Jane  Stearns

Jane Bast Stearns, 92, of Dickerson, MD, went to heaven (and if anyone belongs there, she does!) on August 12, 2019. Born May 13, 1927, in Louisiana, MO, she was the daughter of George Y. and Francis Haley Bast.

She is survived by her brother, Michael Bast of Kissimmee, FL, foster daughters Margaret Yokely of Kearneysville, WV, and Judith Shipman of Myrtle Beach, SC, and her beloved caregiver, Melissa Shumaker-Lemarr. She was married for more than 51 years to Frederick E. (Fred) Stearns, who passed away in 2006.

Jane relentlessly advocated for the socially and economically disadvantaged (she was the proverbial “squeaky wheel”) in Montgomery County, was very active in the Civil Rights Movement in the 1960s, and was a longtime member of the NAACP. She was a member of West Montgomery United Methodist Church, to which she lent much time and energy over the years.

But Jane’s everlasting legacy will be WUMCO (Western Upper Montgomery County) Help, a nonprofit organization she helped found more than 50 years ago and to which she tirelessly gave most of her time and energy. Through Jane’s efforts, WUMCO grew to be the outstanding community-service organization it is today; it has helped many thousands of people in need over the years.

Visitation will be at Poolesville Baptist Church, 17550 W. Willard Road, on Wednesday, August 21, from 2 to 8 p.m. The funeral service will be on Thursday at 1 p.m. at the church, with a reception immediately following. Internment will be at Mt. Zion Cemetery.

In lieu of or in addition to flowers, please make food or monetary donations to WUMCO.