Troy - Janice Ernst McCarty, 96, passed away on September 17, 2022. Her extraordinary beauty and keen intelligence, her early accomplishments and hard-won credentials, her capacity to take on great hardship with resolve and decisiveness all could have led to an epitaph of a leading actress, a famous civic leader, or a cultural or academic all-star. Yet Jan’s singular devotion to her husband and family has led, today, to her family’s loving remembrance of her as a wife, mother, grandmother, and great-grandmother whose modesty, grace, and rich capacities enabled her to star in her chosen supporting roles. Her generous and loving lesson to us all is how well starring in a supporting role can lead to a life well-lived and create an extraordinary, loving family.
Jan grew up in Madison NJ, where she was a child model for Campbell Soup and Sears, and a cheerleader at Madison High. After graduating cum laude from Mount Holyoke with a major in chemistry, Jan supported her husband Bill’s career as a naval Flight Surgeon through postings in Pensacola, Lakehurst, French Morocco and later, in his medical practice in Troy. Over the years she was Bill’s co-driver and navigator through dozens of MG rallies and trials, served as his unflappable First Mate in Caribbean sailing, and, as Crew Chief, she chased Bill’s hot air balloon over trackless country sides and into uncharted forests and, once, she stopped traffic on a busy Baltimore highway to secure a safe landing spot; Jan’s pluck, driving skill, negotiating acumen, and charm were often the difference in recovering his balloon (and sometimes Bill) from farmers’ fields or public lands. Years later, as Medical Director and Chief Morale Officer, Jan stood by Bill’s side after his near-fatal sailplane crash, driven to see that the patience, perseverance, trust, and rehabilitation necessary after that harrowing day would restore them as a couple. Jan also found the time to serve as a generous, versatile community volunteer for over thirty years, particularly as a member of the Samaritan Hospital’s Auxiliary Board and as a Braille Transcriber certified by the Library of Congress.
Through it all, while Jan served in the supporting roles of First Mate, Chase Crew, or Nurse, her family knew the truth: Jan was, at the end of the day, the glue, the center of gravity, the touchstone. Jan’s inherent modesty and selflessness, expressed with courage, constancy, wide-ranging knowledge, and rich competencies, have instilled in her children and grandchildren a lesson and legacy of unconditional love.
Jan is predeceased by her husband, William M McCarty, MD, her parents, Henry and Marguerite (Mathil) Ernst, and her brother, Henry Ernst, Jr. Jan leaves a daughter, Marguerite McCarty and her partner, Albert Freihofer, a son, Mark McCarty and his wife, Mary Kate, grandchildren, Matthew and wife Megan Murphy, Katherine, and John, and great-grandchildren, Margaret and Max.
Relatives and friends may call at the Bryce Funeral Home, Inc. 276 Pawling Avenue Troy on Friday, September 23, 2022 from 4-7 PM.
In lieu of flowers contributions may be made in memory of Janice E. McCarty to the National Audubon Society 225 Varick Street New York, NY 10014.
National Audubon Society
National Audubon Society 225 Varick Street, New York NY 10014