A year after her death, it’s safe to now write her obituary with little likelihood it will be construed as fiction.
Janice Marie Matson Hall, also known as Janice Havens, left this world on November 27, 2021. She was a lady, and a lady always knows when to leave. She did it on her terms. From the day she saw her test results and knew what she was looking at, she lived the rest her way.
She had all of her children in one place, she listened to long, hilarious exchanges between them. Her sons took her to see her beloved and similarly quirky siblings- Robert, Marcia, Susie, and Doran. They got to have those conversations you only have when the time sand is quickly leaving. They laughed a lot.
She was the third of five children, daughter of Hilding and Betty Matson. She grew up in the tiny town of Bertrand, Nebraska. An old soul from the beginning, she spent her days at the town nursing home. She felt more at home with people who had history and stories to tell.
Raising her family in Wyoming, she was a constant presence and volunteer for the Lander swim team. She loved the outdoors, the mountains, hunting and sightseeing. She made beautiful quilts and held creative over the top birthdays for her kids. She made professional level costumes for every Halloween and library event, and sewed our Christmas stockings. She worked at Westward Heights and later at the Wyoming State Training School. She loved to sing, especially in church, and had a beautiful voice. She was known to make extravagant pro bono cakes for marriages, retirements, birthdays. She spent the rest of her life in Florida, happily a beach girl in flip flops. She and her husband Dave traveled together and with grandkids in tow, and were active in their church and theater groups. She got to see a lot of fun stuff, and they made great memories. We know this, because she has always taken pictures. She wanted it all remembered.
As a teenager, she worked at Bethphage Mission. She was known to run everywhere she went, this earnest girl sprinting across the yard to the next person who needed her.
She served as a Navy Corpsman during Vietnam. She was part of the first group of nurses to certify in developmental disabilities. She endlessly and doggedly sought ways to make the life experience of her patients everything it could possibly be. Working at a prison, she picked 90 lbs of blueberries each season so that the inmates could have fresh fruit once a year.
She was the most noble kind of human. She left behind her husband, David Hall, her three feral Havens children Sara, Luke, and Caleb, her grandchildren Jesse, Isaac, Bobby, Fynn, Mina, River, Vayda, and Rowyn, and her great granddaughter Luna.
She was deeply loved and we miss her. She was a mother and sister and wife and friend and nurse. She loved her God and demonstrated servitude and compassion for his most delicate creatures.
She lived a beautiful life. We were so smiled upon to have her in ours.