Update on the Reception Following Jan’s Memorial Service

Hello!

It’s shaping up to be a very warm day in Roseburg on this coming Friday (July 3), which as you probably know is the day of Jan’s graveside memorial service. Because of this, we’ve decided to move the reception following the memorial service from Tom and Cathy’s home (which was going to be an outdoor reception) to an air conditioned indoor location. So if you’re planning to come to the reception, please note this change of location: the reception will now be held in the large meeting room of the Holiday Express motel in downtown Roseburg. The address is:

375 W. Harvard Avenue
Roseburg, OR 97470
Tel: (541) 673-7517

The memorial service will still be at the cemetery (see the previous post for travel directions to the cemetery) and will start at the same time (around 11:00 am). Similarly, the reception will still start at the same time (around noon) and it will still feature some great food that Jan loved, including Abby’s pizza, Pepsi and a variety of soft drinks, cake, ice cream (for ice cream floats), etc. Again, no worries if you can’t make it but we will certainly welcome you if you can!

If you have any questions, please feel free to reply or call me (Wayne) at 503-539-3918. And please feel free to pass this message along to anyone else you think might be interested or planning to attend.

Blessings to all

Wayne

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Follow-up Information for those coming to Jan’s service on July 3

Greetings!

I hope all is well with you and your family. I’m writing to remind all who read this of the graveside service for Jan that is scheduled to begin at 11:00 AM on Friday, July 3rd. The service itself won’t last more than about 10 minutes and will include a few reflections, scripture readings and prayers. Immediately afterward, all are invited to an outdoor gathering with food and drink at the nearby home of Jan’s brother, Tom, and his wife Cathy. This is where we’ll spend most of our time – reconnecting, sharing memories, and creating new ones. If you can make it to either of these events then please do and we’ll be so happy to see you! And if you can’t, that’s perfectly understandable and fine too.

In the event you are planning to attend either the graveside service or the get-together at Tom and Cathy’s house, here are traveling directions that might assist you:

Graveside Service
The service is at the Reed Hill Cemetery, located off of Highway 99 just south of Wilbur, Oregon. The entrance to Reed Hill Cemetery is just beyond the railroad tracks at the intersection of Old Highway 99 (also called Oakland Shady Highway) and Wilbur Cemetery Road.

If you are coming from the north via I-5, then we suggest you do the following:
1) Take Exit 135 toward Wilbur
2) At the end of the off-ramp, turn left to cross the freeway
3) Turn right onto Old Highway 99 (first intersection after the freeway)
4) Travel 3.2 miles and then turn left onto Wilbur Cemetery Road
5) Immediately after crossing the railroad tracks you will see an unpaved road on the right – this is the entrance to Reed Hill Cemetery.

If you are coming from the south via I-5, then we suggest you do the following:
1) Take Exit 129 toward Winchester/Wilbur
2) At the end of the off-ramp, turn left onto Old Highway 99
3) Travel 2.3 miles and then turn right onto Wilbur Cemetery Road
4) Immediately after crossing the railroad tracks you will see an unpaved road on the right – this is the entrance to Reed Hill Cemetery.

Follow-up Gathering
The address is 162 Clearview Drive, Roseburg, OR 97471. The gathering will probably begin sometime between 11:30 AM and Noon on July 3rd. If you are coming from the north via I-5, then we suggest you do the following:
1) Take Exit 129 toward Winchester/Wilbur
2) At the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto Del Rio Road
3) Travel 1.2 miles and then turn right onto Clearview Drive
4) Travel 0.2 miles and then turn left into the paved driveway.

If you are coming from the south via I-5, then we suggest you do the following:
1) Take Exit 129 toward Winchester/Wilbur
2) At the end of the off-ramp, turn right onto Old Highway 99
3) Travel 0.3 mile and then turni right onto Del Rio Road
4) Travel 1.4 miles and then turn right onto Clearview Drive
5) Travel 0.2 miles and then turn left into the paved driveway.

