JANICE MCKALSON was an adventurous soul who defined grace, style and kindness, Janice Lee Hall McKalson was a break-the-mold mom, wife, friend and beloved family member – one who blazed through the lives of those around her like a rare and dazzling comet.
Janice died Feb. 7 at her home in Scripps Ranch, with her husband, Ted, by her side, and surrounded by the love of family.
Born in Cincinnati to Janet Margaret (Edwardson) Hall and Leonard F. Hall, Janice soon moved with her family back to the Halls’ ancestral home of Maine. She graduated from Gorham High School and attended Gorham State Teachers College.
In 1950, Janice met James E. Hebert of neighboring Westbrook. The couple married in 1954; after he joined the Navy as a physician and officer, they lived in three states before moving to Sasebo, Japan, with their three children. Janice fell deeply in love with the Japanese people and culture, and climbed Mount Fuji among other adventures.
In 1967, the family moved to San Diego; Janice and James divorced in 1970. On Memorial Day that year, she met Edward R. “Ted” McKalson when he arrived at her door to demonstrate a vacuum cleaner. She accepted both a purchase and a date; they married in 1976, and remained together until her passing.
The two enjoyed an active life together – camping, sailing, cycling skydiving (when Janice was 61), zip lining (when she was nearly 80), and RV’ing to dozens of states. They also volunteered with the San Diego Food Bank, and Janice devoted herself to the Sierra Club and hurricane relief in the Deep South. In her professional life, she worked as an office manager for the San Diego Regional Center before becoming an insurance specialist at the Allstate office her husband owned in Poway.
Janice is survived by her husband; two daughters, Lisa Burke of Temecula and Melanie Rice of Vista; a son, James Hebert of Encinitas; two sisters, Marcia Johnson and Judith Hawkes, both of Maine and Florida; 10 grandchildren; and 11 great-grandchildren.
A private celebration of life is planned.
Published by San Diego Union-Tribune on Feb. 26, 2023.