Alumna falls to her death

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Jane and Cary Kalscheuer pose for a photo at the CSUF Arboretum earlier this year. Photo courtesy Kalscheuer family

A Cal State Fullerton alumna, and mother to a CSUF student, committed suicide on Wednesday, her husband told the Daily Titan.

The deceased was identified as Jane Marie Kalscheuer, 52, a resident of Covina. Kalscheuer fell to her death from the roof of the six-story State College parking structure, according to CSUF Police Lt. John Brockie.


Video by Lamorse Compton

Lead Grounds Worker Mark Panozzo witnessed the incident.

“I saw almost like a blur from the fourth or fifth floor, and I thought someone was throwing something over the side,” Panozzo said. “And, as I looked up, there were tennis shoes attached to it. And as she was coming down, it was really hard because you’re thinking, ‘Can I help?’ ”

Tweets by Laura Barron-Lopez/Daily Titan News Editor and Isa Ghani/Daily Titan Multimedia Editor

Panozzo said he and others ran up to see if she was breathing, but from what he could tell, she was unresponsive.

“It’s definitely something I will never forget,” Panozzo said. “It’s so sad … I’m in shock.”

Her husband, Cary Kalscheuer, 49, also a CSUF alumnus, shared some thoughts on his wife.

“She’ll always be loved and remembered for her contribution to our family and young children,” Cary said.
Jane received her bachelor’s degree in communicative disorders in the early ’80s from CSUF and recently worked at Vincent Childrens’ Center in West Covina.

Jane began suffering from depression and anxiety this past year, making two suicide attempts since March.
“She was diagnosed with depression. She was anxious and also she was going through menopause,” Cary said. “We went to a number of different doctors to treat the depression and the menopause.”

Her regression became evident as her depression worsened in the past six months, amplifying within the last three months, causing her to take an estrogen supplement, anti-depressants and anti-anxiety medications, according to Cary.

“This isn’t a complete shock to me because of the prior attempts. This is the third attempt. She tried on March 17, then again on April 7 and then today. Each time, we struggled to try to treat her condition. It was very difficult for the entire family,” Cary said.

Her two prior attempts at suicide were with pills. Due to these attempts, Cary felt he could not watch her at their Covina home and brought her to her parents’ house in Fullerton during the work week.

“She felt the pills failed and she wanted a more sure way of ending her life. I think she saw in the parking structure, apparently; that opportunity, and I’m a little surprised she ended up getting out of the house. I hoped she would be watched, and I can’t blame my in-laws for not being able to watch her 24/7. In any case, she left their house and walked over to Cal State Fullerton sometime between 10 a.m. and 11 a.m.,” Cary said.

Jane’s family sought help for her from a psychiatrist, a psychologist for counseling, a neurologist and an endocrinologist for hormone therapy, even treating her with “so-called new medicine.”

“We tried to do everything in our power to help her, and, unfortunately, she had a serious depressed day. It changed her personality; it changed who she was,” Cary said. “And although she did change, everybody loved her.”

Jane affected many lives after receiving her bachelor’s from CSUF, she went on to receive her teaching credentials for special education, as well as an early child development certificate from Cal Poly Pomona.

“It’s just very unfortunate. She was a very outgoing person, and had a special talent in working with young children,” Cary said. “(Jane) helped hundreds of kids and families dealing with learning disabilities, speech problems and autistic children. I’m sure she’s going to be missed in the teaching community, and she’ll obviously be missed by her family.”

The scene of the incident: State College parking structure on the Northwest end of campus. Photo by Christa Connelly/Daily Titan Photo Editor

Michael Kalscheuer, a 22-year-old human services major and son of the deceased, shared his mother’s gift of touching people’s lives through her humor.

“She would always have a kind spirit toward any personality her children (students) had, and the stories she would tell would always represent a child beautifully. It’s too bad that depression took over such a wonderful person,” Michael said.

Cary touched on his late wife’s depression, stressing the severity of the illness.

“Living with my wife, I know how different she was when she became depressed. I think family members need to get help; the right kind of help,” Cary said. “(Depression is) a serious condition and shouldn’t be taken lightly. I thought we were doing everything we could to help her, but it wasn’t enough. We didn’t do enough.”

Jane Marie Kalscheuer. Photo courtesy Kalscheuer family

Michael reminisced about his mother and the affects of her illness.

“But, more than anything, I do want her to be remembered as a wonderful person. This depression really overrides the person she really is. She really brought cheer to people lives,” Michael said, through tears. “I considered her a best friend, in addition to a mother, and I’ll miss her so much. It’s hard to fathom living a happy life without her.”

Cary further expressed his apologies and his hopes that the incident doesn’t tarnish the University and overshadow the good it’s done for his family.

“I’m really sorry she did this at Cal State Fullerton, because there were so many good memories there, and we still have people that interact with the University,” Cary explained.

Michael expressed what he would say if given the chance to say one last thing to his mother.
“I would say that I really, sincerely still love her,” Michael sobbed. “I’ll really miss her.”

