JANE D. HAGEDORN 1943-2023
Our rock has been dislodged.
Jane Dallen Hagedorn was a beacon of light for the community. To know her was to be inspired by her. Jane spent her life as a mentor, health care reformer, and environmental activist. Her impact on people’s lives will last in Sacramento for many years to come. She was a kind, intelligent, generous, hardworking person who was truly concerned about the community and our impact on the world around us.
Born on July 28, 1943, in Marion, Virginia, she was raised in Port Clinton, Ohio by her engineer father and schoolteacher mother (John & Helen Dallen). Jane graduated Salutatorian from Port Clinton High School and attended Lake Erie College of Painesville, Ohio, on a full academic scholarship. She then transferred to University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, where she was a member of Pi Beta Phi sorority. After graduating with honors she received a Woodrow Wilson Fellowship and went on to a Master’s degree at Johns Hopkins University School of Advanced International Studies (Washington D.C.). While there she met her future husband and they then moved to San Francisco, California to begin married life and follow their careers. After a few years of living in San Francisco, they moved to Sacramento, California, where they have resided for the past 52 years. Jane died unexpectedly in her sleep on March 14, 2023, in Sacramento, California, leaving a vast hole in all of the lives that she touched.
Among her many accomplishments were spending 32 years as the CEO of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails Lung Association (now Breathe California). During her tenure she helped to grow the organization into a leader of clean air for all and increase education for all things related to healthy lungs. This included the successful effort to pass Prop 99 which allowed for programs to reduce smoking, to provide health care services to indigents, to support tobacco-related research, and to fund resource programs for the environment.
She was the Founder of Breathe California, a Founder and 1st President of the Sacramento Tree Foundation, a Founder of the California Oaks Fund and a Founder of the Sacramento Tomorrow Coalition.
Jane was an indefatigable worker with the special ability to encourage others to do better.
In her many years of civic involvement, Jane was a Leader for various organizations including being the 1st female ever appointed to the Sacramento County Planning Commission and was recognized by the Sacramento Bee as one of the Most Influential Women in Sacramento County. She was also the award recipient of the Sacramento Audubon Society and Environmental Council of Sacramento and a Fellow of the American Leadership Foundation. Jane was a staunch supporter of Democratic causes, lending her time, energy and resources to numerous political issues, culminating in a 1992 run for Sacramento County Supervisor. In addition to her civic and volunteer work, Jane also spent time sharing her knowledge as a professor of nonprofit management at UC Davis Graduate School of Management’s MBA Program.
Her numerous board member positions included the Tahoe Regional Planning Authority; Arden Park Recreation District, California Planning and Conservation League; Sacramento Symphony; Friends of Light Rail; and Valley Vision. Jane was a proud Arden-Dimick Friends of the Library volunteer and a consummate book lover. She was also an author, coauthoring the publications “Sacramento Vanishing Victorians” and “Native Oaks of California”.
In 1966, in a rare impulsive moment contrary to her sensible nature, Jane became engaged three weeks after meeting her future husband, Jim, at the home of a family friend in Washington D.C. True to all that Jane touched, it was a success, and Jim and Jane were married for 56 years.
Jane Hagedorn was an extraordinary wife, mother, grandmother and friend. She was a voracious reader, consumer of books, lover of sculptures and art, and garden aficionado. Jane loved traveling to London and beyond, taking first her children, then her grandchildren to Europe on numerous trips. Jane was extremely generous and kind to relatives, friends and acquaintances. She was the center of the family and all family traditions, hosting relatives from near and far, and every day living included heirloom silver, china and crystal. She was the central axis with which everything revolved-her work in her community, her neighborhood, her children, her grandchildren, her siblings and her nieces and nephews.
Beloved ‘”Grandma Jane” took her grandkids on numerous trips, and for the past 20 years, to her favorite week at “Grandma’s beach house” in Pajaro Dunes. She made time & effort to play with and watch grandkids, play the “imagination game”, attend athletic events and host every holiday. Generous with her love, friendship, & hard work, she never said no to the grandchildren. She was one of life’s treasures and will be terribly missed. We love you Grandma Jane and we miss you beyond belief.
Survived by husband James C. (Sacramento), children James A. (Anissa) and Jennifer K. Mikacich (Jared) of Sacramento, and delightful grandchildren Matthew, Julia and John Charles Hagedorn and Jared and Kevan Mikacich. Also survived by brother John Dallen (Frances) and sister Peggy Mekemson (Curtis) along with numerous nieces and nephews and extended family.
In Jane’s honor, please read a book, plant a tree, volunteer your time to a cause you believe in, go on a walk, take your kids on a trip and be generous.
In lieu of flowers, please contribute to the Sacramento Tree Foundation, Breathe California of Sacramento-Emigrant Trails or the Arden-Dimick Library.
There will be a Celebration of Life for friends and family in April, please reach out to the family for details