If you are coming from the cemetery, then we suggest you do the following:
1) After exiting the cemetery and crossing the railroad tracks, turn left onto Old Highway 99
2) Travel 2.5 miles and then turn right onto Del Rio Road
3) Travel 1.4 miles and then turn right onto Clearview Drive.
4) Travel 0.2 miles and then turn left into the paved driveway.

If you have any navigating problems along the way, please feel free to call me (Wayne) on my cell phone at 503-539-3918. And if you have any additional questions or comments in the meantime, please feel free to post a comment here or leave me a message on my home phone number at 503-639-8568.

Whether you can attend this event or not, I want to thank you again for your friendship, love, and support over the years for Jan and her extended family. Please stay in touch! Oh, and feel free to pass this invitation along to any friends or acquaintances of Jan’s who you think might be interested.

Wayne

Random Acts of Kindness and an Upcoming Event

Hello! I hope you and your family are fine and well on your way into a happy, successful, and memory-filled 2015. Today is the second anniversary of Jan’s passing, and while we still miss her we want to continue celebrating her life and honoring her memory by practicing the generosity and care for others that was so much a part of who she always was. So today I’m going to go with Karen, Matt, Molly, Brendan, and others to help plant trees in nearby Cook Park in support of a restoration project that they have going there. It will be a good way to remember Jan.

My main reason for posting this note is to let you know about a short graveside service that will be held for Jan on July 3rd. Jan expressed her desire to have her cremains buried in a small in Wilbur, Oregon – the same cemetery where her mom and dad as well as many other relatives are located. There was some re-platting that needed to be done, at the cemetery in order for this to occur, and this is what delayed the event for a longer-than-normal amount of time. But it’s now complete and we’ve worked out with other family members that July 3rd is the day that will allow many of them to attend. The graveside event will begin at about 11:00am and will probably be complete within about 5 minutes – it won’t entail much more than just a few reflections, scripture readings, and prayers. Friends and family are both invited and welcome to attend as they are able. Then immediately afterward, everyone is invited to come to an outdoor gathering with food and drink at the nearby home of Jan’s brother, Tom, and his wife Cathy. This is where we’ll spend most of our time – reconnecting, sharing memories, and creating new ones.

I know summer is often a busy and active time for families and so there’s no expectations regarding attendance: if you would like to come and can make it then I want you to know you’re welcome, I will love to see you, and if possible please reply or send an email just to let us know for planning purposes. If you decide to come at the last minute that will be no problem either. And if you can’t attend that’s fine too, and I know your good memories of Jan and your actions in her honor continue to carry on.

Thanks so much for your friendship with Jan over the years, which continues on even today with every member of her family. I look forward to staying in touch.

Blessings,

Wayne

Kindness for Jan

1 year.

Some days it feels like my mom has been gone for a lifetime and has missed so much. Other days I feel like she was just with me yesterday. One thing I do know is that she is still a huge part of my life every day. I am so proud of her and the person she was in her lifetime. I want more than anything to keep that spirit, attitude, strength and grace alive for my kids and my niece and nephew.  As the one year mark of her passing approaches, I find facing that anniversary a daunting ordeal. It is a day I have been dreading and struggling with. The days leading up to it have been hard and remembering where we were last year has been a weight that a lot of us are feeling.

I decided I wanted to change that.

