|TCNA says farewell to neighbor- Frederica “Jay” Chalfant – a resident of Cloverhill Road for 56 years|
|Thank you to Mary Pat Clarke for this personal tribute to Jay.|
Some people become essential to the environment of a neighborhood. A prominent example here has been Frederica “Jay” Chalfant, recently passed, who lived generously and joyfully on Cloverhill Road with her family for 56 years and came to be part of who we are.
I met Jay on our moving-in morning of May 1967. As I sat on our steps, two-week old Erin in my arms and 2-year-old John toddling around, Jay walked down the street with her boys, Fred and Brett. She welcomed us, typically asked if I needed anything (a quart of milk, please!), and invited John up to play. Jay ever after claimed that, when we met, I traded my first-born for a quart of milk!
Yes, Jay was fun and funny. Along with gregarious and giving. She may be best remembered for her walks with generations of beloved dogs, during which she stopped to talk with neighbors, absorbing all the goings-on and helping whenever needed.
Jay served in the Navy in the 1950’s, including a tour in the White House, earned a bachelor’s degree in Liberal Arts at the College of Notre Dame, and worked for years with the Family & Children’s Society, visiting and serving the elderly. In the past 35 years, she worked with H&R Block as a tax preparer every tax season, until her 80th birthday. A longtime volunteer for Meals on Wheels, Jay also served as treasurer and dedicated congregant of Faith Presbyterian Church. She was also our Election Judge every year at First English Lutheran, checking us into “12-1.”
For all her achievements, however, and from our Cloverhill perspective, “our Jay” is best remembered as the mom and neighbor her son Fred recalls so lovingly in these words: “Everyone relied on mom in the neighborhood. She would look in on her older neighbors. As kids, our house was the primary first aid station. She fostered and nurtured countless people when they were in need. A number of people would stay on the third floor while they started their careers or got on their feet.”
May Jay rest in the joy she brought so many of us.