About an Editor

Lisa Balschunat 85 and Jacqueline LaChance McKeon 84

Lisa Balschunat '85 (left) and her "forever friend," Jacqueline LaChance McKeon '84 in April 2015.

On November 21, 2018, former Tangerine editor Jacqueline LaChance McKeon ’84 passed away in her home in Chatham, New York, after a brief illness, with her children, Maura and Jack, by her side. She was 56.

Her friend and fellow Tangerine staffer, Lisa Penzotti Balschunat ’85, wrote this piece in her honor:
 

I met Jackie at a Tangerine kick-off meeting in 1983. Little did I know our simple “hello” would blossom into a 35-year friendship.

The summer prior to her freshman year, Jackie wanted to delay attending UC because her father unexpectedly died in her arms in her backyard. Jackie was an only child and did not want to leave her mother alone, but her mom insisted that her daughter “get packing” for the fall semester.

Jackie arrived at UC a bit fragile, but ready to delve into the rigors of journalism under the tutelage of Professors Jack Behrens, Ray Simon, Kim Landon, and Bob Baber. She drafted and edited news articles with fellow students, clicking away on manual typewriters— stories about everything from Professor Scott MacDonald’s provocative Film Series to the value of NCAA Division I Athletics on campus. Jackie accepted the position of editor for her senior year. She led the newspaper staff with a strong sense of responsibility and a great sense of humor, never missing Thursday’s publication deadline or pub night.

Throughout her professional career, Jackie was consummate wordsmith. She could extract facts for a front-page news story quickly and succinctly. She wrote feature articles that intricately described an experience that kept readers engaged. Her articles were often juxtaposed with photographs she shot to further capture a story.

When faced with life’s challenges, Jackie found ways to work through the struggles and remain grateful for her family, friends, and faith.

A voracious reader and collector of novels, Jackie was the only person I’ve ever known who packed two suitcases for a vacation — one for clothes, the other for books. Jackie had a zest for life and a curiosity that led to self-discovery and new adventures. We’d be chatting over coffee, and I’d learn that she’d taken up knitting, loom weaving, then rug hooking. She’d be off to a spin class, yoga session, or planning the next family vacation. She always found something new and interesting to do in between the daily routine.

It is an understatement to say Jackie loved hosting parties. She would often fill her home with good food and drink, flowers, candles and music to celebrate a special occasion—or just because it was Friday.

When faced with life’s challenges, Jackie found ways to work through the struggles and remain grateful for her family, friends, and faith. She never lost sight of simple joys. Planting tulip bulbs. Picking apples. Stacking a woodpile. Cutting a Christmas tree. Embracing an ocean sunset. Breathing in the fragrance of spring lilacs.

Jackie was a strong woman who loved deeply and lived passionately. She was my beautiful friend who had a beautiful heart. Cheers to a life well lived.

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