Janis Kae Douglas (nee Erickson) died in her home, surrounded by family, on June 21, 2020 in The Villages, FL from abdominal cancer. She was 79.
Jan was born on August 30, 1940 in Clarion, IA to her parents, Irvin and Eve Erickson. She graduated valedictorian from Clarion High School and attended Iowa State University, where she was a member of Delta Zeta sorority. She married Joseph Douglas in 1960 and celebrated 59 wedded years together.
Jan and Joe lived many places as they advanced in careers and raised a family. They established themselves in communities in Minnesota, Connecticut, London, and Iowa before retiring full time to Florida a decade ago.
Jan experienced a wide and varied work life. She started in fashion merchandising in NYC, but transitioned into freelance writing and photography. While in Iowa, she wrote advertising copy, interest pieces for the local paper, and the district-wide newsletter for Bettendorf Public Schools Administration office. From 1989-2003, Jan was the friendly owner and operator of Graffiti card and gift stores.
Jan found joy in globetrotting. She and Joe spent decades traveling the world to follow and support their children’s theatre careers. Over the past 20 years, with a merry band of close-knit friends, they traveled for cultural enrichment and pleasure. Of course, this proud grandma also jumped at the chance to visit her children’s families in NYC.
Jan found purpose everywhere, and was always an active member of her communities. In both Iowa and Florida, Jan enjoyed involvement with PEO Sisterhood and volunteer work at thrift stores organized through her home churches. Most recently, she was an engaged member of New Covenant Methodist Church, and devoted time and energy to their Bargains & Blessings Thrift Shop. Here in FL, she also co-chaired her neighborhood social group, organized women’s golf, and participated in two book clubs and a storytelling group.
Jan is survived by her husband, Joe; her daughter and son-in-law, Stephanie Douglas and Mike Murphy; her son and daughter-in-law, Jay Douglas and Megan Collins; three grandchildren, Jackson, Will, and Naomi; and her brother and his wife, Jim and Jorja Erickson.
Jan will be cremated. Memorials will take place in both Iowa and Florida, but neither has been scheduled at this time. In lieu of flowers, donations in her honor can be made to PEO International.
Jan was known for kindness that poured out effortlessly, and while we mourn our loss, we celebrate her incredible life.