Originally Published: October 20, 2013 6:02 a.m.
Jane Zahn Edises passed away after a brief illness on Monday, Oct. 14, 2013, while in residence at Fountain View Village in Fountain Hills. She was 95. Born Martha Jane Sturgeon, March 27, 1918, in Detroit, Mich., the daughter of an Army physician and schoolteacher, she grew up in South Dakota, North Carolina, New York, and graduated from high school in Honolulu, Hawaii.
Her marriage to Lt. Commander Douglas Cordiner ended after the war, at which time she moved to Oregon, attended Reed College, then earned her BS degree in business administration from the University of Oregon. After a fellowship to the University of California, Berkeley, she received her master's degree in economics, married fellow student Victor Zahn, and headed the UC Berkeley Continuing Education Extension Division. When her marriage ended, she returned to the Berkeley campus and went on to earn a Ph.D. in Adult Education. She was a tenured professor and faculty member at San Francisco State University, briefly served as Chairman of the Center for Interdisciplinary Studies, then returned to her first love, teaching adult education classes, specializing in group behavior. In 1963, she married Bertram Edises, an Oakland attorney who specialized in labor law and workers' compensation. They lived in the Bay Area until their retirement in 1983 when they traveled the entire perimeter of the U.S. in search of their next community. They first settled in Carefree, Ariz., then finally to Prescott. When Bert passed away in 1997, Jane continued her volunteer work with Friends of the Library, was a voracious reader, and traveled extensively. After a fall and a broken hip, she moved into Las Fuentes Resort in Prescott where she remained until August 2013, when she elected to move to Fountain Hills to be closer to her family.
Jane is survived by her two daughters, Cynthia Penrose Magazine of Fountain Hills, Sandi Lee Wilmot of Pasadena, Calif.; stepdaughter Nina Edises Sheldon of Woodstock, N.Y.; stepson Michael Edises of Concord, Calif.; stepdaughter Joanne Zahn Parker of Eugene Ore.; three grandchildren, Vicki Penrose of Campbell, Calif., Lee Penrose of Mission Viejo, Calif. and Bradley Wilmot of Pasadena; and six great grandchildren.
A graveside service will be 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, at Mountain View Cemetery, 1051 Willow Creek Road, Prescott, followed by a celebratory lunch at the home of her dear friend, Ann Alexander in Prescott. In lieu of flowers, contributions may be made in her name to the Prescott Friends of the Library.
Information provided by survivors.