Janet Hiltabidel of Estate Smithfield, St. Croix, died Friday, July 2, at the Juan F. Luis Hospital. She was 76.
She was born Aug. 20, 1933, in Moline, Il., the daughter of Alan and Ida Bergendahl, She was one of five children, with a sister and three brothers.
She grew up in Long Beach, Ca., and worked a variety of jobs. She married Robert Long, and bore two children, Brian and Victoria.
Her life took her around the world and through many careers, In the 1950s she lived in San Francisco where she haunted the jazz clubs, listening to and getting to know such greats as Charlie Parker. In the 1960s she was an activist in California Republican politics, performing radio interviews with then gubernatorial candidate Ronald Reagan. She also worked in a variety of office settings, most notably as the office manager of the chain of Gloria Marshall Figure Salons. In the Philippines she was acquainted with the Marcos family, meeting Imelda Marcos on several occasions.
Returning to the U.S. she lived in several states before she divorced and returned to California. She later married Ray Hiltabidel and moved with him to Nevada where she was a property and project development manager on a Reno resort and became involved in Democratic politics. He preceded her in death in 1989.
She moved to Oregon in 1992 to be near her daughter. There she became involved in amateur theater, appearing onstage and behind the scenes on many productions.
She moved with her daughter’s family to the U.S. Virgin Islands in 2008.
She is survived by her son, Brian Long of Kentucky; daughter Victoria Baur and son-in-law John Baur of the U.S.V.I.; grandchildren Jack, Alexandria, Ben, Kate, Millie and Max; her sister, Mary Mowles of Parker, Az., brothers Johnny and Clyde Bergendahl, both of California; and many nieces, nephews, and special friends Sharon deNardo, Sid and Diane Cooper, Pat Kight, Mark Summers, Robert Leff, Pete and Jan Boucot, Mary Brock, Robyn Cooper-Olsen and Elizabeth Bentley. She was preceded in death by her brother Alan and special friends Charles "Sandy" McCormack and Doug Johnson.
A private family memorial service will be held later.