February 15, 1930 - April 23, 2022
Jane L. Winters died of complications from dementia on April 23, 2022. She was 92.
Jane Frances Little was born in Evanston, Illinois, the older of two children, and grew up in Hinsdale, a small suburb of Chicago. As a child of the depression era, the experience of growing up in an extended family made an indelible impression on her, as her maternal grandparents lived with them to get by.
Jane attended Hinsdale Township public schools and then Colorado College (B.A. Religious Studies, ’51). Both her parents were college graduates (Northwestern Univ. & Wabash College), and she strongly valued access to continuing education for her children and grandchildren. She was active in the American Association of University Women (AAUW) throughout her life.
Upon graduating college, she wanted to travel to Europe. She wrote to several embassies about seeking employment, and found that Vienna, Austria hired locally. Knowing that a college friend was stationed there in the U.S. Air Force, in the fall of 1952, she bought a one-way passage on a trans-Atlantic steamer, and was hired by the US Embassy in Vienna.
At a Christmas party her college friend invited her to that same year, she met a young man, Julian E Winters of Findlay, OH, whom she would marry in May of 1953. Within two years, they returned to the U.S., settling in Rapid City, SD prior to discharge; then to Columbus, OH for Julian to take advantage of the GI Bill benefits for education at Ohio State University (B.A., Business Admin, ’57), and then on to Indianapolis, IN, where their first son, David, was born.
But they were restless to move to California, and set out together to begin a life in the Golden State. They lived the rest of their lives on the peninsula, in San Carlos and later San Mateo & Hillsborough. Over the years they had two other children, John & Kathryn.
Like many of her generation, she was inspired by the movement for Civil Rights and Fair Housing. She became active in the 1964 No on 14 campaign, to oppose the repeal of the California fair housing law, and marched many miles against racial discrimination. This passion was an impetus for Jane to obtain her real estate license in 1971, and later became a broker, both for her own brokerage, as well as other well-known companies on the peninsula until her retirement in the early 2000’s. She especially enjoyed helping first-time buyers to successfully purchase their homes.
Jane loved the natural environment of the Bay Area and was a volunteer with San Mateo’s Japanese Tea Garden in Central Park, as well as a docent for the Filoli Estate in Woodside. Captivated by the area’s majestic Redwood trees, she & Julian made a major donation to establish a memorial grove in Big Basin Redwoods State Park, in honor of their son, David, after his untimely death in 1972.
Jane was preceded in death by her eldest son David, husband Julian, her parents ‘Chick’ & Phyllis Little, and her brother, John. She is survived by--children John & Kathryn; a sister-in-law, nephew & two nieces from her brother’s family on the east coast; two sets of in-laws, four nieces and two nephews from her husband’s family in the bay area; and five grandchildren and three great-grandchildren in the bay area and foothills. Our family is indebted to the professional caregivers at Hopkins Manor assisted-living in Redwood City, for their kind & compassionate care during the last several years, particularly during the COVID-19 pandemic.
A virtual celebration of her life is planned for Sunday, August 21st at 3pm Pacific Time. Contact John Winters at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to be added to the guest list.
In lieu of flowers, please send donations to The Sempervirens Fund, David Hart Winters Memorial Grove, in memory of Jane L. Winters. https://sempervirens.org/support