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Pioneering businesswoman broke the glass ceiling and lived life her way

Jane Sanders

By Nancy Koontz; photos courtesy of Cathy Kaier and family via Facebook

The Castle Pines Village community is one laugh quieter following the passing of Starbuck neighbor and dear friend Jane Kathleen Sanders on May 23.

Originally from St. Joseph, Missouri, the Sanders family moved to Colorado where Jane grew up in north Denver. She attended St. Mary Magdalene Catholic School and was a graduate of Cathedral High School, later attending Colorado State University.

Jane is survived by her siblings and numerous nieces and nephews. Her sister Cathy said, “Jane was a great student, worked hard – and loved to iron for hours! She had great leadership skills, which served her well in the corporate world.”

Jane worked for AT&T for many years and was one of the first women to break through the proverbial glass ceiling, promoting through the ranks and ultimately retiring as a vice president of sales. She was known as a powerful woman who had a knack for making friends, and everyone who knew her loved her. She encouraged other woman to take charge of their lives and build a career of their own.

“I was just entering the workforce when I met her,” stated friend Diane Holbrook. “She was an inspiration and trailblazer for women … so smart and funny. She really knew how to live life, and I know she is with my dad somewhere on a golf course in heaven!”

After retirement, Jane enjoyed the beauty and recreation Castle Pines has to offer. She was very active until her health prohibited her from enjoying much of the recreation she loved.

Jane Sanders (pictured far right) with her sisters

“I live vicariously through your family’s adventures, and I miss being on the slopes,” she told neighbor Cathy Downs after being shown pictures of Downs’ grandchildren skiing. Downs also shared a memory of meeting Jane after moving to Castle Pines from Wyoming about five years ago: “She wasn’t real sure of us when we moved here,” Downs recalled. “Coming from a liberal background, I kept to myself about politics until one day when I said something that prompted Jane to blurt out, ‘Thank God you’re a democrat!’ We found common ground and got along great after that,” she said. “Jane was irreverent and funny and when you met Jane you knew her,” said Downs. “She was welcoming and lovely and we will miss her dearly.”

Jane suffered from chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and in October 2014 went to Phoenix, Arizona to receive a double lung transplant. She returned home to her beloved Starbuck community in November 2016 to recuperate. She died peacefully in her home at the age of 72.



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