Yes, we have to mark the day this year. It is an important day in all of our lives, a turning point, a moment in time. However I wanted to change it so that it was a day we are looking forward to. A day of remembrance and celebration of a life so well lived. A day of learning from what Jan Kittelson taught us in her actions and her love. So, with that in mind, my family and I are making Friday, February 7th our Random Acts of Kindness Day in honor of my mom, Jan Kittelson. This means something different to all of us individually and across the cities and towns where we live. For me personally, I am going to use it as a day to teach my kids how to be kind to others in our community and in their lives. Small acts of kindness that kids can do is what our day will be filled with. As it says on the plaques near the trees planted on memory of my mom:

tree

So, my family and I would like to invite all of you who knew Jan to join us! Let’s all make a powerful difference by our small acts of kindness on February 7th, 2014. In your own way, in your own life, take time to be kind to someone else in a small way. As is my mom’s way, no recognition or mention is needed: just kindness.

charlie-brown-and-snoopyEveryone-understands-kindness.-Charles-Schultz-and-Snoopy

Thank you all for loving my mom in her lifetime and supporting us throughout the past year.

Karen

PS: For all the teachers out there and people who will be around kids on February 7th, I found a great website with lots of kindness ideas and activities. There are even classroom lesson plans. It just so happens that National Random Act of Kindness week is Feb 10-16! Maybe we’ll just keep spreading the kindness! http://www.randomactsofkindness.org

Tree Dedication Ceremony

In the previous post, my dad talked about the school board meeting where my mom was recognized. We are so touched and honored by this and so proud of my mom. We recently learned that there will be a ceremony to dedicate the beautiful trees the school district planted. It will be on April 22nd (Earth Day!) at 8:30 AM at Tigard High School. All are welcome to attend and we would love to see you! It is a wonderful day for a tree dedication and it is also very close to my mom’s birthday (April 30th)! I am so thankful to the district for this tribute to my mom. It will be so nice to have places to go to see symbols of her life and service. Molly is already calling them Bama’s Trees. I can just imagine her seeing her Bama’s tree as she enters Tigard High School as a student (a few years down the road of course!) What a very special place for all of us.
Karen

February 25, 2013

A special agenda item was included in tonight’s meeting of the Tigard-Tualatin School District School Board with both family members and special friends in attendance. The action item that was included was entitled, “To Honor Jan Kittelson”, and when it came up the Board members read and adopted a resolution “recognizing Jan Kittelson’s lasting contribution to Tigard-Tualatin Schools”. Here is a photo of the adopted resolution (you should be able to click on it to view it at a size that can be read).

TTSD Resolution 1213-11, adopted February 25, 2013

TTSD Resolution 1213-11, adopted February 25, 2013

It was further announced that three Dogwood trees (Jan’s favorite kind of tree!) will be planted in early spring in her honor at three different schools to which Jan had special linkages and impacts, including Templeton Elementary School, Metzger Elementary School, and Tigard High School. An acknowledging plaque will also be set near each tree.

There were not many dry eyes among the family and friends who were present and even among the Board members themselves. I know Jan would have been both embarrassed and honored by this recognition. She was a pretty amazing woman for sure, and I think the Tigard-Tualatin School District is being led by a pretty amazing Board as well: I don’t know of many School Boards that would undertake such an effort or spend the time to acknowledge, in such an enduring way, the work and character of someone like Jan. There is real comfort to our family in knowing that Jan’s legacy is lasting and strong among so many people, most of whom both we and Jan would consider to be part of our extended family too. Thank you so much to the Tigard-Tualatin School Board, to Susan Stark Haydon, and to every person who has sent us a card of support, an offer of assistance to continue Jan’s positive effects on the world around us, and an invitation to lasting friendship that we treasure so much. We will be writing to each one of you individually as soon as we are able, and in the meantime please accept this collective “thank you” from us for all you have done and all you continue to do. We appreciate it more than words can express.

