Jane Proctor Schlehr, a Bel Air resident who was a charter member of the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance and one of the first employees of the HAR-CO Credit Union, died on December 14, 2019 of natural causes at Dacota Broad Creek Assisting Living. She was 96-years-old.
The daughter of Cecil Wykes Proctor and Evelyn Plate Proctor, she was born in her grandparents’ home in Sayville (Long Island), N.Y. Her father was a New York Republican state assemblyman who served in the legislature in Albany. His daughter was also a lifelong member of the Republican Party. The family later moved to East Orange, N.J. before finally settling in Bayside, N.Y. where she attended high school.
Upon graduating from Bayside High School where she followed a commercial course of study, Jane found employment in New York City, working for a law firm that paid her $10 a week. Subsequent employment included an $18 a week job with Loft Candy Company and finally a position with Culver-Holiday Real Estate Company on 5th Avenue earning her $25 per week.
In 1943 she married George J. Schlehr. The couple lived in Morrisville, N.Y. until 1956 when they moved to Bel Air. They were later divorced. Mr. Schlehr died August 3, 2009.
Jane devoted her life to her family.
“I had five children,” Jane once said. “That’s all that was important to me in my life.”
“She understood the value of an education,” said her oldest son, Peter, “and encouraged all of us to continue it. Thanks to her, and at times the sacrifices a single mother makes, we all earned degrees and beyond.”
After the divorce she returned to the work force, taking a position at Read’s Drugstore, then Kefauver’s Lumber Company and finally at HAR-CO Credit Union where she retired in 1990. She joined the HAR-CO workforce part-time when the credit union opened its formal office in the home of Frank and Marie Navin, her next door neighbors. Jane is considered to be HAR-CO’s first paid employee.
Her hobbies included bridge and watching her grandchildren perform, whether on a stage or in athletics. She was an accomplished bridge player, having picked up the game at the age of eight from her mother.
“Bridge was my sport,” she often quipped and would beam at what she considered the highest compliment she could be paid in the game when another player would tell her, “… that was well bid.”
Jane served as an active volunteer for many years with the American Cancer Society following the death of her daughter, Kathleen Marie, in 1968. She was the local AMC Volunteer of the Year in 1995. A member of the First Presbyterian Church of Bel Air for over 50 years, she served two terms as a deacon and elder. While her children attended St. Margaret School, she was an active member of its Mother’s Club for many years. She also volunteered at the now defunct Fallston Hospital and later at the Upper Chesapeake Medical Center in the gift shops.
Jane is survived by four married sons; Peter (Sandra) Schlehr and Michael (Mary) Schlehr of Bel Air, Christopher (Joyce) Schlehr and Mark (Kathy) Schlehr of Fallston. In addition to her daughter Kathleen Marie Joines, she was predeceased by her only sibling, a sister, Carol Harahan. Jane had 11 grandchildren, 16 great grandchildren and four great, great grandchildren.
The family is asking any contributions be made to the Chesapeake Cancer Alliance, an organization Jane previously served as its Memorial Chairperson.
The family will be hosting a service at the First Presbyterian Church of Bel Air at 224 Main Street, on Friday, December 27 at 11:00 am. A visitation hour at 10:00 am will precede the service during which time the family will receive friends and well-wishers.