Mary "Jane" Humphrey May 5, 1934 - October 7, 2013

Founder of Once Upon A Time bookstore in Montrose California passed away peacefully after a long re-occurring illness. She will be remembered for her trail breaking spirit, having opened Once Upon A Time bookstore in 1966, long before women worked outside of the home and certainly before it was common for a woman to own a business. Jane enriched the lives of many with her love and knowledge of the written word, focused mostly on quality children’s literature. Jane was born to Frank and Jessie Goad in Chicago Illinois and was soon joined by her younger brother Frank. The Goad family moved to Glendale California when Jane was a teenager. She excelled in school having skipped grades along the way and passed the qualifying exam for Mensa membership. She met Bob Humphrey after graduating high school and they were married June 26th 1953. In 1957 Chris was born, then daughter Susan and then Tim. Jane worked part time as a clerk and window dresser at Bob’s Valley Bookstore on Honolulu Avenue, it was then she realized the there was a tremendous need for a shop specific to children’s literature. With the encouragement of friends she opened the first location of Once Upon A Time on Verdugo Road. It was the first of four locations in Montrose. This changed the face of independent children’s bookstores across the Nation. Today Once Upon A Time, the last children’s bookstore in the United States, is owned by Maureen Palacios who has expanded and modernized the shop while maintaining the essence of Jane’s original vision. Being a wise and creative retailer was just one of many Jane’s extraordinary talents. In retirement she and Bob continued to travel, maintain an authentic English country garden and truly enjoyed their new found freedom. She created, a blog depicting life in retirement. The blog showcased both her amazing photo talent and her ability to write honestly and eloquently. Through her blog she made friends with people all over the world. She was a water color artist; she loved blue grass and traditional jazz. She had a dry sense of humor enjoyed by all who knew her; she passed humor on to her children as well as many other excellent qualities. Jane left an imprint on the hearts and souls of those who shared her path in a multitude of ways. Jane and Bob were married 58 years when Bob Humphrey passed away. He was the love of her life and she may have ultimately died of a broken heart.

Jane is survived by her children: Chris Humphrey and his wife Frances Hui, Susan Humphrey, Tim Humphrey. Grandchildren: Ryan Humphrey, Justin Humphrey and Owen Humphrey. Great granddaughter: Asher Knapp; Her brother Frank Allen Goad. She has a large extended family of those she was surrounded and loved by, both inside and outside her retirement community, those who loved, cared and supported her every need in health and in illness. The world is a much better place for her having been here for 79 years. Her life will continue through the lives of others. Rest in peace our beloved Jane.

A Celebration of her Life will be held October 20, 2013 at 5pm, officiated by Rev. Doug Edwards, at Descanso Garden’s Rose Garden Pavilion, 1418 Descanso Drive, La Canada Flintridge.

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