Jane Ann Bodell Christiansen Stangland Dempsey Fanning

born Astoria, Oregon November 7, 1916

Named Margaret Jane Christiansen at birth, Jane was born to Caspar Christiansen and Nora Evelyn Alfrieda Jensen in Astoria, Oregon on November 7, 1916. The Christiansen family then changed their name to Stangland after the area in Norway where they originated. So Margaret Jane Christiansen became Jane Ann Bodell Stangland. She had a sister named Dorothy Patricia. Her parents divorced when she was about 4 years old.

When Jane was about 7 her mother married Earl Lawrence Dempsey who became "Daddy" to the girls and later "Papa" to all the grandchildren. When Jane was 12 her parents had another daughter, Helen Evelyn, born August 13, 1928.

Jane grew up in Astoria, Oregon with her grandmother Anna Jensen, in Seattle and Hawaii with her parents. She spent some years at a boarding school in Oregon when her parents were in Hawaii. Each week Earl Dempsey would run to the ship in Honolulu before it sailed for the mainland to send Jane a postcard. She graduated from Roosevelt High School in Honolulu on June 15, 1934.

Jane Ann Bodell Dempsey, age 18
The cross belonged to her grandmother, Anna Nielsen Jensen

Jane attended Seattle Secretarial School, graduating on June 28, 1935. When she was in the islands all the local girls spent time meeting the ships and going to parties. At one of these welcoming dances at the Royal Hawaiian Hotel Jane was introduced to Walter Norman Fanning who was on an ROTC cruise from the University of California at Berkeley. She invited him to a party.

Walter and Jane were married in Seattle, WA on Sept. 10, 1938. (Here is a wedding photo of Jane, published in the Seattle P.I). They settled in the Marina District of San Francisco (rent $60.00 per month). Walter worked for the Columbia Machine Works.
Jane sought and found a nice lot in Oakland which they bought. She liked Oakland because it had both flatland and hills. They designed their home and had it built in 1940. Their daughter Susan was born in Oakland. Daughter Nancy was born 8 years later .
Jane was an exceptionally good mother. She was patient with her children when they were young. She would take time to talk with them and with their friends. She was active in P.T.A. and Girl Scouts with both daughters. She allowed them to develop in their own way and encouraged their interests. She was also a member of the Cinderella Chapter of the Childrens' Home Society. She always spoke her mind directly which sometimes got her into trouble. She said someone would tell her a secret and then she had trouble remembering what was secret and what was not.

She loved to play bridge and earned her master points at the Recreation Centers in Oakland, mostly at Diamond Park. She took sailing lessons on Lake Merritt and capsized two or three times. She found this very funny.
She kept in touch with members of her family and her friends from high school. She wrote very detailed and interesting letters to all, every day to her children when they were away at camp. She loved to write.
In her 40's she developed thyroid and blood pressure problems. As a result her vision was compromised. On March 26, 1970, at age 53, Jane suddenly and unexpectedly passed away from cardiac arrest.
Jane at about 14 months, Astoria, Oregon Jane about 1934, age 18, at home in Hawaii
Jane, 1938, as she sailed from Seattle on her trip around the world. (From a Seattle Times photo).

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Family of Jane Dempsey and Walter Norman Fanning