More Service Details

Jan has a number of close and dear friends who would like to attend the memorial service on Saturday but are unable to because of distance, health, other obligations on that same day, etc. So with the help of Calvin Presbyterian Church and Kittelson & Associates, you will be able to watch the service on the internet if you have a computer and internet access and are unable to be there in person. The service will be shown through a webinar type of application, and so the steps that need to be followed are pretty simple:

From a standard computer (desktop or laptop):

  • click on this link (or copy and paste it into your browser):
    https://www1.gotowebinar.com/register/233775728
  • You will be connected to audio using your computer’s microphone and speakers (VoIP). A headset is recommended.
    Or, you may select “Use Telephone” after joining the Webinar.
    United States: +1 (312) 878-0511
    Australia: +61 3 8644 7040
    Access Code: 270-610-380
    Audio PIN: Shown after joining the webinar
    Webinar ID: 233-775-728

From an IPad or IPhone:

  • Download the free GoToMeeting App onto your IPad.
  • Run the GoToMeeting App and use the Webinar ID (233-775-728) to join the webinar.

If you plan to view the memorial service on the internet, we would appreciate it if you would go through these steps a day or two in advance in order to register for the webinar (this way we will know how many to plan for) and also to make sure any needed software has been installed. If you need any software to be installed onto your computer, it will be done pretty much automatically as part of the login process, but sometimes it takes awhile to complete). Once you’ve registered, then on Saturday you can use the link above (or the GoToMeeting App and the Webinar ID) to go right to the broadcast.

The broadcast will begin sometime between 1:30pm and 2:00pm (Pacific Standard Time) on Saturday – basically as soon as things are set up. But you can join anytime and just wait for the broadcast to begin — if you do this, then you will be joined into the broadcast as soon as it begins. The memorial service itself will begin at about 2:00pm and should last about one hour. A recording of the memorial service will also be made and sometime in the next few weeks we will provide a link on this blog that  you will be able to click on to view the service after the fact.

We hope this helps those who are unable to attend in person. Thank you again, from all of Jan’s family, for the support and prayers you’ve given to us so generously. We really appreciate it.

Service Details

We are just overwhelmed and so appreciative of the many comments, gestures of support, and expressions of shared grief we’ve received from you — thank you very, very much. Even during her life, Jan was both amazed and thankful for the many comments she received every time a new post was published. Some of the messages came as comments on the blog post but many others came to her privately through Facebook, email, and related venues. One example that seems to capture what so many also said in various and eloquent ways: “Jan will be rewarded for doing what God has created us all to do.” Your comments and messages gave her a good glimpse toward the many lives she has touched and the many people who care about her and support her. Not everyone gets this kind of opportunity. This is something Jan also knew and so she got great comfort in being able to see and experience these things. On her behalf, I want to say “Thank you!” for all you did in this regard during her too-short-yet-very-filled-and-very-fulfilled life.

The support and care Jan saw and received while she was alive seems to have been repeated tenfold since she passed away. Karen, Brian, Matt, and I, as well as Jan’s siblings Kath, Dave, Tom, and Jeff — we are all so thankful to you for what you have written. Between the many posts on this blog and the private messages that have come to each of us and even to Jan, you have made us so proud of Jan, what she has accomplished and who she has touched. Thank you for the help you have given to us in acknowledging what a wonderful woman she was even as we try to cope with the huge hole that her departure has left in our lives.

Here are the details of Jan’s service:

Saturday, February 16 at 2:00 pm
Calvin Presbyterian Church
10445 SW Canterbuury Lane, Tigard, OR

We hope you will be able to join us. The service will be followed by a reception at the same location. In lieu of flowers, we invite you to consider contributing to the “Jan Kittelson Education Trust”, whose mission is to continue one of Jan’s lifelong passions, namely, enriching the lives of kids.

I’d like to close with another recent photo of Jan. This one was taken on the evening of January 19th during a “Reveal Party” that was held at the home of Dave and Nancy Fisher. It shows Jan’s reaction to finding out that her newest grandchild, who will be born around early June to Matt and Lauren, is a baby boy.

DSC_9797

February 7, 2013

Jan, the love of my life, mother to her three great children, grandmother to four beautiful kids, sister to her wonderful siblings, aunt, special friend and person to so many of you, passed away peacefully this afternoon at 1:21pm PST. She was able to speak her love to each family member and was surrounded by her entire family. I will miss her for the rest of my life but it is comforting to know she is finally free of the terrible disease and the many physical travails she not only endured but overcame throughout the past 20 years.

