Tonia Jauch

Date of Birth

June 13, 1915

Date of Death

January 14, 2010

City of Death


Tonia Jauch (née Anna Tonette Hegland) died peacefully at home in Goleta, California on January 14, 2010 at the age of 94. Of Norwegian descent, Tonia was born in Albert Lea, Minnesota on June 13, 1915, and grew up as an only child in Northfield, Minnesota. Her father, Martin Hegland, was a Lutheran minister and head of the Department of Religion at St. Olaf College. Her mother, Georgina Dieson Hegland, taught English at St. Olaf College.

Tonia majored in history at St. Olaf College, graduating Magna Cum Laude in 1937. She then attended the Graduate School of Social Work at the University of Minnesota in Minneapolis, where she met Josef Jauch, a dashing young Swiss physics graduate student. After their wedding on January 1, 1940, they lived in Zurich, Switzerland for two years.

In Zurich, Tonia learned the Swiss-German dialect, volunteered in a children’s hospital, and taught English to Jewish refugees. She and Josef met Carl Jung, and were honored to be invited to his “inner circle” of people who met regularly with him for mutual dream analyses. In the spring of 1942, as World War II was heating up, Tonia and Josef obtained passage back to the U.S.A. on the last civilian ship to leave Europe during the war.

Josef obtained a teaching job at Princeton University, where the couple lived for the next four years. During that time, their three children were born: Karl (1943), Eldri (1944), and Aletha (1945). Josef then became a physics professor at the University of Iowa in Iowa City, where the family lived until 1958. Tonia was a stay-at-home mother at first, volunteering as a Sunday school teacher and scout leader. Then she went back to school and earned a Master’s degree in Family Life Education at the University of Iowa in 1957.

After a year in Switzerland and one in England, the family settled permanently in Geneva, Switzerland in 1960, where Josef became the head of the physics department at the University of Geneva. After perfecting her French, Tonia worked at the School for Parents in Geneva, leading groups and doing family counseling. An active outdoors woman, she enjoyed hiking and skiing in the Alps.

After her divorce in 1969, Tonia moved to California, working as a counselor and group leader in Santa Barbara and Lafayette. In 1973, she returned to Geneva, Switzerland, and spent the next seven years running counseling groups and workshops in several European countries (in three languages) through the Re-Evaluation Counseling movement. In 1980, she came to Goleta, California to help raise Aletha’s two children.

Tonia continued to lead groups in her later years, and was very active in her church (Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation). She loved swimming, going to the theater, and attending Adult Education classes, exploring painting, poetry, and creative writing. She was an active supporter of Health Care for All, gay and lesbian rights, women’s rights, and sustainable living. She continued to learn, grow, and make new friends right up to the end of her long life, and was a role model for many people. She will be remembered for her cheerful and loving nature, generosity, and honesty.

She is survived by her son and daughter-in law, Karl and Danielle Jauch, of Challex, France, her daughter, Eldri Jauch, of Goleta, California, and her daughter and son-in-law, Aletha and Kenneth Solter, of Goleta, California; her four grandchildren: Caroline Jauch of Geneva, Switzerland, Tamara Jauch Klein and her husband, Philippe, of Geneva, Switzerland, Nicholas Solter and his wife, Sonja, of Colorado Springs, Colorado, and Sarah Solter and her husband, Aaron Bradley, of Boulder, Colorado; and her seven great-grandchildren: Eva-Luna, Marlon, Maël, Thalia, Bérénice, Kai, and Katja.

The family would like to thank Visiting Nurse and Hospice Care, Hospice of Santa Barbara, and all of Tonia’s many friends who lovingly helped care for her in her last months of life. In lieu of flowers, please consider making a donation in her name to Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation, 820 N. Fairview Ave., Goleta, CA 93117.

A memorial service will be held at Live Oak Unitarian Universalist Congregation on Sunday, January 31, 2010 at 2 pm.


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