|2/27/2018 2:07:00 PM|
Janice Marie Lamb
May 24, 1926 - January 31, 2018
Once in a blue moon a woman of grace, elegance, wit and wisdom appears in our midst, and on the morning of the blue, blood moon, eclipse, at 12:21 a.m., January 31, Jan danced away.
Janice Marie Lamb was born May 24, 1926, in Stockton, California to Gladys "Honey Lake" James and Warren Ray Lamb. She and her brother, Clayton, and sister, Barbara, had an idyllic childhood growing up in Stockton and later moving to Salinas where her father owned the local Coca Cola bottling company.
Summers were spent in Carmel, California, at the family "cabin." Jan graduated from Salinas High School and followed big sister Barbara "Bobsie" to Stanford University. She majored in Art and Architecture which were to play continuing roles in her life. Shortly thereafter, Jan met the love of her life, Harold "Hal" Secrest, an Air Force first lieutenant. Hal and Jan were married on September 16, 1945, in the Memorial Church at Stanford University. To celebrate Hal's graduation from Stanford, he and Jan took a cross-country train ride to visit relatives and see the country.
It was on this trip, in 1949, that Jan contracted polio. The Pollyanna attitude her family kidded her about her entire life was born during the recuperation from polio:
"At least I wasn't in an iron lung!" and "It was actually quite fun. I had Frisky the squirrel to entertain me while I was confined to bed for months."
Jan's positive attitude and sense of wonder and adventure created a wonderful life for her husband Hal and their daughters Barbara and Anne. They lived in Los Altos Hills in a home that Jan designed. Hal's work as an electronics engineer took the family to Switzerland in the early 1960s for three years of immersion in the Swiss culture. After returning to their Los Altos Hills home, Hal began travelling to Japan for Varian Associates. On one of those trips, in 1968, Hal saw an advertisement for a hardware store for sale in Independence, Oregon. They flew up to see it the next weekend and soon thereafter were the proud (and clueless) owners of Town and Country Hardware in Independence!
Jan, who had been a fulltime mother and church Sunday school teacher was suddenly immersed in double-entry bookkeeping, inventory control and customer service. She worked side by side with Hal, six days a week in the store and helped out as a farm wife on the 306-acre farm they purchased in 1969. Jan designed another home to build on the hill of the farm. She and Hal lived in that home until 2005. Jan and Hal continued to run the store and the farm until the mid '80s when they sold Town and Country Hardware and retired.
Jan's retirement years offered her the leisure time to resume her water-color painting; a love that had been with her since childhood, but had taken a backseat to child rearing, store ownership and farm chores. The family is blessed to have many beautiful depictions of the travels Jan and Hal did in their retirement as well as gorgeous renditions of the family farm. Jan sold her art to local collectors and had it exhibited at Touchmark, her last place of residence.
Jan was preceded in death by her beloved husband Hal, her brother Clayton (killed in World War II) and her sister Barbara Grassmuck. Her children Barbara Secrest (Ben Beckley) and Anne Schulte (Clarence) as well as her grandchildren Sarah Schulte (Andy Sellers), Matt Schulte and Willie Schulte treasure the love, creativity and beauty she shared with them throughout their lives.
Jan lived a full and creative life. She was blessed with family and friends who loved her, and she was eager to see what this next transition would bring. We trust she is reunited with the love of her life, Hal, and saying "Yippee!" as they dance away
A memorial exhibit of Jan's work will be held at the Gentle House on the campus of WOU in Monmouth, Oregon on June 10, 2018 at 1 p.m. Contributions in her name can be made to the Alzheimer's Association, Partners in Care-Bend, or the WOU Foundation.
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