Jane Louise's Story

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Jane was born in Boston, Mass., the only child of Oscar Wallace Johnson and Marion Bromley Johnson. She grew up in its suburbs. When her family moved to Vallejo, Calif., she enrolled at Vallejo High School and graduated, Class of 1962. She attended the University of California at Davis on a California State Merit Scholarship, where she earned both Bachelor's and Master's degrees in History and Political Science. She was awarded Phi Beta Kappa status in her junior year. In 1963, she met her future husband, Steve at a campus mixer and from that point on, the two were partners for life.
They were married in 1968 by her uncle, the late Rev. Nathan Wood, in his backyard in Napa. At that time, Jane was employed as a Social Worker for Napa County. She was always thrifty, and repeatedly told people that she was proud of the fact that her wedding (including her dress) cost no more than $40. She was, after all, a native of New England.
Her new husband was a member of the U.S. Army. He was reassigned to Seoul, Korea, which was an accompanied tour, so Jane went there so they could be together. Following his discharge in 1970, they moved to Corte Madera so he could finish his Master's Degree at San Francisco State. Jane took a job at the Marin County Office of Social Services, where she continued as a Social Worker.
When her husband graduated, he was offered a teaching position at the American School in Taipei, Taiwan. Jane packed up her unused teaching credential and the pair headed west to teach for three years. When they returned to California in 1974, they were no longer only a pair, but a trio. The couple's son, Stephen V was born in July of 1973. After discovering that there were no available teaching jobs in the area, the couple contacted their international teaching placement agency and both accepted jobs at the American School in Tehran, Iran.
When their contracts were finished, they returned to Jane's home state of Massachusetts, where she accepted teaching positions in Franklin, then Wellesley. In 1981, they moved to North Carolina and after a year, the family decided to return to California, where Jane accepted a position at North Monterey County High School. They then settled in the coastal community of Pacific Grove. She taught at North Monterey County from 1982 to 1993. With her son getting ready to go away to college at George Washington University in D.C., Jane accepted a position teaching Baccalaureate Economics at the American School in Athens, Greece.
Soon after their time in Greece, Jane and her husband returned to Massachusetts, where he accepted what was to be the couple's final contact with education. However, still hoping to return to education, Jane earned a Master's Degree in Administration from the University of Massachusetts. They bought a duplex overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in Rockport, Mass., and Jane spent her next year’s managing the rental unit in the duplex. When her husband retired in 2002, the couple began raising organic fruits and vegetables in their back yard, preserving a lot of their own harvest.
While she was learning to can and preserve the harvest, she entered a sample of her apple jelly in a contest at the Topsfield Fair and won a ribbon. She was one talented lady. After one-too-many brutal New England winters, and with encouragement from her son and his family, Jane and Steve once again made a cross-country trip; this time by train. They returned to Pacific Grove, where they purchased what was to be their final home together. There, she volunteered on committees of the Monarch Pines Homeowners Association and published the community newsletter.
Jane tried to communicate the need for clear, objective critical thinking to her students and demonstrated her capacity to perform their processes in her daily existence. She led a full and interesting life; loved her Red Sox, was fiercely loyal to those about whom she cared and will be greatly missed by all who knew her.
She is survived by her husband, Steve (IV); son, Stephen (V) and his wife, Lisa; and her beloved twin grandchildren, Mackenzie (“Kenzie” who shares her grandmother’s love of chocolate) and Stephen VI, (nicknamed “Phinn”, a sports fan just like grandma). Jane would be proud that three generations of Thomas’ helped to tell her story.
At her request, Jane will be cremated and her ashes scattered over the ocean that she loved so much.
Published on  April 27, 2016
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