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No one could play the 'BOOGIE WOOGIE' like her.... she was something else when she was at that piano...... loved it.... -Kitty

From Kelly -

(This was the eulogy at the funeral mass)

My mother was a really cool lady! Nothing against Fr. Mike, but Mom may have even a higher place in the Catholic church. I know this because whenever people find out she gave birth to and raised 8 boys; they say that she "She Must have been a saint".

One of the best things I never get tired of hearing from people was that she was a great mother, seeing how polite, respectful, and well-mannered all of us turned out to be. I think turning 8 boys into truly decent men is one of her biggest accomplishments... But I got a little secret... I really don't think she knew what she was doing...

I never knew if she was the good cop and dad was the bad cop or vise a versa. Maybe that was her master plan to keep us off-balanced, however, I think she was totally playing it by ear. My mom was a disciplinarian when she needed to be, she made our boo-boos better with a kiss and some Mercurochrome, a shoulder to cry on when we were hurting inside, and just a great person I could talk to with my problems. She was always a great listener, helping me to make the right decision. She never told me what to do, she would challenge me to just do the right thing. She always brought out the best in me and all my brothers.

Although I heard some things about mom prior to me being born, with her being the salutatorian at East Commerce High School in Detroit, having a successful bookkeeping career at Ernst and Young, and playing piano for some of the old Detroit radio shows in the early days, but all that didn't mean much to me... I just knew her as 'Mom', and that was enough for me.

With that said, I knew that mom loved playing the piano. She would do it almost every day at home. I also remember her being accompanied on the guitar by her sister Joan, her niece Susan, my oldest brother Mike, and me when I got older. But my favorite part was just singing with her and memories around that like how a tear came to her eye when playing 'Too Ra Loo Ra Loo Ra', laughing when Jerry would do the barking noise during 'Something Barked on Christmas Morning', and how sweet her and Dad were together playing and singing.

I would like to share 2 quick stories which I will always remember...

Mom was a long-time parishioner at St. Michael. She also volunteered in the office for many years counting collections, doing mailers, and other office jobs. Father Mike was and still is the pastor there. He would love to tease Mom pretty much every day, doing things like walking up to the altar at Mass, and spotting mom in the crowded congregation and waving to her saying 'Hi Jean', while the music was playing, or just teasing her in the office. After the teasing, mom would always threaten to 'belt him', and Fr. Mike would say... 'You can't hit a priest'! Well, on one of her birthdays, I drove her to morning mass and then she went to work in the office. Fr. Mike knew my mom loved Payday candy bars, so he bought 50 of them, and proceeded to give anyone and everyone a candy bar and one by one, they would stop by her office and wish her a happy birthday and give her the candy bar. When I picked her up, she had about 45 left that day!

Another story was on her 80th birthday, several of the brothers and wives took mom to a crowded Rochester restaurant for a nice birthday dinner. As we were finishing our meals, Steve noticed that there was a stage with a piano on it. There was no entertainment that night, so we triple dogged dared mom to go up and play something. She belted out 'Bad, Bad LeRoy Brown'. When finished, she got a standing ovation from the crowd there that night. It was awesome!!!

I know the last 10 years or so has been a big challenge for her, but I know now my mom's mind is clear. She is being greeted by her mom and dad, her best friend and sister Joann, her brothers Larry, Tom, and Jack, along with her sons Jerry and DJ…

And I’m picturing my dad with her right now asking her “Jean… How do I look?”, and mom is looking him over saying 'You look handsome Bob'

Goodbye Mom. Thank you for everything! I love you. -Kelly

From Dennis - 

Growing up in the 1950s and 1960s, I thought my mother was the Jackie Kennedy of our neighborhood.  She was the youngest, prettiest, most talented, well-mannered, and the smartest mother on our block.  She was well-read, always up on current affairs, and a whiz at math, business and tax issues -- not surprising since she had been Salutatorian of her high school graduating class.  She would have been Valedictorian but her nemesis Helen Torgl got that title by simply taking 2 extra credit classes.  It bothered my mother so much that she complained about it at home every night.  Finally my grandmother said “Jean, if Helen wanted it that bad then let her have it.“  So she did and my mother never complained about it again . . . much.

Despite so many achievements, there were still people who told my mother she was stupid and uneducated because she had so many children.  Others presumed that with 8 boys my mother would raise a house full of dirty undisciplined under-achievers.   This hurt my mother and she cried -- but she proved all of her critics wrong.  My mother raised us properly.  She kept an immaculate house with carpets always vacuumed, floors always washed and waxed, all things disinfected with boiling water and bleach.  The McCarty boys always went to school scrubbed clean, hair combed, clothes washed and ironed.  We had a very religious upbringing – mass every Sunday, confessions on Saturday, nighttime prayers, family rosary every night during lent, and regardless of the weather my Mom would walk us to church on Ash Wednesday, Good Friday, St. Blaze day and every holy day even with one child in a baby carriage.  The McCarty boys were not trouble makers and neighbors knew that before the street lights came on we were in the living room watching TV with our parents.  This still didn’t stop the critics as they became resentful and would complain “Why are the McCarty boys always at the top of their class?”  That was entirely due to my mother -- she spent time with us, she read to us, she was a better tutor and mentor than any of our teachers.  I can’t remember a single school night that my mother wasn’t checking our math homework, proof-reading our English papers, putting her apron back on to help with a science experiment, or – my favorite part – treating us like we were on a TV game show and quizzing us on history dates and spelling words. My mom raised more National Honor Society members, more straight-A students, more summa cum laude graduates, more degree holders than all of her critics combined.  My mother helped us to succeed.

Raising so many kids on a policeman’s salary meant that my mom and dad sacrificed so much.  However I feel my mom and dad had everything they wanted.  I know  my mom had (a) faith, religion, church, rosary – the things that got her through every day, (b) a husband who she loved and also really liked -- years after my dad died my mom would still say “I really miss that guy”, (c) 8 children who loved her dearly, would take her to the movies or bingo or shopping, always remembered to bring her favorite candy bar or ice cream, and (d) she always had her music.

As a young teenager I argued with my mother thinking she was too strict, had too many rules and didn’t understand.  However I never wanted a different mother.  I had seen the competition and always knew I had the best mother. -Dennis

From Mike -

Click here to download and read a copy of "Music, Wisdom & The Bad Boys Home" by Mike McCarty. It includes some great memories of our Mom, with a recently added 2019 epilogue to the story.


From JoAnn P -

I just loved her. Always a kind woman with a hilarious personality. She always made me feel loved whenever I was near her. Prayers go out to all of you.






This is from the 1943 Detroit High School of Commerce Yearbook. In the top row is Jean Schmelzer (Salutatorian of the next year Graduating Class) and her competition Helen Torgl (Valedictorian because she took 2 extra credit classes).

The Brothers Not So Much

Being the holiday season, here are some attempts by the McCarty brothers to sing with Mom





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