Lois Jean (Jean) Updike Kelbaugh Sagan died of cancer at the age of 89 on Tuesday, September 27. She is survived by her husband of 64 years, Marc Sagan, her daughter Harriet (Hatsy) Sagan Cutshall and her son Paul Sagan. She also leaves behind her two grandchildren, Katherine (Kati) Cady Cutshall and Alexander (Alex) Cutshall.
Jean was born in Thurmont, Maryland to Catherine Cady Kelbaugh and Earl Talmadge Kelbaugh. She graduated from Western Maryland College with a degree in Home Economics and taught school in Baltimore. She met Marc when she was working as a counselor at Camp Greentop in Thurmont and he was a naturalist at Catoctin Mountain National Park.
In 1963 Marc’s career brought them to Loudoun County. Jean very quickly got involved with the League of Women Voters of Loudoun County and for more than 50 years she was an active member, serving as President for eight two-year terms during the ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s.
In her 50 years of work strengthening democracy and educating voters, Ms. Sagan was passionate about preserving Loudoun’s land use policies and state financing of public education. She was instrumental in bringing attention to Virginia’s Motor Voter Law and supported restoration of funding to Loudoun County’s Legal Defense Office. In 1987 she was named a “Woman of Achievement” by the Loudoun Commission on Women for her work with the League.
Her other great loves were her husband and family, home and gardens, and her dogs. She is known by many for the pleasure she took in the hard work of raising sheep, chickens, and cattle. Her gardens were a marvel to many and she thrived on planning, planting and harvesting.
A memorial service is planned for 11 am on October 29th at Jean and Marc’s home. In lieu of flowers, the family have asked that donations be made to the League of Women Voters of Loudoun County’s Education Fund, Piedmont Environmental Council, the National Foundation for Cancer Research, and Loudoun Wildlife Conservancy.