeing you in Omaha in the spring. Hugs and love.

Marilyn Ryan on December 10, 2017

I remember Jane as a lifelong friend and fellow employee of AAA in Omaha. May God bless her and her family. I will always remember her. Bernice

Bernice Waters Heider on November 26, 2017

I am a friend of Jack and Joan. I have been offering Masses for Jane, Jack's beloved twin and Joan's great sister-in-law both in her last days and for all of you since her passing. God has blessed you with her wonderfully. Nay the Lord give you all special blessings of peace & strength esepecially you younger ones. Fr George sj Wauwatosa Wisconsin

Father George Sullivan, S.J. on November 26, 2017

My deepest condolences to you and family

Maria Basu on November 21, 2017

I am deeply sorry for your loss. May you find comfort and look forward to the day when God's promise at John 5:28, 29 will come true for those we have loved and lost.

Brenda on November 21, 2017

Jane was an amazing woman we feel lucky to have known her. Sending love and prayers. Godspeed Miss Jane.

Kitty on November 21, 2017

Wow your mom was amazing. I loved her story. The pictures were beautiful. I did not know Jane very well but the time that I did see her I always thought she was such a classy lady. So sorry for your loss. She will be missed.

Laura Dorr on November 18, 2017

When we lose a loved one here on earth, we gain an angel in heaven that watches over us. May you take comfort in knowing that you have an angel to watch over you now. My family and I extend our most sincere condolences to you.

Adela Altamiano on November 18, 2017

My condolences I pray for her to Rest In Peace

Sohair. Sue on November 18, 2017

This was an impressive tribute to an impressive one in a million woman. What an inspirational obituary! I hope to have a little Jane in me to give me the strength I need some days. Thank you for sharing this great history. I wish you peace and love. Take care.

Diane Yen on November 18, 2017