Palo Alto Online - Lasting Memories - Jane McCleave Trautmann's memorial

Jane McCleave Trautmann
July 9, 1938-April 29, 2023
Seattle, Washington

Jane Trowbridge McCleave Trautmann passed away on April 29th in Seattle, Washington, surrounded by friends and family. She was 84 years old. Jane was born July 9th, 1938, in Oakland, California and spent her childhood in Piedmont, California, where Jane attended Anna Head elementary and Piedmont High School. Jane received a BA from UCLA, where she graduated in 1960. Jane joined the Kappa Alpha Theta sorority and was actively involved in other activities and clubs on campus. Jane met her husband, John, in Southern California and married in 1961.

The newlyweds moved to San Francisco and enjoyed a brief three years in Newington, Virginia (1968 to 1972) early in their marriage. They would then move back to Northern California and settle in Palo Alto (1972), where they lived for 35 years. Jane and John welcomed daughter Nancy into the world in 1962, Tom in 1964 and Jeannie in 1968. Jane’s beloved John sadly died from Alzheimer’s when he was 75 in 2010. Seeking adventure, Jane built a house in Reno, Nevada, where she lived for five years. There, she created a close-knit community of friends and found comfort and support in a local church. A devoted grandmother, Jane chose to move closer to her Tom, Jeannie and her grandchildren (Caitlyn, Kristina, Danielle, Thomas, Elizabeth and Helen). With her bright smile and eagerness Jane engaged in outdoor activities, weekly card games, art classes, strength classes and visits with family and friends. A lover of animals, Jane adopted cats over the years that became wonderful companions. Full of determination, adventure and spirit, Jane was an eager life participant. A teacher, AYSO (girls) Soccer Commissioner, PTA president, life-long community volunteer, Jane immersed herself with spirit in everything she did. She even co-coached her children’s soccer teams with her husband, John, when her children were young.

A true survivor, Jane was diagnosed with stage three breast cancer when she was 37. She continued to mentor other breast cancer survivors well into her long life for 46 years there-after. Additionally, Jane created a successful career selling residential real-estate, while raising three children with her husband.

Eager to explore, Jane continued to travel until just weeks before she died. She enjoyed many trips with her sister, her friends and family. Jane traveled throughout the US, to the Arctic, the Galapagos Islands, Europe, Israel, Africa, Mexico, Russia, Iceland, New Zealand, Alaska, and more. Most recently, she toured Nova Scotia in the Fall of 2022. Fiercely loyal and often gregarious, Jane cared for the people she met in her life and would devote her time and considerable energy to sustaining friendships. Also, faith was important to Jane and a part of her daily life. Bible study group leader, a deacon, long standing member of the adult choir, she kept engaging. Socially minded, Jane (and John’s door) was always open to sit at the table. Jane enjoyed a competitive card game or ping pong. She also engaged in passions such as photography and keeping record of family history. In fact, Jane’s communication and thoughtful nature was the glue in keeping people together. Jane McCleave Trautmann lived a long and fulfilled life. Although they are not with us physically, we continue to celebrate her life and John’s life.

Jane was the daughter of Dr. Thomas Crooke McCleave Jr. and Helen Von Weise McCleave, and wife to John Jordan Trautmann (1935-2010). Jane is survived by her sister, (Sue) Helen McCleave Cake, her three children, Nancy Trautmann, Thomas McCleave and Jeannie Ruckelshaus, and six grandchildren. We held a service honoring Jane in Bellevue, WA on May 17th, 2023. Jane’s ashes will be placed next to her husband, John, in Palo Alto, CA, at the Alta Mesa Cemetery on Friday, March 1st, 2024.

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