To see the original story post, click here.

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  • grant d

    i feel for the family…condolences..r.i.p.

  • Theresa

    I am so sorry to hear about Mrs K. She is the first teacher my son ever had,dealing with special needs, a few years back, before getting diagnosed with autism. She always treated my son with so much love and respect, and patience. This hits so close to home, I lost my brother to suicide in 2006, at 52 yrs old. I go to a suicide support group if anyone wants or needs to go, it’s called Hope After Suicide, it has helped me get through my own tragedy. To the family, you did do everything in your power, for a person to complete a suicide, you need to feel hopeless,helpless, and worthless. She was none of these, but this is how depression makes you feel. I’m so sorry for your loss, mental illness is awful. Mrs K was very special, and will be deeply missed.
    -Theresa

  • Laura Gower

    Sending my prayers to all of the family. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • so sad

    She lived across the street from me. My prayers go out to her family.

  • Kathy T.

    I’ll miss you sweet friend.

  • JH

    Unfortunately I didn’t have the pleasure of meeting Ms. Kalscheuer. I do know Mr. Kalscheuer; we are co-workers. But, just hearing him talk about his wife, and the comments I heard from other co-workers, you just knew that she was a beautiful human being. I feel for my co-worker and his family; this is a terrible tragedy. I will keep them in my prayers.

  • ltofbeing

    It is unfortunate it takes such a painful outcry to address what is a severe issue in life. I hope the family comes to peace soon and celebrates the woman that she was.

  • LoriW

    My heart is saddened at your loss. Her pictures portray a vibrant wonderful woman, who as you shared, touched many lives. My prayers and thoughts go out to her son, husband, parents, and friends.

  • Cheryl

    I had the joy of working with Jane and also having her son in my class. Jane and I went to teacher conferences together and enjoyed social GIRLS time together. She was a gentle spirit who touched my life forever. Her love for her family was always her top priority.

  • Marsia Mattingly Ek

    To my uncle/aunt (Jane’s parents), my cousins (Jane’s sisters),and Cary, Michael, and Nick:
    My family and I are so sorry for your loss. I’m sure this is your worst nightmare right now. You all did all you could to help her. She knew that and you know that. After this severe loss and sadness lifts a little, be sure to embrace the loving daughter, sister, cousin, wife, and mother she really was. Celebrate her life, remember she was a gift. A gift on loan from God. Some may question Him right now, even be angry with Him. Just try hard to keep the faith. It’s a choice to do so and not give in to a lower form’s temptation. Remember, the disease took Jane, not God. Remember that as deep as her kindness was, so too was the love she had for you all. Now that love is locked in your memories and hearts. A special note to you Michael: Your Mom is still your best friend and she still loves you too. She will always watch over you and Nick from above. She would want you to have a “happy life” with or without her. She would want all the best for you. I’m sure you make her proud.
    To a great woman, happier times, warm thoughts, belief in a better tomarrow and family. Your in our thoughts and deep prayers. The Ek Family

  • Marta

    I am so sad and full of tears. I volunteer for Dr. Cooper and had the pleasure of meeting Mrs. Kalscheuer and Michael, my heart goes out to you (Michael) and your family. Your mom always had a smile on her face and you beside her, she will be missed.

  • Lisa

    I have nothing but happy memories when I think of Jane! My daughter was lucky enough to be in her preschool class and I also had the honor of working with her when she joined the staff at my school. She had a special gift of working with children. My thoughts and prayers go to Cary, Michael and Nick. I am so sorry for your loss.

  • Jerry G.

    Jane has been my sister’s best friend for over 30 years. My whole family is shock and saddened. By What has happened, she was another daughter to my parents. My daughters and ex-wife are surprized about what has happened, she was always a happy and outgoing person. And fun to have arround. This is such a tragedy I wish never had happen.

  • Geoffrey

    Severe depression is a terrible thing for anyone to have to live with. My prayers go out to her, I can only imagine the turmoil she was going through which led her to what she believed to be the only solution.

  • Cary Kalscheuer

    Thank you all for your thoughtful and touching comments regarding the loss of my wife, Jane. Our family continues to grieve the tragic loss of such a wonderful and irreplaceable person. We all miss her so much. When I was writing the Eulogy for my wife’s funeral, I felt as if she helped me to write a special message in the form of the following poem:

    “I see you and you make me smile
    Your personality shines with each passing mile.

    And even though some days are filled with sorrow
    I know that you will be OK and shine tomorrow.

    Your energy and spirit gave me life
    Constantly lifting me up to new heights.

    And although I cannot be with you at this time
    Remember my spirit and you’ll be fine.

    I love you all–family, friends, and co-workers too
    And young children everywhere who number too few.

    I pray that you forgive me for leaving now
    And that we will rejoin in heaven someday, somehow.

    May God bless you and bring you peace always.”

    Jane

    I’d like to extend my thanks to the CSUF Police for doing such a great job handling the passing of my wife on that tragic day in May.

    Sincerely,

    Cary Kalscheuer

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