Jane Foderaro, a longtime reporter and editor at the Jersey shore who later became a professor of journalism and published poet, died on Wednesday, August 2 at her home in Highlands. She was 84. Known to friends as Tinker, Jane grew up in Red Bank, the daughter of Don White and Susan Harry and the stepdaughter of Gladys Soderholm White. Her full name was Elizabeth Jane Warner White.
After graduating from Vassar College, Jane took a job as a reporter at the Long Branch Daily Record in the mid-1950s, when many women of her generation felt constrained in their career choices. There she fell in love with Sal J. Foderaro, an editor with a penchant for Thomas Wolfe and Dylan Thomas. While Sal went on to become an encyclopedia editor at Americana in New York, Jane became a reporter at The Daily Register, affectionately called the Red Bank Register, which covered Monmouth County and competed with the Asbury Park Press in the heyday of local journalism.
Over more than two decades, she covered everything from police corruption to mafia trials to race riots, winning prizes from the N.J. Press Association along the way. In the 1970s, she became the first woman to hold the position of city editor at the Register. After a stint as editorial page editor, Jane oversaw a batch of weekly newspapers owned by the Asbury Park Press. From there, she joined the faculty at Fairleigh Dickinson University, where she taught journalism and served as adviser to the student newspaper, the Equinox. She taught ethics and news writing to a generation of students with whom she pulled all-nighters, putting the paper to bed as late as 4 in the morning, even into her 70s. Throughout her newspaper career, Jane maintained a love of poetry, immersing herself in contemporary American anthologies and attending writers’ workshops at Bennington College and the Poetry Society of America. Her work was published in several poetry journals.
Above all, Jane was devoted to her family. She instilled a love of language and a respect for facts and accuracy in her two children, Lisa and T.J., themselves journalists. She had a larger-than-life personality that was infectious to all who knew her. Throughout her life, both in the newsroom and classroom, she formed special bonds with cub reporters and students, serving as a mentor and friend. Perhaps her happiest years were spent on her beloved Polly’s Pond in Rumson, where she and Sal built a house in the 1970s and, wine in hand, watched buffleheads and canvasbacks.
Jane is survived by Lisa W. Foderaro and her husband, Don Pollard, as well as their children, Amelia and Sawyer Pollard; T.J. Foderaro and his wife Kathleen Bayer Foderaro; T.J.’s children, Julian, Faith and Francis Foderaro and his stepchildren, Sarah and Erin Bayer. She is also survived by her former daughter-in-law, JoAnn Pileggi; and her grandnephew, David Haight.
Thompson Memorial Home, Red Bank, was in charge of arrangements.
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