Jane Vandora, 54, teacher, children's clothing store owner

September 05, 2002|By Jacques Kelly | Jacques Kelly,SUN STAFF

Jane Vandora, who owned a children's clothing store and taught high school history, died Monday at Gilchrist Center for Hospice Care after struggling with cancer for 17 years. She was 54 and lived Parkville.

For nearly 20 years, Mrs. Vandora owned and operated Children's Emporium, a Lawndale Avenue consignment shop where Roland Park residents bought and sold used children's outfits and toys. She had been a Northern High School social studies teacher from 1970 to 1982.

Born Jane Robustelli in Port Chester, N.Y., and raised in Greenwich, Conn., she earned a degree in history and education from the College of Notre Dame of Maryland in 1970. She also had a master's degree in education.

She was a School of the Cathedral parent volunteer, and a board member of its parent association.

"She was a dynamic, sparkling kind of person," said Gary Levin, a friend and fellow teacher. "She was an excellent teacher who maintained standards. She had terrific rapport with her kids. Jane loved people."

"Her shop became a destination for families -- not only for shopping, but on a rainy day you could go in and play on the slide. You could expect a friendly welcome," said Liz Pelton, a customer. "She always gave stickers for the kids. You could also buy your children's wardrobes at a great price."

Family members said she belonged to a Towson cancer survivors support group.

"She had a dogged determination and deep and abiding faith," said her husband of 31 years, George E. Vandora, a commercial plumber.

A Mass of Christian burial will be offered at 10 a.m. tomorrow at the Cathedral of Mary Our Queen, 5200 N. Charles St., where she was a Eucharistic member and member of the liturgy committee.

She also is survived by a son, G. Cullen Vandora of Baltimore; her parents, William and Lillian Robustelli of Greenwich, Conn.; a brother, William F. Robustelli Jr. of Downingtown, Pa.; a sister, Patricia Weber of Houston; and a nephew and three nieces.

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