Janet Levy, the first director of the state Department of Aging, died Saturday of cancer at her Sacramento home, it was learned Tuesday.
Shirley Roberts, a longtime friend and colleague, said Levy was 76.
Mrs. Levy became interested in the problems of the aging while at San Francisco State, where she obtained a master's degree.
In 1962, she became a special consultant to the California Citizens' Advisory Committee on Aging, organized that year by former Gov. Edmund G. (Pat) Brown Sr. In 1965, she became executive director of the committee, which remained an advisory body until it was re-created by the Legislature in 1973 as the Office on Aging.
Earlier, she had been executive director of the Little House Senior Activity Center in Menlo Park and conducted what is believed to have been the first statewide survey on the needs of aging Californians.
She served as director of the Office on Aging until 1982. Her tenure was marked by a proliferation in programs for the elderly, including home delivery of meals and long-term health care.
In May, she was honored at Cal State Chico, where a Janet Levy Center for the study of and training in senior citizens care was established.
She is survived by a brother, nieces and nephews.