A brave three-year-old girl was surrounded by a herd of half wild horses in the neighbors pasture. Her terrified mother screamed for her father to rescue her. Rafe told Jane not to worry because she would soon run out of carrots. Sure enough the horses ran off. Janie came back crying because they left. Rafe picked her up and promised her he would get her more carrots and her horses would come back.
The Lord gave Janie many carrots of talent to use in her life.
Listening and loving all of us. Singing and inspiring every chance she could. Cooking and welcoming us every day. Celebrating with each birthday and holiday year round. She loved the water, swimming and teaching the kids to swim and to water ski. She love the wilderness, camping, boating fishing and hunting.
She had to slow down the past 15 years, but found the fullness of life enriched with her two granddaughters and her dozen grandsons, more card games, more conversations with her friends and family and performing with Java Jives, her vocal group. She loved being a mom and raising all her daughters and their friends. The multi family trips to games was a treasured time for celebrating community and finding lifetime friendships. She delighted in the snow ski caravan trips and giving out the foolish skiing awards to the kids. Every kid got one, every time.
Janie grew up in the Rouge River Valley between pear orchards and horse pastures near Jacksonville, Oregon. She was a tomboy trying to hang with her older brother Rafe. Her mother Jane taught her to sing, cook, ride horses and to act like a lady. It helps that she developed a world-class soprano voice and spectacular mane of thick long strawberry blonde hair, both good for a lifetime. She took nursing classes at Southern Oregon College and met a tall Nebraska farm boy named John Malm. We fell in love and married in 1970. Laura was born in 1970, Janie found being a mother was her true calling in life. Four years in Portland, Oregon followed for John’s medical school. Jenny was born in 1973. We moved to Sioux Falls in 1975 to train for three years with Dr. Lou Hogrefe in family practice residency. Christi was born in 1976. We moved to Gregory, South Dakota, in 1978 to start doctoring and raising our family.
Janie loved all her friends and the community welcoming her with open arms. Katie was born in 1980. Janie relished singing at church, weddings, and funerals. In 1982 she starred as Calamity Jane, along side Nels Miller as Wild Bill Hickock in the community musical Calamity Jane. She enjoyed every day on stage, practicing, singing and enjoying her friends. She got very sick two weeks later, with kidney failure, progressing to dialysis in 1983. Her brother Rafe donated one of his kidneys to her in 1984, bonding us all into an even tighter family.
The Lord blessed her with the next 34 years of a full and happy life, raising her family in Gregory. She tried to cheer and encourage all of us to enjoy our lives. She wouldn’t let her daily struggles with her kidney disease get her down. God blessed us with her presence until last Thursday… I guess she ran out of carrots.