Jane B. Musgrave [1921-2013]; Dietitian helped start program for moms, kids


Jane B. Musgrave, a registered dietitian who helped introduce Toledo to a federal nutrition program for pregnant women, mothers, and young children, died Sept. 3 in Toledo Hospital of a heart attack. She was 92.

She lived independently in her West Toledo home until age 89, when she became a resident of Swan Creek Retirement Village, her daughter Amy said.

Mrs. Musgrave retired in the late 1990s from the American Heart Association, where she was a nutritionist. For many years, she divided her work week between the heart association and the Toledo health department.

In the early 1970s, the city health department’s nutrition service — essentially, Mrs. Musgrave and Donna Rutan — was chosen to oversee a federal grant for Lucas County that would provide food for low-income pregnant women and lactating mothers and their children age 4 or younger. The program is now known as WIC — Women, Infants, Children.

“Each child is entitled to the normal development of his or her physical and mental potentials,” Mrs. Musgrave told The Blade in 1974. “Poor nutrition can retard physical, functional, and emotional growth.”

Mrs. Musgrave and Miss Rutan already were well known, according to The Blade account, for their work with the community nursing service and visiting nurses and for leading nutrition classes and workshops. Mrs. Musgrave extolled good nutrition in television appearances.

“She felt like she made a difference and that she touched a lot of people’s lives and health,” her daughter Amy said.

Mrs. Musgrave saw the best in people, even as she steered them away from salt and sugar and toward fiber-rich food.

“She was very nonjudgmental,” daughter Jane said.

Mrs. Musgrave was a former president of the Ohio Dietetic Association and of the Toledo Dietetic Association.

Her husband was the Rev. Frank Musgrave, longtime pastor of St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. Cooking a meal for visiting clergy or a bishop and entertaining might follow a day’s work.

“Mom was an old-time pastor’s wife,” daughter Amy said. “We had a lot of people at the house, whether bishops or other priests or Dad’s friends or parishioners. She was very supportive. She was a talker and was good at making people feel at ease.”

And she stayed out of church politics, daughter Jane said.

“She was good at walking that line, of being supportive without seeming to run things — and she didn’t want to,” daughter Jane said.

She was born Aug. 5, 1921, in Lee, Mass., to Mildred and Frank Bastow. She imagined a future beyond her small hometown, where her father worked in a paper pulp mill and her mother was a homemaker.

“She was entirely driven. She was always at the top of her class and wanted to be involved in everything,” daughter Amy said.

She received a degree in nutrition from Framingham State College and afterward taught for a short time in Vermont. She moved to Baltimore for a job with the cooperative extension service advising 4-H clubs and farm groups. Meanwhile, she took graduate courses at Johns Hopkins University, where she met her husband.

The couple moved to the Boston area, where he attended seminary. She was a nutritionist for the local visiting nurse service and was a dietitian at Massachusetts General Hospital. They moved to Toledo in 1952 when he became pastor of St. Matthew’s.

She was a member of P.E.O., a women’s philanthropic and support society, and had been local president of Pilot International, a volunteer service organization.

She and her husband married June 19, 1948. He died Sept. 10, 2002.

Surviving are her daughters Amy DuPuis and Jane Musgrave; five grandchildren, and two great-grandsons.

Memorial services will be at 11 a.m. Saturday at St. Michael’s in the Hills Episcopal Church, Ottawa Hills, where she was a member. Arrangements are by the Walker Funeral Home.

The family suggests tributes to a charity of the donor’s choice.

Contact Mark Zaborney at: mzaborney@theblade.com or 419-724-6182.