ALAMEDA -- Friends and family are mourning the death of Salle Crittenden, a longtime Alameda resident and wife of the founder of the Alameda Journal. She was 82.

Crittenden, who died on Jan. 24, succumbed to congestive heart failure and Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease.

Salle Crittenden was born Nov. 18, 1931, and grew up in Piedmont and San Leandro.

After graduating from San Leandro High School, she attended College of the Pacific, now the University of the Pacific, and earned a degree in fine arts.

She met her husband, John Crittenden, in the fall of 1951 during a party at his fraternity house at UC Berkeley.

The couple married on June 4, 1966.

John Crittenden was working in real estate when he launched the Alameda Journal in April 1987. The Hills Newspaper chain later purchased the newspaper, which is currently part of the Bay Area News Group.

"I cannot say that she had a direct role in the paper," John Crittenden said about Salle. "But she was always there to offer me support."

Laurel Yeates, the Journal's former social and community editor, said she was struck by the close bond that existed between Salle Crittenden and her husband.

"What I would say about Salle is that she was incredibly gracious and warm," Yeates said. "But mostly I always admired her devotion to John and her dedication to keeping the two of them so active after his retirement."

"But she also had another side," said her son, David Snyder. "And we know what that was."

Salle Crittenden worked at the California Academy of Sciences, where she helped manage the museum store, and at the Harbor Bay Club on Bay Farm Island before she retired.

After John Crittenden stepped down from the Journal, the couple traveled extensively, including throughout Europe, Japan, China and Russia.

Salle Crittenden especially enjoyed needlepoint and visiting art museums, her family said. Along with her husband, her survivors include her son, David Snyder and his wife, Vickie Snyder. Her parents, Paul and Ruth Wadell, and her sister, Carol Chapman, predeceased her.

Salle Crittenden requested that no funeral or memorial be held.

Reach Peter Hegarty at 510-748-1654 or follow him on Twitter.com/Peter_Hegarty.

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