Jane Vartanian, 94½, passed away Aug. 11, 2019, after a fall at home, breaking her hip and further complicating her existing health issues.
Jane was born in St. Louis, Missouri, and attended St. Anthony's School for Girls from kindergarten through high school. She graduated from Harris Teachers College in St. Louis. Her first three years of teaching were at Madison School, which her grandmother had attended nearly 80 years before. Over time the neighborhood had changed to an inner city slum and it was there that she saw the need for her students to be aware of their neighborhood and plan to develop their future.
She taught in the Alameda Unified School District for 34 years. While there she taught elementary science at the seventh and eighth grade level. She believed in "hands-on" science learning. It was a constant struggle to get needed equipment. Here, too, she felt the necessity to inspire her students to look to their futures and responsibilities.
She was instrumental in getting counseling into the middle schools. She worked with NAACP, HOPE (a fair housing organization), was active in teacher/board of education relations, and was active in the Democratic Party at county and city levels. She received many awards for her efforts including: PTA Teacher of the Year; City of Alameda Recognition for Outstanding Service to the city; CTA WHO Award (we honor ours); CTA Gold Award; and the Bass Teacher-in-Politics Award.
Jane had boundless energy and thirst for learning new things. She retired in 1986 and settled in Fort Bragg. She was active in her church, Our Lady of Good Counsel.
She was active on the Westport Ten Mile Cemetery District Board and the Mendocino Coast Gem and Mineral Society. She volunteered for Fort Bragg Public Library and Channel 3, Fort Bragg's public access TV station. She traveled extensively throughout the United States and Canada. She was considered a professional videographer, editor and producer, and won third place in the American Federation of Gem and Mineral Society for her video on ivory carving. She enjoyed her hobby of repairing 2- and 4-cycle gas engines.
Jane joined Delta Kappa Gamma, Delta Zeta Chapter in 1972, and transferred her membership to Iota Zeta in 1990. She served on many committees and was elected Second Vice President, First Vice President and President. She continued to practice the tenets of journalism by keeping their membership files current with clippings from local newspapers.
She was predeceased by her husband, Haig. She is survived by her son, Haig O.; daughter, Rose; sisters, Dolores of Belleville, Illinois, Pat of St. Louis, Missouri, and Kay of Shelburne, Vermont; and many nieces and nephews.
A service was held on Wednesday, Aug. 21, 2019, at Our Lady of Good Counsel.
Published in Fort Bragg Advocate-News on Aug. 22, 2019.