Felice McLane

Felice McLaneFelice McLane (77) passed peacefully into heaven on Feb. 18, 2017, because of complications from back surgery.

Felice was born on Nov. 30, 1939, in New York City, the first child of Martha and Joseph Giacalone. She lived with her family in Brooklyn, N.Y., until she was 10 years old. After her parents split, she, her brother Joseph and her sister Rosemary were placed in the Little Flower House of Providence in Long Island — an institution for homeless children run by nuns, where she spent three years.

After graduating from eighth grade, Felice was placed with several foster families before finally settling in with the Waters family, who were very loving and supportive and helped her to attend the University of Utah.  In summer 1959, Felice met John Reynolds while they were both working at an insurance office in Pasadena.

They were married on Sept. 3, 1959, at St Rita’s Church in Pasadena.  After living in several Southern California communities, Felice and John settled in Ridgecrest in 1972, where she found her home and raised their four children.

On April 22, 1992, Felice married Jim McLane, and they lived very happily together until his death in 2009.  She loved Jim and his three children dearly.

In addition to her legendary parties and unparalleled lasagna skills, Felice was known for being very active in the Ridgecrest community, involved in WACOM, ABC Book Club, Pinochle Club, the local Cystic Fibrosis Board, Friends of the Ridgecrest Branch Library, Silver Sneakers exercise group, St. Ann’s choir and Eucharistic Adoration at St. Ann Church and Page Turners Book Club.

She was president of the local United Way board, had Ridgecrest Regional Hospital corporate membership and started the Jim McLane Scholarship fund at Burroughs High School. She was active in Ridgecrest Balloon Festival, and she loved traveling and photography. Although Felice considered raising her four children her most important job, she also held various jobs in the community, from ballroom dance instructor at Cerro Coso to secretary to the principal at Burroughs High School (where she was voted “Best Faculty Legs” by the graduating class one year).

Felice was a giver — generous with her time, her money, her talents and, most importantly, her love.  She was a wonderful mother, grandmother and friend, and her passing leaves a huge hole in the lives of all who were fortunate enough to know her. However, her influence will live on in all those she touched and the memories she created.

Felice was preceded in death by her beloved husband, Jim McLane and leaves behind her four children, Pam Baker, Stephanie Callahan, John Reynolds and James Reynolds, with their spouses Mark Baker, Marty Callahan, Pascale Reynolds and Kate Reynolds; her stepchildren Mike McLane, Tom McLane and Mary Susan (Susie) Witkewicz ; as well as her 14 grandchildren and five stepgrandchildren who all love her dearly and will miss her every day.

Her funeral mass will be held on Saturday, March 4, at 10 a.m. at St Ann Roman Catholic Church. To honor her generous spirit, we ask that those so inclined would donate to one of her favorite causes listed above in lieu of flowers.

— Submitted by the family of Felice McLane

Felice — with her boundless grace, humor, generosity and diligence — elevated the countless organizations she dedicated her time to. We were privileged to collaborate with Felice on causes that enriched our community at nearly every level — from investing in our youth, in community health, in the arts and in economic vitality. While we join her many loved ones in mourning her loss, we are grateful for the indelible mark of kindness she left on virtually everyone who was fortunate enough to know her. —Ed.

Story First Published: 2017-02-24