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A Final Farewell to GRAND Contributor, Jan Wade Miller

Editor’s Note:  Jan Wade Miller was a loyal contributor to GRAND Magazine over the past year. Her articles on nutrition have educated and inspired thousands of grandparents.

Her sister-in-law wrote such a lovely tribute, that I wanted to share with you dear GRAND reader.

Dear Family, Friends and Colleagues,

On Wednesday, November 7, at 8:30 a.m., Jan awakened from an eleven hour sleep. She opened her soft brown eyes to find Roy hovering over the shiny metal railing of her hospital bed. He leaned closer, kissed her, and the first thing he said was that Barack Obama had won re-election as President of the United States.

This was important news to Jan. She was born in Chicago. Obama represented all that she hoped would happen in this country in the coming years. And, three weeks earlier, Jan had cast her ballot, having acted in advance in case she wasn’t in good enough health closer to election day.

Jan signaled her acknowledgement of the news with a classic smile. She then asked about Florida results. Roy told her that her friend, Janet Long, had upset a sitting county commissioner in Pinellas County where Jan voted.  Then Roy revealed that Florida statewide results weren’t official yet. Jan rolled her eyes, saying nothing.

By 11 a.m. Jan had fallen into a deep sleep and, except for very brief periods, remained so. Finally, today, Friday, November 9, at 3:20 a.m., Janice Mary Wade-Miller, cherished wife, sister, in-law, friend, nutrition scientist, advocate, and colleague, passed away in her and Roy’s Tallahassee townhouse.

At the time of Jan’s transition she was surrounded by Roy and her loyal and dedicated care team who never left her side since the advent of her diagnosis of advanced stage 3 mesothelioma in early August.

Enough superlative adjectives don’t exist to describe Jan’s courage and strength over the past two years when the first lung ailments perplexed doctors and she braved the ever increasing pain.  She remained beautiful, mischievous, fun loving and kind. She was a bright light in the world; a light that was extinguished way too soon by a horrible disease.

In keeping with Jan’s wishes, Roy will deliver her ashes to Mount Ranier in Washington State, a place of special significance to the two of them. Skiers will spread some of Jan’s ashes on a scenic mountain view, and in the spring climbers will take Jan all the way to the summit.

These arrangements have been made through a blessed friend who just happened to play a role in creating an ever-lasting spiritual bond in their relationship starting in St. Petersburg more than 35 years ago. Karen just happened to move west and establish a Soma practice and farm at the base of Mount Ranier. It’s as if the connection between her and Jan and Roy is coming full circle, one of life’s many metaphysical ties over time and distance.

Our family has thought about ways to honor Jan’s legacy and celebrate her life. A memorial is being planned by family and friends and a date, most likely after the holidays, will be announced in due time.

In addition, Roy is creating an educational fund at The Children’s Campaign in Jan’s name. Donations will sponsor a college intern each semester who will specialize in health and nutrition policy issues that affect children in line with Jan’s masters degree and passion for nutrition science. The address for The Children’s Campaign is POB 1718, Tallahassee, Florida, 32302.

We will never forget the love and support shown to Roy and Jan and the rest of her care team by so many. You made a life ending journey more peaceful and we are grateful. Your caring has touched our hearts, and we can promise you that our family will certainly “pay it forward”.



Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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