March 24, 2010

USA: Her biggest fear - no one would remember her... No, she's not forgotten

. OSSINING, Lower Hudson Valley / / March 24, 2010 Jeane McCaine's friends say one of the elderly woman's biggest fears was that no one would remember her after she died. By Terence Corcoran So the women who had befriended McCaine in the last years of her life, spent at Bethel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center, made sure Tuesday that that didn't happen. On a damp, gray afternoon, staff and volunteers from Bethel held their own graveside service for McCaine, 81, who died on St. Patrick's Day — fitting, they say, for someone who so loved her Irish heritage. And fitting was her final farewell, complete with the mournful sound of bagpipes and McCaine's own poetic words about life's legacy. Cathy SantaColoma plays the bagpipes as workers from the Bethel Nursing and Rehabilitation Center gather March 23 at the Dale Cemetery in Ossining for the funeral of Jeane McCaine. McCaine was a longtime resident of the nursing home. She died on St. Patrick's Day. (Frank Becerra Jr./The Journal News) McCaine left behind no family members and few resources. McCaine's husband, Robert, died in 1965 and their only son, Michael Patrick McCaine, died in 1993 at the age of 34. Michael Masullo of Leach & Thomas Funeral Home in Ossining presided over Tuesday's service, and he, Dale Cemetery and the Matthews Casket Co. in Yonkers all helped make the ceremony possible by reducing their regular costs. McCaine, like George Bailey in "It's a Wonderful Life," may not have been wealthy, but she was rich in friendship. She lived in Croton-on-Hudson for several years after her son's death before moving in 2006 to Bethel, where she quickly made her way into the hearts of many. McCaine stood out for her way with words — she was a published poet — and for the paintings she created. [rc] Click here to read more Terence Corcoran E-Mail: Copyright ©2010 The Journal News