Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Jane Bassett Differding's memorial

Jane Bassett Differding
Aug. 20, 1937-April 20, 2024
Portola Valley, California

Jane B. Differding was born in Winston-Salem, NC and spent most of her life on the SF Peninsula. She grew up as a PK (short for "preacher's kid") who got accustomed to changing communities. After attending high schools in Moorestown, NJ and Allentown, PA, Jane studied at Swarthmore College where she made lasting friendships. She completed a B.A. in History in 1959 and married her West Coast darling, John, the same year. The couple started out in San Francisco and then moved to Portland, OR. In 1966, they settled in Palo Alto with their girls, Joan and Amy. Jane weathered an eventual divorce and continued to be a devoted parent while pursuing a new career. She earned a Master of Library Science from San Jose State University in 1979 and became a research librarian. Her knack for sourcing data led to work as an information specialist for businesses as varied as Nielsen Engineering, Tandem Computers, and Genelabs. Jane always enjoyed reading books and was partial to mysteries. She also adored babies and volunteered in the NICU at Lucile Packard Children's Hospital, comforting newborns with lullabies. Her adventurous spirit gave rise to memorable travels on each continent, most notably a family car trip across the U.S. and back, an exploration of the UK by train, a trek through the Amazon, and a journey by boat to Antarctica. Jane shared a genuine appreciation of nature, food, art and music with those around her. She played the piano and organ and loved to sing. In addition to church choirs, she performed with the Schola Cantorum and participated in Madrigal groups for many years. Jane relocated to Mountain View after a nearby creek flooded her Eichler home in 1998. She retired to The Sequoias-Portola Valley in 2015. Ultimately Jane felt ready to join her departed brother, David, and is survived by cherished relatives including her daughters, five nieces and three grandchildren.

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Memorial service
A service will be held on August 13th, 4:30pm at Stanford Memorial Church.
Make a donation
Donations in memory of Ms. Differding may be directed to the Moravian Ministries Foundation at

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