Celebration of Life
Jean Margaret (Nye) McTaggart was born October 17, 1922, Oneonta, New York, and was the daughter of Horace and Ethel (Suffern) Nye. She was Valedictorian in her class at Becker College, Worcester, Massachusetts, graduating in 1942 with a degree in Accounting and Math. She married James H. McTaggart in 1944. They were married for 58 years before his passing in 2002. She is survived by her sister Carol (Roger) Thurston.
Our Mother had 5 daughters, Marilyn and Tony Congdon, Gale and Ed McGowan, Diane and Tony Papa, Debby and Don Baldwin, and Nancy and Ricky Scholl. This was our greatest gift from her. We have had a lifetime of friendship and fun together, and, often she was in the middle of it all.
Grandchildren: Jared and Seth Congdon, Lisa Oliver, Leslie and Amy Papa, Sandy Brosnahan, Lauren, Scot, and Brian Baldwin, Aron and Devon Scholl, and Kayla McGrath. Great Grandchildren: Jesse and Sam Congdon, Rowan and Morgan Graham, Amber Ashley, Chase and Sophia Papa, Elsie and Mairin King, Mathew and Benjamin Brosnahan, and Scarlett McGrath. Nieces: Joan Dennen, Amy McKague, and Martha Kraus.
Our Mother’s skill in sewing brought us down some interesting roads. She taught us all how to sew. When the community theater put on “Winnie the Pooh”, our Mother made the costumes for the entire cast. She made the sails for our first skate sails out of old sheets, using a pattern given to her by skate sail racers on Lake Champlain. We all had our own sails and felt as though we were flying on the wind over new ice on Ballston Lake, Saratoga Lake, and Lake George. We would all accompany her to Cohoes to buy fabric, which was warehoused in huge bins of mill ends. We would hold up pieces of material against our bodies, trying to decide if we could get a back out of one piece or a sleeve out of another, for a coat, etc. The material was then weighed on a huge scale and a price was paid. She started making quilts out of our old dresses, and then, graduated to more artistic ones which we were all given to sleep under. Our Mother really enjoyed her community of quilt makers at the Senior Center in Glenville. Our Mother loved camping at Cape Cod and she would drive herself to Nova Scotia every year until she was in her early 90’s, crawling into the back of her van for an overnight stay along the way to her house on the ocean. Our Mother taught us all an appreciation for the outdoors and the natural world. We attended regular Audubon meetings with her and learned about birds from the experts. We went to the local bee keepers meetings where we saw a hive in action. We have a much loved photo of her suited up ready to go into a hive with one of her sons-in-law. In the spring, she would take us Herkimer diamond hunting on a farm not too far from home. We would all stand in the icy water, picking beautifully formed quartz crystals from the mud. They were little treasures and so was she. The family would like to express their appreciation to the Glen Eddy Assisted Living staff and the Kingsway Arms Nursing Home staff for their caring and gentle care of our mother.
A Celebration of Jean’s life will be held on Saturday, 11 am at the DeMarco-Stone Funeral Home, 1605 Helderberg Ave.
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