Jane Trumbo Alderfer

Jane Alderfer, 92, died Jan. 9, 2024. She was born Alma Jane Trumbo as a triplet on Aug. 13, 1931, in Harrisonburg, Va. She grew up in Broadway, Va., the daughter of Norvell Preston Trumbo Sr. and Sarah Meyers Trumbo.

     Jane was creative. She loved beauty, art and music. She was a graduate of Eastern Mennonite High School in Harrisonburg and Goshen College in Indiana. She studied Typography at Carnegie Tech in Pittsburgh and printmaking at the Art Institute of Chicago. She was an employee for many years in the editorial and later the design department of Mennonite Publishing House in Scottdale, Pa.

     In 1960 she married Joseph E. Alderfer. The couple moved from Pennsylvania to Chicago with their young son, Max, in 1967. There she continued her graduate studies. In 1975 she earned a master’s degree in cultural studies from Governors State University. She was employed by the University of Chicago Press’ Astrophysical Journal as a graphics specialist for many years and worked for an investment firm in Chicago. She taught art and design for several semesters at Prairie State College.

     Jane was an advocate for social justice and progressive politics. Jane loved plants and perennial gardening. She was a member of the Crete, Ill., garden club as well as the Crete Women’s Club, a philanthropic organization. She and her husband retired to Harrisonburg in 2000. There she gardened, volunteered with an elementary school reading program, participated in James Madison University’s Lifelong Learning Institute and was active in a book club and Park View Mennonite Church.

     She is survived by her husband, Joseph E. Alderfer; a son, Max J. (Jackie) Alderfer; a granddaughter and four great-grandchildren. She was preceded in death by a grandson, Nickolas Allen Alderfer; identical twin sister Thelma Jean Trumbo Shank; infant brother John Trumbo; sister Helen Trumbo Shank; and brother Norvell Trumbo Jr. 

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