Longtime Alaska resident,passed away peacefully at the age of 92 at her home in Wasilla, Alaska, on August 17, 2019.
Jane was born in Los Angeles, California, on July 30, 1927, to Ernest and Georgia (Hoag) Hilsdorf, their only child. Growing up she excelled both academically and in sports, particularly golf and tennis. Jane attended Pomona College in Clairmont, California, where she earned her teaching degree. She first taught elementary school in California, but being an adventurous young lady, in 1952 she traveled north to Alaska via steamship to teach in Anchorage with her longtime friend, the late Margo Cook. Jane not only fell in love with Alaska, but also with a handsome Texan, “Lindy” Hammond, and they married on December 20, 1953. In 1963, Jane and Lindy, with their three small children, moved to Nikiski where Lindy had accepted a position with Chugach Electric. Jane returned to teaching after the kids were in school, and was a dedicated educator for many years at Nikiski Elementary. After retiring from the classroom, Jane was encouraged to run for the school board, and was elected for several terms, eventually serving as President of the Kenai Peninsula School Board. In their retirement, Jane and Lindy traveled across most of the lower 48, as well as Europe, Australia, and New Zealand. They enjoyed snowbirding between the Texas hill country, but returned to Alaska every summer. Jane became an accomplished home cook, and her dinner parties were not to be missed. In hearing of Jane’s passing, her friends and former colleagues recalled her intelligence and wit. She was always ready with a quip or a joke (or both).
Jane was predeceased by her parents, husband, Lindy in 2009, and sisters- and brothers-in-law.
Jane is survived by her three children, Jennie (Dick) Weldin of Palmer, Laura (Chris) Kelley of Homer, and Dan (Jennie) of Soldotna. She is also survived by five grandchildren, Adrienne (Josh) Sullivan of Bend, Oregon, Mitch (Emily) Laird of Anchorage, Stephanie (Bart) Elhard of Seward, and Brady Hammond and Brianna Hammond of Soldotna. She also leaves four great grandchildren. She is also survived by her sister-in-law, Lois Hoehn, of St. Louis, Missouri, as well as three nieces and one nephew.
The family extends their heartfelt gratitude to Dr. Rebecca White and staff, the staff and fine caregivers at TLC At Home Care, LLC, and ANCOR Hospice Services.