Marge Collins, 77, long-time Palo Alto educator and community leader, died on October 27. She was treated for peritoneal cancer for nearly four years. Despite her illness, she and her husband, Tom, continued to travel with a trip to Europe, two trips to see family and friends in the Midwest, and five trips to visit their daughter and family in Austin, Texas.
She was born in Manilla, Iowa. She graduated from Manilla High School, where she was the valedictorian of her class. She spent two years at The University of Northern Iowa and then received her undergraduate degree from Butler University. After coming to California, sheearned two master's degrees from San Jose State University.
She taught first grade and worked as a literacy specialist in Palo Alto 1965. During her years in Palo Alto, she served as president of the American Association of University Women, president of Neighbors Abroad, and board member of the United Nations Association, Environmental Volunteers, Palo Alto Historical Association, and advisory board member for the Palo Alto Historical Museum and Gamble Garden. She was a Tall Tree recipient in 1994 and A Friend of Education in 2006.
She is survived by her husband of 55 years, Tom Collins; daughter, Ann Collins Johns; brother, William Theobald of Troy, Mo.;and two grandsons.
In lieu of flowers, a donation can be made in Marge's memory to Marge Collins Memorial Fund in care of Palo Alto Unified School District, 25 Churchill, PA 94306 at wwwpausd.org, The Palo Alto Historical Museum at Museum@PAHistoryMuseum.org or the Manilla Area Historical Association at MAHA 412 9th Avenue, Manilla, Iowa 51454.
Eleanora Jadwin, 77, who taught and managed in Palo Alto's popular PreSchool Family and Young Fives programs from 1973 to 1995, died Oct. 2. Jadwin was a PreSchool Family teacher when, in 1975, she helped to start Young Fives, the Palo Alto Unified School District program offering an extra year of pre-kindergarten for children on the younger side of 5.
After retiring in 1995, she continued as a part-time consultant on school district programs. Within the past year she worked as a volunteer in helping to organize the new, foundation-funded Springboard to Kindergarten a program launched by the school district and aimed at children who have not had a preschool experience.
A week before her death, she was present to be honored by more than 200 PreSchool Family alumni and current families at a barbecue and premier of the film, "Growing Together: The PreSchool Family Story."
She was born in Clinton, Okla., but the following year her family moved to California, settling in the Central Valley. While a student at College of the Sequoias in Visalia she met her husband during a weekend conference at Asilomar. They married in 1956.
She taught elementary school in Los Angeles before spending a decade as a stay-at-home mother. She later worked as a substitute in the Palo Alto schools before joining PreSchool Family in 1973.
She was a tennis player and rode her bicycle around town. She enjoyed cooking, gardening, sewing and music, and traveled the world with her husband.
In addition to her husband, she is survived by her daughters, Andrea Jadwin of San Francisco; Lisa Jadwin (Steve Derne) of Rochester, N.Y.; and Laura Jadwin of Pacific Grove.
A celebration of life will be held Nov. 7 at 1 p.m. at Greendell School, 4120 Middlefield Road. Memorial contributions may be made to the Friends of PreSchool Family, (www.fopsf.org), 4120 Middlefield Road, Palo Alto, 94303.
George Elton Renner, 95, a longtime resident of Palo Alto, died Sept. 29 in DeSoto, Texas.
He was born in Stockton. He was a longtime employee of Cap Concrete and retired in 1976. He was married to Gladyce Amelia Renner, retired employee for the Palo Alto High School, until her death in 1981. He was also a Teamster and a retired past president and lodge member of the Native Sons of the Golden West, Parlor # 66 in Redwood City. He was a longtime advocate, volunteer and donor to The Cleft Palate Foundation, through the Native Sons.
He is survived by his wife of 25 years, Patsy Gene Upper; daughter Evalyn L. Richie of Ore City, Texas; brother Geroge Renner of Sacramento; and many grand children and great grandchildren.