Naperville mourns the loss of a daughter. Naperville native Jane Latshaw Scherer recently passed away in her Colorado home at the age of 92.
Scherer was the great granddaughter of John Naper, brother of Captain Joseph Naper, who founded the city in 1831.
“She was very aware of everything,” remembers Peggy Frank, Executive Director of Naper Settlement and the Naperville Heritage Society. “She loved to tell family stories about her life, growing up here as a young girl and her interaction with her grandparents and her great grandparents.”
Scherer carried that family pride with her for her entire life. At the young age of 13, she was selected as Miss Naperville and was chosen to ride in the Centennial Parade in 1931.
“She was named Miss Naperville and wore her crown proudly and well,” said Frank. “But she was a tom boy and would have preferred being in a covered wagon or a Native American. She will forever be kept in the photographs”
Scherer and her late husband William were part of perhaps the biggest love story Naperville has ever seen. The two met in third grade, and began dating at what was then called Naperville High School (now Naperville Central High School). After graduation Bill made a bet that he would one day marry Jane, and five years later he did.
In 2002, a sculpture of two children sitting on a park bench was unveiled at the entrance of the Riverwalk. The two children are Jane and Bill. The statue is a symbol of their love, and is the 18th piece of the Naperville Century Walk.
As Scherer passed away in her home in Colorado, she left more than memories, she left valuable family artifacts to the city.
“Having something tangible from our founders is rare, and we are extremely grateful to Jane for leaving this behind,” said Frank.
Jane Latshaw Scherer is survived by three children, eight grandchildren and several great grand children.
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