Alumna falls to her death

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?’ ”

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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.”

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