Jane Lare, 76, Oak Park school psychologist, international traveler, and gardener

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Jane Cameron Lare, 76, died unexpectedly at her River Forest home on July 7, 2012. Born on May 20, 1936 in Chicago Heights, she attended local schools until moving with her family to California in 1949. She received her B.A. in psychology from Occidental College in Los Angeles in l957, then returned to her family roots in Illinois and completed a master's degree in counseling at the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana.

She moved to Oak Park to begin a career with District 97 in September, 1958 and ended it with her retirement in 2006, at which point she was the longest-standing teacher in D97, a career spanning 48 years. She started as a first- and second-grade teacher at Beye Elementary School. In 1984, she earned a master's degree in psychology from Loyola University and received her credentials as a school psychologist in 1986. From then on, she worked as a school psychologist in D97 elementary schools, mostly at Lincoln and Longfellow. She also worked part-time for the Oak Park Public Library as a library assistant in Information Services from 1988 to 2006.

Ms. Lare had a deep commitment to children, especially those experiencing challenges in elementary school. Colleagues in special education were impressed with her skill in preparing psychological reports on the pupils she tested and how she provided sensitive guidance for teachers and counselors seeking to help pupils and their parents. She was active in local and international professional organizations serving school psychologists.

She also enjoyed gardening, regular visits to the arboretum, activities sponsored by her church, First United Church of Oak Park, and volunteering for Little Brothers - Friends of the Elderly. She was a supporter of the Oak Park Conservatory and enjoyed performances at Lyric Opera of Chicago and the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. An avid international traveler, she spoke German and French fluently. She had planned trips to Canada, Germany, Paris and the Cotswolds this summer and next fall with a two-month break in between to tend a new shade garden she had planted in her yard. She also had a longtime love affair with Door County, Wis., where she enjoyed frequent visits to her condo at Egg Harbor.

Jane Cameron Lare is survived by her brother and sister-in-law, Jim Lare and Jacquelyn McCoy; her nephew, John Cameron Lare; her niece, Jennifer Carolyn Lare; and several first cousins. She was preceded in death by her parents, Daisy Cameron Lare and Howard Clayton Lare. She was buried at Elm Lawn Memorial Park in Elmhurst.

A celebration of her life will be held at 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 4, followed by a reception for all who knew her and are saddened by her untimely passing, at First United Church, 848 Lake St. in Oak Park. Memorial donations to First United Church are appreciated.

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Johann Buis from River Forest  

Posted: July 30th, 2012 12:01 PM

Talking to her about the roses she brought from Maine, I realize only now the rare opportunity it would be; that was the last conversation Jane and I had. Now I delight in seeing her new landscaped garden and remembering the neighborly conversations we had during the last fifteen years.

Betsy White from River Forest, IL  

Posted: July 30th, 2012 11:10 AM

I was shocked to read of Jane's passing in last week's paper. Jane was my next door neighbor my first 2 years living in River Forest. She was delightful to see and talk with, always cheerful and full of life. Since I moved from my home on Lake Street I saw Jane several times and those brief visits always filled me with happiness - she had an infectious smile and demeanor. My sincerest sympathies to her family and friends.

Jim Baldauf from Cambridge, WI  

Posted: July 27th, 2012 3:01 PM

My father spoke of Ms. Lare on many occasions, of how she was truly a talented educator. It is always sad when we lose someone with such love for children and teaching.


Posted: July 27th, 2012 10:41 AM

I loved her as my first grade teacher - way back - almost 40 years ago. I still have the pencils she gave out that say "Merry Christmas - Mrs. Lare" I never sharpened them because I didn't want to use them :)

Nancy Nyberg  

Posted: July 25th, 2012 8:24 PM

Wonderful teacher for my children. Good friend and fellow church member. Sorry she's gone.


Posted: July 25th, 2012 4:27 PM

Wow!!! This women and her story is impressive beyond words!!! There is no denying that she was truly involved in education "for the children!" I ditto Mr. Konecki's final sentence: RIP!

J.Martin Konecki  

Posted: July 25th, 2012 4:02 PM

Mrs. Lare was a wonderful teacher at Beye School. I hadnt realized how long she had worked in Dist 97. RIP.

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