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A lifetime as amazing wife, mother

Jane Rytkonen passed away May 30 in Grass Valley. She was 92.

Born July 10, 1914, to Winfield Ingram and Effie May Deemer in Marcus Hook, Pa., most of Mrs. Rytkonen’s childhood was spent in Spartanburg, S.C. – a quaint town tucked into the foothills of the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains. When Mrs. Rytkonen was 18, she made the long journey out to California, where she lived the rest of her life.

On March 12, 1948, she married Oliver Rytkonen in Los Angeles.



While living in Los Angeles, Mrs. Rytkonen worked for Bell Telephone. After moving to Grass Valley, she worked for Midvalley Savings and Loan.

When Mrs. Rytkonen and her husband moved to Grass Valley from Hawthorne in 1959, they bought a large, two-story house on Colfax Highway. Mrs. Rytkonen chose to paint the house “flamingo pink” and it soon became a local point of reference along Highway 174.




During her life, Mrs. Rytkonen wan an avid gardener. She loved to can her fruits and vegetables and often enjoyed making fresh raspberry and strawberry jam.

An accomplished seamstress, Mrs. Rytkonen had an amazing ability to sew a dress without using a pattern and made most of her own and her daughters’ clothing by hand.

Although Mrs. Rytkonen’s favorite saying was “you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear,” the extraordinary homemaker knew no boundaries when it came to fixing broken furniture. She often brought home discarded and broken accessories, which she repaired and refinished to look like new. One of her favorite pastimes was treasure hunting in local thrift shops.

Later in life Mrs. Rytkonen developed an interest in oil painting – with dinosaurs and landscapes as her favorite subjects.

An amazing woman in all aspects of her life, perhaps the area in which Mrs. Rytkonen truly shined was in her role as devoted wife and mother. Mrs. Rytkonen’s spent her life caring for her family.

According to her wishes, no services will be held. Mrs. Rytkonen will be inurned in Pleasantview Cemetery in Ludlow, Vt.

Mrs. Rytkonen is survived by her daughter, Janet Dunlap of Lake Stevens, Wash.; son, Carl “Tinker” West of Highland N.J.; daughters and sons-in-law Debra and Dwight Weiss of Grass Valley and Carol and Larry Aguilar of Nevada City; and sister, Allene Keister of Brooksville, Fla. She was preceded in death by her husband, Oliver Rytkonen, in 2004.

Arrangements are under the direction of Hooper and Weaver Mortuary.


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