Jane Marion Page|
Jane (Izzard) Page was born in Seattle's Swedish Hospital on August 6, 1922. In 1908, Jane's father, Albert (Bert) Izzard, and mother, Mabel Lea, moved to Seattle from Toronto by way of Chicago. Bert established his own advertising agency in downtown Seattle which sustained Jane, her parents, sister, two brothers and two maiden aunts throughout the Depression years.
Jane attended Broadway High School on Capitol Hill and the University of Washington, where, as a freshman, she met Byron Page, a star of the UW tennis team and general "big man on campus." Jane and Byron were married in 1942, shortly before Byron joined the Army. They had two sons, Richard and Norm, and remained happily married for 70 years until Byron's death earlier this year.
Jane was politically progressive throughout her life, considering all Presidents after FDR a pale imitation of what Presidents should be. She was a strong supporter of Adlai Stevenson emphatically drawing her young sons' attention to the great enthusiasm of the pro-Stevenson delegates during the 1960 Democratic Convention. Equal to her enthusiasm for Stevenson, Jane placed great hope in the candidacy of Eugene McCarthy in 1968 and the "clean for Gene" movement which might inspire her sons to cut their hair as well as end the Vietnam War.
Jane was a long-time supporter of the Women's Movement with Betty Freidan's Feminine Mystique appearing without comment in the otherwise male-dominated family living room. At age 38, Jane returned to the University of Washington where she earned a PhD in English. Her doctoral dissertation was an insightful, mythological analysis of Lewis Carroll's fanciful classic Alice in Wonderland.
In 1977, Jane published a book entitled The Other Awkward Age criticizing the dismissive attitude of American doctors toward menopause and women's health issues. Throughout the 1970s, Jane also taught English at Shoreline Community College. She was a frequent contributor to several book clubs, including the Seattle Women's University Club. While visiting her family in San Diego, she taught an adult English class reviewing modern American short stories at the University of California in San Diego (UCSD). Even in her hospital room, she enjoyed hearing her favorite short story "Melungeons."
Jane and Byron lived in Freeland on Whidbey Island for the last 40 years of her life, in a home built by her sons under the guidance of her brother-in-law Jack Bitterman (who luckily actually knew how to build a house). She was deeply attached to her Whidbey house and its beautiful view of Holmes Harbor until the final year of her life when she had to move back to the "big city."
Jane died peacefully on June 13 at age 90, just four months after Byron's death. After enduring two sons, Jane was richly rewarded with four granddaughters, two grandsons and three great grandsons.
Jane's family included her sons Richard with wife Sandra, Norm with wife Marissa, her four granddaughters Jessica with husband Matt, Laura, Rachel and Rebecca, her grandsons Steve and Alex, her great grandsons Jude, Alex and Logan, her sister Annabel and niece Toni.
Jane lived a long and fulfilling life with relentless personal respect for learning and concern for social justice leaving a deep and enduring imprint on the lives of her family and friends.
Be safe, we love you.
Published in The Seattle Times on July 21, 2013