Elizabeth Jane Stoddard

Elizabeth Jane Stoddard passed away peacefully on April 6, 2024, in Snohomish, Washington.

She was 94.

Jane was born in 1929 in Brooklyn, NY. She spent a hard childhood during the depression in Macon, Georgia with her beloved Mother Lois Holst, and her sister Fran.

Jane attended High School in Macon, Georgia, was active in both high school and community affairs and was an exemplary student.

Having a dream of becoming a school teacher and helping others, she attended Georgia State College for Women in Milledgeville, Georgia. She was involved in the theater and many other college activities. She graduated in 1950 with a Bachelor of Science in Education. She graduated with honors and was soon doing what she dreamed of … being a teacher.

Jane’s mother, Lois, worked for the National Park Service at Ocmulgee National Monument in Macon, Georgia. In 1949, she introduced Jane to a new park ranger named Carl Stoddard from Utah.

Jane and Carl started dating and soon began a love affair that lasted for 58 years.

Carl passed away in 2008 and Jane was devoted to him and his legacy and memory until the end of her life.

Jane and Carl were married in 1952 in Macon, Georgia. By 1960, they had three young sons, Steve, Craig, and Bruce.

Carl’s job took the family to many different states and parks across the country and Jane got teaching jobs along the way, while also being involved in those communities.

By 1967, their travels had taken them to Friday Harbor on San Juan Island, Washington.

Carl became the first Park Superintendent of the Historical Park on San Juan Island and Jane became a teacher at Friday Harbor High School, teaching English and History. She was also instrumental in bringing women’s basketball and track to the island, which at that time were not being represented. She was also very active in town and island affairs.

Jane used to laugh (her very prominent laugh) that when Carl “told the boys we were moving to the San Juan Islands, they thought we were going to Puerto Rico. When we arrived in Friday Harbor in our loaded down station wagon on a quiet, cold, windy, rainy day three days before Christmas in 1967, the boys knew they weren’t in Puerto Rico”.

Regardless, Jane and the family fell in love with the island and that was where Jane and Carl wanted to live out their days once they’d retired.

In 1974, the National Park Service promoted Carl to a new position in Anchorage, Alaska. Steve and Craig had graduated from High School and were off to college. Jane, Carl, and Bruce moved to Alaska, mourning leaving the island. Soon, however, they were Alaskans and Jane took a position teaching advanced placement English and History at Bartlett-Begich High School in Anchorage, Alaska. She represented Alaska multiple times at the Outstanding Teachers of America conference in Washington, DC. She was voted favorite teacher many times by the students of Barlett Begich High School.

In 1980, Jane and Carl became empty nesters when Bruce left for college. They themselves left Alaska upon retirement in 1985 to return to their beloved San Juan Island to build their dream home on the West side of the Island. Jane and Carl loved the nature, the history, the lifestyle, and the people of Friday Harbor. They were happy to be Islanders again.

Jane and Carl had many great years together, with their 50th wedding anniversary, which was held at the San Juan Island yacht club, being one of their most cherished moments with all their friends and family.

Jane was as active as she possibly could be in community affairs, with the theater being one of her favorite passions. She also loved her bridge games with her friends and was always quick to welcome newcomers to the island. She was a very gracious host. Jane and Carl traveled extensively in Europe, Africa, and Asia. They loved their travels overseas and also treasured their boating adventures through the San Juans in the US and Canada with their good friends.

When her beloved Carl passed away in 2008, at the age of 85, she was devastated but continued to live in their home with all their memories, until recently, when she moved to an assisted living facility in Seattle.

She is survived by her sons Steve, Craig, and Bruce, her 8 grandchildren, Jamey, Chad, Carl, Katie, Sam, Sophie, Ben, and Daniel, and four great-grandchildren, Sidney, Roman, Eleana and Brooks.

Jane loved the island, loved being an islander, and would in eternity be an islander.

Her last wish would have been to thank San Juan Island and its people and all of her friends who she loved and cared about very much.

“Thank you San Juan Island and bless your angel heart” A celebration of life will occur at a future date.