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Jane Williams Lair
September 14, 1919-December 13, 2021
Jane Lair obit pic
Jane Williams (Lair) moved to Manteca in 1956, 63 years ago. She was born in Harrison, Arkansas.
   As an ambitious teenager at 17 she left Arkansas and boarded a Greyhound bus headed to Hayward, California where she worked and lived with her brother, Clay. She later married Dominic DiMatteo and worked while he was fighting in WW II. She saved her money and bought a house. After Dominic got home from the war they moved to Oakland, where they opened a restaurant dinner house called the Diamond Horseshoe. She lived in the Bay Area until Dominic’s death. In 1956, she remarried and moved to Manteca with her husband, H.J. Tomlinson, a contractor developer, who was building one of the first track home subdivisions on Union Road in Manteca. They bought 40 acres of land on Louise Avenue, built a home, and Jane started raising registered Holstein cattle along with various farm animals. She also had a real fondness for dogs and cats and took in many homeless cats. Jane always had a garden and loved to can her own fruits and vegetables. She also loved to cook and bake. Her fresh strawberry pie was always a favorite. Tom got sick with cancer after a few years, so they decided to sell the ranch and buy a smaller home. After they sold the ranch, Jane realized she enjoyed buying and selling property and she did that well into her eighties.
    Mother reconnected with a former friend, Jean Roland Williams, brother of the chef we had while my parents owned the Diamond Horseshoe. He lived in Salt Lake City and owned a restaurant there. They visited back and forth for some time till they decided it was a lot cheaper if Jean would move to Manteca. So he did. He helped her maintain her rentals and they shared many adventures together.  One of her favorite hobbies was fishing. She loved to out fish or skunk, all the men in the group that they were fishing with. She even caught a few extra fish over her limit from to time to time when the game warden wasn’t watching.  She really enjoyed fishing for trout. Another one of her hobbies was gambling. She liked betting on Horse Races and enjoyed going to the Stockton State Fair or Bay Meadows in Oakland. Jane and Jean also liked going to Lake Tahoe or Las Vegas to play the slot machines. They also loved to travel in their motorhome all over the United States with their beagle dog named Cindy sitting on Janes lap.
   They made many trips to Salt Lake City where they visited Jean’s son, Jerry and his daughter Peggy and the many grandchildren. She loved to bake cookies and treats for them.
In Jane’s family there were four children, her sister Judy Speights (deceased), her brother Clay Lair who resides in Harrison, Arkansas and turned 100 last year and Joe Lair (deceased). She had many nieces and nephews. She had one special niece Barbara Castleberry who resides in Branson, Missouri.  Jane had a daughter, Donna (DiMatteo) Arnold who lives in Davis, a granddaughter Terra Janeva (Traverso) Kanwitz and her husband Alex of Incline Village; grandson Murre John Traverso and his wife Margaret who lived in Davis. Her great-grandchildren are Shelby Jane Traverso of San Jose and great-grandson, Joey Vincent Traverso who is currently attending college in Santa Barbara. Jane lived in her home in Manteca with her cat Callie May until her death. “Miss Jane” as some called her, had loving care from her wonderful caregivers, Valentina Yates, her niece, who cooked wonderful meals she enjoyed, Susan Bristow who stayed with Jane 7 nights a week for approximately 7 years. Joy Finocchio who use to paint her nails all colors and Julie DeMoulin who always had a smile for “Miss Jane.” They all sat through numerous episodes of Gun Smoke, Little House on the Prairie and The Andy Griffith Show.
Jane was a Grand Lady and the Rock of the Family.  If anyone was on hard times, Jane was there to help them. Jane will be sorely missed. May She Rest in Peace.
   P.L. Fry & Son Funeral Home is honored to serve the Williams family. A celebration of life service will be held on Thursday, December 23, 2021 at 10 a.m. at 290 N. Union Road, Manteca, California. An online guestbook is available for condolences at

Manteca (Calif.) Bulletin

Tuesday, December 21, 2021