Janet Graham Diss Andersen passed away with peace and grace on June 4th, 2008. Her passing was at the home of her sister-in-law, Kathee Houser, in Fort Collins, Colorado, where she was surrounded by her loving family and friends. Janet was born on March 14, 1945, the daughter of Albert and Alexandra Grosset Diss. She lived a full life.
After attending Hartridge School in Plainfield, New Jersey, Janet graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder with a BA in Geography, from Sol Ross State University in Alpine, Texas, with an MA in European History; and from Abraham Baldwin College in Tifton, Georgia, as a Registered Nurse. She was a teacher, travel agent and nurse, but what Janet was best at and enjoyed most was being a mother. The list of places that Janet called home is long: Plainfield, Bay Head and Mantoloking, New Jersey; White Grass Ranch, Wyoming; Denver, Boulder, and Carbondale, Colorado; Virginia City, Montana; Sitka and Homer, Alaska; Casterton, in Victoria, Australia; Spearfish, South Dakota; Wakefield in Yorkshire, England; Alpine, Texas; Valdosta, Georgia; Estes Park, Crestone, and Fort Collins, again in Colorado. Janet’s energy and love of adventure took her all over the world, and her favorite modes of transportation were wide: sailing, hiking, climbing, skiing, cycling, canoeing, and most recently zipping about in wheel chairs.
She thrived in the out of doors and in wild places such that her pursuits and expeditions would require many pages to simply list. Suffice it to say that the first mountain Janet ever climbed was the Grand Teton while working as a ranch hand in Wyoming in her teens. Janet was gifted with animals, a talented weaver, and did amazing things with chocolate, but will be remembered especially as a wonderful and loving mother, friend and wife. More than anything it can be said that Janet placed the needs of others before her own: she was so full of humility, kindness, and an extraordinary sense of joy. Janet was preceded in death by her parents, and only sister, Diana Richardson.
Janet is survived by her husband, Stephen; her three sons Tor, Leif and Soren; her dogs Lexie and Ashley; and many family members including her grand nephews and nieces, Rye Whit and Veda May Petter, and Avery and Logan Musci, whom she loved as her grandchildren. Janet’s life was honored in services in Crestone, Colorado on June 6th.
A memorial service will also be held in Estes Park, Colorado, on July 13th. Condolences can be sent to Stephen Andersen, P.O. Box 988 Crestone, CO 81131. In lieu of flowers, please send donations to the ALS Association, or other ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease) specific organizations. Janet lives on through her family, friends and spirit.
Janet’s Estes Park Memorial Service of July 13th will be held at 1:00 p.m. at O’Connor Park (Hydro Plant Park) just below the Fall River Road entrance to RMNP. It will be followed with an on site celebration potluck of Janet’s life.