Jane Coladarci, a mainstay of the Almanac's advertising department for most of her 30 years at the paper, died "quickly and peacefully" May 7 in Yuba City, California, in the company of her daughter and son, the family said. She was 96.
"Jane certainly was the embodiment of the Almanac's dedication to serving the business community in Menlo Park, and she did so with consummate sensitivity and grace," former Almanac publisher Mort Levine said on her retirement from the Almanac in 2004.
A longtime Woodside resident, Ms. Coladarci joined the Almanac in 1974 after deciding she had too much time on her hands after her youngest child went off to college. The proximity of the Almanac's office in the basement of a building in downtown Woodside was a deciding factor, she said, as there was a gasoline crisis at the time.
She launched her career as a working woman at the age of 54 by taking the receptionist job at the newspaper's front desk. "I answered the phone, took care of the mail and subscriptions, did the shopping, went to the bank, took dictation from (Almanac co-founder) Betty Fry and did accounts receivable," Ms. Coladarci said in a 1990 interview.
Her other talents were soon realized and she tried out as an advertising salesperson. "Well, they turned me loose with no instruction, no territory, but I was determined to make a go of it. I went after anything from Mountain View to Burlingame," she said.
She met with success, and took on a full-time sales job, which she held for 25 years, working for three publishers and numerous ad managers.
Born in Allentown, Pennsylvania, she worked for IBM after graduating from Grove City College in 1942 with a degree in business education.
In 1947, she married Arthur P. Coladarci after a brief courtship. They moved to California in 1951 when he joined the Stanford University faculty and she was soon devoted to raising her daughter Katy (born in 1951) and son Ted (born in 1953).
The Coladarci home in Woodside "was always open to the children's friends, where soulful music, pasta feasts and animated conversation were the norm," the family says.
Her husband, Arthur, who had become dean of the Stanford School of Education, died in 1991.
In 2007, after her career at the Almanac, she moved to Yuba City to take up residence across the street from her best friend, Katy. To her last day, she lived independently, the family says.
She is survived by her daughter Katy and son-in-law Ronald Ward, son Ted and daughter-in-law Janet Spector, a granddaughter, a grandson, and two great granddaughters.
Click here to see the family memorial on the Almanac's Lasting Memories site. You can leave a remembrance there.