Janet Camilla Janzen (nee Roberton)
March 8th 1940 ~ February 1st 2015
Mom was a born and raised Victoria girl, and she took tremendous pride in that. She was the second eldest of four children born to her Scottish-Irish parents who had come to Victoria on their honeymoon and never left. As children, my brothers and I heard many stories of her childhood growing up in rural Saanich: the big house surrounded by Garry oaks, an enormous garden filled with raspberries and tomatoes, Border Collies, Sea Rangers, and field hockey.
After high school mom entered Victoria Normal College to become a teacher and upon graduation she headed to where the work was – a little town up the river from Vancouver called Langley and a two-room schoolhouse. It was here, as a single and newly employed young woman she did the only reasonable thing possible under the circumstances – buy a sports car and drive to San Francisco. Mom always kept most of the details of that trip to herself; however, she did mention seeing a young and unheralded singer at a club. “Barbra Streisand” mom would tell us. “She was okay”.
In 1963 she met dad and he knew a good thing when he saw it. She accepted his proposal and they wed on November 22, 1963. In our family it’s the day mom and dad got married but to the rest of the world it’s the day President Kennedy was assassinated. Apparently the wedding reception was a little subdued.
Over the next few years three children were born – all boys. Mom, desperate for someone on her team was willing to try again, but in 1975 she was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis and that put an end to her dreams of a daughter. Those were dark days for the family. Mom was dying and there was nothing anyone could do.
In 1978 we moved to the Comox Valley and something wonderful happened – she kept living. Every year was a gift because we didn’t know if it would be her last. Her condition worsened, but slowly. She was able to see her boys all graduate from high school, get jobs, and get married. Best of all, she was able to see and hold her seven grandchildren, four of which are girls.
Dad (Stan) died in 1996, but mom is survived by her sister Eileen (Gordon) Cockburn of Campbell River, sons Greg (Corrine), and Jeff of Courtenay, and Tim (Christine) of Victoria. She is also survived, and loved, by her seven grandchildren: Kourtney, Liam, Emma, Madison, Quinn, Mia, and Rowan.
We wish to thank everyone who was there for mom these past few weeks, but most of all, our most profound gratitude goes to the amazing staff at Glacier View Lodge where mom spent her last years. She loved you all and your love for her was clear in so many ways.
The family will have a private ceremony sometime in the future.
We love you forever mom.