Tempe Javitz grew up on a cattle ranch in Montana. From fourth grade through high-school she attended Sheridan, Wyoming schools. She graduated from Scripps College, Claremont, California with a BA in English Literature and a minor in Humanities (1971) and that winter married Hal Javitz. They moved to Berkeley where Tempe was a sales rep for AAA. From 1979 to 2007 she operated her own State Farm agency in Palo Alto. Tempe and Hal raised two children, and she participated in many local organizations: the Palo Alto Chamber of Commerce; AAUW; Colonial Dames; and the DAR.
Tempe is the granddaughter of Montana photographer, Jessamine Spear Johnson. Since 2007 she has worked to preserve Jessamine’s photographic legacy. Her book on Jessamine will be published in late 2022 by the South Dakota Historical Society Press. Tempe’s article on Jessamine for Montana, the Magazine of Western History won a 2021 Wrangler Award from the National Cowboy and Western Heritage Museum in Oklahoma City. Tempe has written another article on Jessamine for the Cowboys and Indians Magazine to be published in the Feb/March 2022 issue.