Feb 01

Jeanne Ryan Fonda, 87; Raised Her Family Here

Pacific Palisades Post, January 22, 2009

Jeanne Ryan Fonda, a former resident of Pacific Palisades, passed away peacefully in her home in Pebble Beach on January 1, with her beloved husband of 65 years, Bill, at her side. She was 87.

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Born in Ashville, North Carolina, Fonda graduated from Stephen’s College for Women in Columbia, Missouri, and later was proud of being one of the original American Airlines stewardesses from World War II, during which time the airline ferried only dignitaries and military leaders. She continued her relationship with her airline colleagues in the Kiwi Club, within which she formed a dance troupe, staging performances for charity that included the famous Ebsen sisters, Helga and Vilma, sisters of Buddy Ebsen.

Jeanne and Bill were wed shortly after his return from piloting 50 combat missions in the Mediterranean theater during World War II. They had three children: Lynne Fonda of Colorado Springs; Robert Fonda, M.D., of Newport Beach; and Laurie Fonda Gile, who predeceased her mother.

After moving to Pacific Palisades in 1954 and raising their children, Jeanne and Bill relocated to Pebble Beach, where they opened a small business. Fonda found joy as an active member of the Jesters Club, the fundraising arm of the Monterey Museum of Art. Her charm, exquisite taste, and joie de vivre were blessings to everyone she met.

Fonda loved and enjoyed her grandchildren, Zoe Dombrowski, Beka Chinery, Jeremy Caraway, Jason Caraway, Scott Gile, Jacob Gile, Zak Phillips, Clark Fonda and Emilia Fonda; and 13 great-grandchildren.

A service will be held at 1 p.m. on January 24 at the El Carmello Chapel in Pacific Grove. Memorial donations can be made to Hospice of the Central Coast, P.O. Box HH, Monterey, CA 93942.

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