We are currently planning for her service to occur at Calvin Presbyterian Church in Tigard, Oregon on Saturday, February 16. We are still working out the details and I will let you know more though this website as soon as I can. I can also say that, in lieu of flowers, Jan wanted to do something to promote and support student education in a meaningful way. I will let you know more details on this, too, as we work them out.

I will leave you with a photos from just two days ago (Monday evening). She had just received a package in the mail from one of her nephews who lives in San Diego. In the package was a very nice note (see below) along with a pair of Minnie Ears that Jan promptly put on. I took several photos of her with her new Ears, and she said she liked this one the best because it had Snoopy characters in the background.

“Aunt Jan, Thanks for showing me how to have fun and how to do the impossible, all at the same time. I thought you would look good in a pair of Disney ears! Much love, Mychal”

DSC_9878

January 3, 2013

Jan’s sister (Kath) and I accompanied her to her scheduled checkup CT scan yesterday (3 months after the last one), and news was not good. The cancer has returned to approximately the same physical location where it was removed last February. It was not even visible 3 months ago so it is growing aggressively, to the point of already starting to pinch off her portal vein and causing her to retain fluid, feel bloated, and lose appetite. There is no surgery option available nor does any other treatment option (radiation and/or chemotherapy) appear to be viable. The doctors are focusing now on managing the symptoms so as to give her comfort for as long as possible. They believe the cancer is going to continue to move pretty aggressively, partly because Jan has a suppressed immune system from her successful battle with leukemia 22 years ago. Even so, Jan has already set a goal for herself, which she is very determined to achieve — she wants to be able to see Matt and Lauren’s new baby (and her newest grandchild) when it is born later this spring. I think she will do it.

I hope it goes without saying that Jan is the absolute love of my life and the Mom, Bama, sister, cousin, niece, and dear friend to so many more both inside and outside our family. Your prayers, letters of support and daily encouragement HAVE made a difference in Jan’s life as well as ours – thank you so much. They have also affirmed that great friends and families make for great lives, and we know we’re very blessed in this way. We’ll try to stay in touch with you as the weeks and months progress, and I know Jan will cherish every note and comment you send along the way too.

In the meantime, I might be able to put things into a better and longer-term perspective by sharing some photos of special moments we’ve had over the just-completed holiday season within our family. I think these photos are pretty clear in saying that life is wonderful and we should all treasure it by living and growing with others, just as Jan has always done. Stay blessed.

 

Where else would you find Jan in the fall except at a Beaver game with her grandkids?!

Where else would you find Jan in the fall except at a Beaver game with her grandkids?!

 

Everybody in the family seems to do pretty well at growing moustaches  in November to raise awareness of men's health issues, don't you think?

Everybody in the family seems to do pretty well at growing moustaches in November to raise awareness of men’s health issues, don’t you think?

 

Getting the family Christmas tree is an annual tradition!

Getting the family Christmas tree is an annual tradition!

 

Baking cookies -- who's having more fun do you think?

Baking cookies — who’s having more fun do you think?

 

If you honestly believe in Santa and are willing to sit on his lap, then your wishes can come true!

If you honestly believe in Santa and are willing to sit on his lap, then your wishes can come true!

 

Celebrating Christmas and opening presents with grandkids like Sammie is a very special experience.

Celebrating Christmas and opening presents with grandkids like Sammie is a very special experience.

 

Celebrating the New Year on New Years Eve with the grandkids requires that a) you do it at 9pm PST so the kids can enjoy it too; and b) everybody gets to sip sparking apple cider. Happy New Year from us to you!

Celebrating the New Year on New Years Eve with the grandkids requires that a) you do it at 9pm PST so the kids can enjoy it too; and b) everybody gets to sip sparking apple cider. Happy New Year from Jan to you!