She left this life the way she lived, in control and the way she wanted it.
She was born in New Britain, CT, to Sherrod Emerson Skinner and Abigail Elizabeth (Leete) Skinner, where her family had roots going back to Colonial days.
She moved to Michigan, with her sister Shirley and her twin brothers, Rod and Dave, in 1930 when her father accepted a position at General Motors, where he eventually rose to Executive Vice-President.
In line with the women on her mothers’ side going back to 1840, she attended Mount Holyoke College in South Hadley MA, graduating with a degree in Fine Arts in 1943.
She worked on her Master’s Degree in Education at the University of Michigan and at Merrill Palmer Institute in Detroit.
She married Don Ashton Cargill on January 4, 1946 and they shared a long happy marriage until his death in 2000.
Her lifelong passions were education, international exchange, fine arts and community service.
She went to Peru in the summer of 1942, on a banana boat through the Panama Canal on the Experiment in International Living.
She was a member of the Board of Trustees at Merrill Palmer and at Mount Holyoke.
Living first in Seaside OR after her marriage, she returned to Michigan where Don founded the Cargill-Detroit Corporation, a custom engineering firm that remained in business until 2003.
In Birmingham MI she was a member of Sigma Gamma (a volunteer auxiliary for the Detroit Children’s Orthopedic Hospital), the Junior League of Birmingham, the Village Women’s Club, and St. Elizabeth’s Guild at St. James Episcopal Church.
She supported many museums and foundations, sponsoring several educational scholarships and hosting many international exchange students.
She is survived by her daughter, Sue Bradley (Scot); her son, John (Karen); her Bradley grandchildren: Chris, Nate (Jessica), and Matt (Lindsay); her Cargill grandchildren: John Jr. (Nicole), Jeffrey, and Jessie.
She also has two great-granddaughters, Emerson and Ashton Cargill.
Thanks to Jan and the wonderful caregivers Pat, Lorinda, Theresa, Vicki, Kerry, Courtney, Chrissy, Becca and all of the other wonderful people at Clarebridge who made her last years so comfortable.
A Memorial Service will be held on Saturday, December 15, 2012 at 2:00 p.m. at Hennessey-Smith Funeral Home.
In lieu of flowers, the family asks that donations be made to the Clarebridge Holiday Fund.
Click here to comment on this story »