September 1, 1943 - March 13, 2018
Jane Ellen Macleay, 74, of Traverse City, passed away March 13, 2018. She was the daughter of John and Ellen (Marcus) Macleay, born September 1, 1943 in Punta Arenas, Chile. Jane grew up with her sister and parents on a large sheep ranch in Tierra del Fuego, Chile. Jane’s grandfather had been recruited in Scotland to come to Chile to manage the ranch, and Jane’s father followed him in the management of the “estancia.” Jane attended an all-girls school in Santiago, Chile, and--after her father had passed away and she had completed grammar school—she and her sister Mary moved with her mother to New Jersey. Soon the girls joined their mother and new stepfather in New York, where Jane and Mary began modeling a line of clothing designed by their stepfather. During the 1964 New York World’s Fair, Jane, who served as a tour guide and Spanish language translator, had the thrill and great privilege of escorting dignitaries including President Truman, King Hussein of Jordan, and Che Guevara through the exhibitions. Jane went on to attend Miami University in Ohio, where she studied Liberal Arts. After college, she returned to Chile, where she met her first husband, Tomas Brstilo. With him, she raised two sons, Fernando and Javier, and later emigrated first to Calgary, Canada, and then Traverse City, Michigan, where Tomas worked in the oilfield services. She lost her oldest son, Fernando, in a tragic car accident. Jane was employed for 17 years as a social worker in Suttons Bay at the State of Michigan Dept. of Social Services, where she was valued by many migrant families because of her kindness, and her fluency in Spanish. In 1986, many years after her divorce, Jane would sit at a table at a singles mingle event with Herbert Steed. They married in 1988. Jane liked Herb immediately; he knew Chile’s history. Their conversation that evening and over the many wonderful years to come gave way to a beautiful relationship filled with adventure and love. Two of the best additions to the relationship she shared with Herb were her stepdaughter, Tonia, and stepson, Edward. Shortly after marriage, Jane retired so that she could do more of what she enjoyed most: reading, traveling, and spending time with friends and family. Given her love of adventure, it was no surprise that Jane and Herb moved to London for almost a year, and then to Vienna for almost four years. While in Vienna, she remained involved and active as an officer of the American Women’s Association. When Herb retired, he and Jane moved back to Traverse City. Regular lunch and brunch dates with friends, and gathering with a group to play mahjong kept Jane busy doing what she loved: enjoying the company of her many friends. Jane loved flowers and music. She was a gifted cook. She will be remembered as vivacious, caring, generous, honest, and straightforward. Perhaps most importantly, she will be remembered as a loving and supportive friend. She also never missed a chance to spend time with her grandchildren, whom she adored. Jane is survived and missed dearly by her husband Herbert, her son Javier and his wife Bruna, stepson Edward Steed and stepdaughter Tonia Steed and husband Victor Bondi. She is also survived and very much missed by her sister, Mary Macleay, stepsisters Nina and Karen Erdrich and beloved grandchildren, Julieta, Dante and Sophia. She is preceded in death by her son. A celebration of Jane’s life will take place Wednesday, March 21, 2018 at 11:00am at the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home, with visitation one hour prior. Those considering an expression of sympathy may wish to consider contributions to The Women’s Resource Center of Traverse City. Please visit www.reynolds-jonkhoff .com to share your memories and condolences with the family on Jane’s tribute page. The family is being cared for and served by the Reynolds-Jonkhoff Funeral Home and Cremation Services.
Jane Ellen Macleay, 74, of Traverse City, passed away March 13, 2018. She was the daughter of John and Ellen (Marcus) Macleay, born September 1, 1943 in Punta Arenas, Chile. Jane grew up with her sister and parents on a large sheep ranch in... View Obituary & Service Information
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