Photo: Diane Vacca

It has been ten days since Steve Jobs, the visionary who brought us everything Apple, died much too soon of complications related to pancreatic cancer. The world continues to mourn his loss — as do many of us here at WVFC who have been iPhiles for decades. As it happens, a great number of women of a certain age share our feelings, as witnessed by our own Diane Vacca, who took the time to speak with several of them. 

Outside the Apple store on New York’s Upper West Side, on the day after he died, people were placing flowers, apples, candles, and written tributes to Steve Jobs. Although the majority of mourners were young men, children and older people — including quite a few women— also stopped to gaze and contemplate. Many of them took pictures with their iPhones.

Since older women are often assumed to have no tech savvy, I asked a few how they were affected by Jobs’s death and whether they use any Apple products. Only one said she was the wrong person to ask because she had no experience with that kind of technology. All the others readily shared their reactions.

Cida, 74:

It affected me enormously. The guy was a genius. And even for me, for my age — I’m 74— I just feel terrible for him. He had a big fight [with cancer]. Yes, we have lost a genius. Oh, yes, of course I do [use Apple products]. In 1984 I bought my first computer and then of course comes the iPod and iPad and the iPhone. Yes, it’s a big loss.

Elizabeth, 65:

I was very moved. I think he’s done things that have truly changed the world and introduced technology for persons for like myself who would never really be using it. Now it’s an integral part of my life. He made it exciting. And beautiful. [Elizabeth uses several Apple products.] I went from PC to Apple, skeptical that I’d ever be versant in technology. And I think Steve Jobs really did this.

Randy, 58:

I think it’s devastating. Steve Job’s death is extremely sad. He was the greatest innovator of our generation. He really brought us into the 21st century in a major way and changed the whole dynamic of the world globally. I have all of his products. I’m totally Apple. I have been for many years, and a lot of women over the age of 40 have gone that way. It’s been great professionally to use his products; it’s helped me in many things that I do. I always look for Apple or open-source products to make my professional and personal life rich.

Mona, 63:

It’s devastating to an industry. On a personal level, because his products are really focused on a personal needs, [his death] becomes a personal loss as well. I do use technology, though not to the extent that my daughters do. [She praised Apple’s programs that teach people of any age to be comfortable with unfamiliar technology.]

Helen, 64:

I’m just sorry that he died so young. I’m aware of aging. I’m grateful that he’s there. He’s a great guy and I enjoy his products. I did get the iPad for my business of therapy work. I do use it. I do connect to the email when I’m abroad to keep my business going.


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  • Patricia Yarberry Allen October 15, 2011 at 4:22 pm

    Thanks for the shared memories. Jobs changed the world of communtication with no college education but with brilliance, creativity and determination. Women of a certain age are tech saavy now, even though it was assumed we never would be because we didn’t grow up playing video games. He made it easy for us to become tech literate.

    Pat Allen