Jane McKinley Worobec, 101, of Sturgeon Bay, Wisconsin passed from her well-lived life on Sunday, September 19, 2021, just a few days short of her 102nd birthday on September 25th, to the happy beginning of her new home. Jane’s daughter, Lucy Worobec Groth of Sturgeon Bay, WI, sat at her side in the hours before Jane passed at the Pete and Jelaine Horton Skilled Nursing and Hospice Care Center (initially the Skilled Nursing Facility), which Jane called home for almost five years. Jane’s multitude of family, friends and supporters kept the vigil far and wide as she left for heavenly shores.
Jane McKinley was born in Chicago, Illinois in 1919 to James and Adelaide McKinley as their third child of four siblings. She grew up in Des Plaines, Illinois, graduated early from high school and eagerly began her first job as scheduler for the local bus company, in the early 1940s. With her love of music, one of her initial paychecks went to the purchase of her first piano, which her granddaughter, Sarah Groth, still plays today.
Jane developed her love of Door County before she was married when she visited cousins near Jacksonport in the 1930s.
Just after the start of World War II, Jane met the love of her life, John Worobec, a young Army sergeant. They were introduced to each other by their mutual friend, the parish priest, as Jane and John both left the church one Saturday evening. They were married in April 1943 when John was on Army leave and celebrated sixty years of marriage together before John passed away in 2003.
When the war was over, the young couple settled and raised their family of five children in Des Plaines, Illinois.
In the 1950s, Catholic parishes encouraged new families to form “Cana Groups,” the name taken from the scriptural wedding feast at Cana. These couples met once a month to support each other and their growing families with a spiritual focus. The five couples that included the Worobecs formed lifelong friendships and provided extended family relationships grounded in the parents’ beliefs.
All of Jane’s children inherited their love of music and singing from their mother, with after dinner sing-a-longs gathered around Mom’s piano.
Jane loved office work and was a skilled bookkeeper, volunteering in the school office. She also loved bowling high averages in her local women’s league.
Jane and John moved to Sturgeon Bay, WI in 1971, where Jane served as Assistant City Treasurer for fourteen years and John worked at Cherry Hills Golf Course.
Jane was a past Regent of Catholic Daughters of America, and a member of Corpus Christi Catholic Church in Sturgeon Bay.
Once she retired, her artistry flowered in the creation of a multitude of unique crocheted afghans for family members and friends from Hawaii to New York.
Her strong will, determination, and “not wanting to be a bother” are legendary. Keeping her mind active past the age of 100, “GG” could usually be found either reading her latest library book or working the newest jigsaw puzzle. And be careful if you played “Kings Corners” card games with her!
When the new Skilled Nursing Facility opened, Jane was thrilled that she could choose her new room as the one closest to the chapel, where she regularly attended services and rosaries.
Faith, patience, and kindness were Janie’s guiding principles, the hallmarks of the Worobec family, guided by Janie and supported by her Johnnie. These same qualities radiated from Jane every day of her life. She was a quiet soul with deep spiritual reserves. All who knew her recognized and were inspired by these virtues. She was happiest watching the antics of her ever-growing family.
Jane and John celebrated their sixtieth wedding anniversary shortly before John passed away in 2003.
Jane is survived by four of her children; Mary Jane (Thomas) Haher, Robert Worobec, Lucy (Thomas) Groth, Peter (Judi) Worobec; also, daughter-in-law Carol Worobec; five grandchildren, Kevin (Jenn) Worobec, Sarah Groth (Jon) Elmer, Rosemary Groth (Joe) Vega, Brendan Haher and Brian Haher; along with numerous great-grandchildren; nieces, nephews; and dear friends.
She was preceded in death by her parents; husband, John; son, Joseph; daughter-in-law, Linda Worobec; grandson, Ian; and siblings.
A celebration of Jane’s life will be held at a later date.
Huehns Funeral Home, Inc. & Door County Crematory LLC of Sturgeon Bay are assisting the Worobec family. Expressions of sympathy, memories, and photos of Jane may be shared with her family through her tribute page at www.huehnsfuneralhome.com.