Monday, January 23, 2017
5:00 PM to 8:00 PM EST
Life Story Funeral Homes - Betzler
6080 Stadium Drive
Kalamazoo, MI 49009
Refreshments will be served.
At the family's request memorial contributions are to be made to those listed below. Please forward payment directly to the memorial of your choice.
Valley Family Church
2500 Vincent Avenue
Portage, MI 49024
Friday Groceries Food Pantry
Below is the contact information for a florist recommended by the funeral home.
Life Story / Obituary
With ways all her own, Jan Spaulding was a woman who persevered through much and celebrated her greatest joys. A woman of inner strength who loved her family deeply, Jan was a driving force of everything “home.” She lived by way of example, and through her compassion for others and her loving spirit, she will be forever remembered for all that she was, and then some.
Although conservative in nature, the decade of the 1950s sculpted the culture of America. Everything from music to movies, art and media to beloved comic strips and cartoons introduced households to a whole new way of life. With manufacturing and home construction on the rise, the economy boomed as the suburban dream was being realized. Amid these exciting times, the Korean War monopolized the news waves and clashes between communism and capitalism dominated the decade. It was indeed a time of change as well as blessings, especially in the lives of Jacob and Viola (Eberhardt) Stickel of Jamestown, North Dakota when on March 31, 1950, they welcomed the birth of their little girl, Janice Yvonne into their arms.
Along the valley pastures of Jamestown to the ourtskirted prairies of North Dakota, young Jan grew up enjoying a childhood typical of her generation. Having had an infant sister, Renae who sadly died as an infant, Jan was raised an only child and she meant the everything to her parents. Jan could play alone outside for hours with her little toy animals and loved being their teacher. Quite a grandpa’s girl, it never mattered what he was doing, Jan simply loved to tag along and loved being with him.
Jan attended the local schools and after graduating from high school, she set out to explore and see more of what the world had to offer. She achieved several milestones in her life during this time, including selling magazines across the U.S. which eventually led to her Washington, D.C. While working in Washington D.C. she had the opportunity to meet President Nixon. An age of the peace movement and much social change, Jan was one of over 400,000 who rallied on the grounds of a 600-acre dairy farm in Catskills, New York for three days of peace and music. A pivotal moment in music history, the Woodstock experience played a fundamental part in Jan’s early years.
Having married for a time, Jan eventually welcomed the births of her four wonderful children, Brady, Blake, Brandy, and Brock. A loving and attentive mother, there wasn’t anything Jan wouldn’t do for her kids. She and her family made their way in 1980 to live in Michigan , and among some of her greatest achievements, Jan counted standing on her own and raising her children all while holding down a good job to be one of them. Jan had a strong work ethic and truly believed if she couldn’t afford it, then she shouldn’t have it, and she learned well that money can’t buy happiness. Jan’s personality in doing all things with passion, honesty and perseverance was exemplified throughout her daily life.
Jan came to know love again when she met and married her soul mate, Kurt Spaulding. They made for the best companions, and having children of his own, as well, Kurt and Jan blended their families and made a good life together. They made their home in Kalamazoo, Michigan where Jan enjoyed and benefited from a solid working career. She worked for Chris Craft, the Kalamazoo Foundation, the Kellogg Company, and prior to retiring she was with the W.K. Kellogg Foundation. To her credit she was an involved member of the Jaycee Women and before moving to Michigan she was honored from 1978 to 1979 to have been elected the North Dakota State President of the Jaycee Women and her campaign was none other than, “Dream, Believe, Achieve” with a rainbow symbol. During their retirement, Jan and Kurt loved wintering in Florida where they made lasting friendships and created memorable times together. Indeed, Jan will be deeply missed by her many friends at Kings Gate in Nokomis.
The holidays and other special family celebrations were a mainstay in Jan’s home. She loved holiday traditions, like having her family together for Christmas Eve gatherings. Jan always did her best trying to keep the gifts she bought for those she loved a secret, but sometimes she just couldn’t help herself! And true to Jan’s nature, Christmas Day was spent cleaning up and taking down all the decorations. Jan was a stickler for having a clean home. She always told her kids, when someone comes into your home, you will be judged depending on how it looks!
Jan had a heart and love for many things. She absolutely loved the perfection of gerbera daisies, and shopping with her beloved grandchildren always proved to be a good, yet sometimes exhausting time for her! In earlier years, she loved watching stock car racing with her parents, and back in the 1980s she enjoyed watching WWF/WWE wrestling, even if the “windbreaker guy always lost!” An avid sports fan, Jan was a Wolverine, Lions and Tigers fan through and through. She liked baseball, especially any team Brock was coaching. She watched the Tigers all the time, but a memorable moment for Jan was receiving an autographed photo of football coach, Jim Harbaugh and getting a phone call of support from him.
When it came to TV shows, Jan liked Wheel of Fortune, Family Feud, Let’s Make a Deal, the Price is Right, and Jeopardy! Fun times were always shared playing Scattergories and numerous card games when family came to Florida for visits. Although Jan was quite deserving of them, she listed some of her "guilty pleasures" as bakery sweets, ice cream, nice clean, soft bed sheets, fluffy quilts, and pedicures. And while mulling over what some of her favorite things to cuddle with were, and with a big smile on her face, Jan said any blanket with a satin edge.
Honest with herself as well as others, Jan persevered through thick and thin. She learned she was stronger than she ever thought she could be while pulling herself together and becoming the independent woman she was. Through learning how to forgive and forget, Jan found a comforting peace, and by realizing she didn’t have to always be the one in charge, it freed her heart in remarkable ways.
While creating forever memories with those she loved, Jan Spaulding lived and loved completely at every opportunity. An amazing woman, she was the glue that held her family together and her strength of heart knew no bounds. Through heartfelt compassion, she was always looking out for the needs of others and loved unconditionally. There was no one quite like Jan Spaulding, and although gone from love’s embrace, she will be lovingly remembered and deeply missed.
Janice Yvonne (Stickel) Spaulding, age 66, of Portage, passed away at her home January 19, 2017, after a short battle with lung cancer. Jan is survived by her husband, Kurt Spaulding; her mother, Viola Stickel of Jamestown, ND; her children: Brady Driver (Rachel) of Mattawan, Blake Driver (Julie) and their children, Sabrina, Thomas, David, and Jennifer of Kentwood, Brandy Manning (Ryan) and their children, Isabelle, Vienna and Treyden of Portage, Brock Doud of Cullowhee, NC; stepdaughters, Nicole Spaulding and her children, Noah and Chase of Paw Paw, Meegan Spaulding and her son, Ian of Paw Paw. Jan was preceded in death by her father and infant sister, Renae.
Celebrate with Jan’s family and friends while sharing food and drinks on Monday, January 23, 2017, 5-8pm at Betzler Life Story Funeral Home, Kalamazoo, 6080 Stadium Drive, (800) 822-7594. Services will be held Tuesday, January 24, 2017, 11:00am at Valley Family Church in the Cathedral. A luncheon will follow in the church hall. Private burial will take place at Mt. Home Cemetery. Please visit Jan’s personal memory page at www.BetzlerFuneralHome.com where you can share a favorite memory or photo and sign her guestbook online before coming to the funeral home. In lieu of flowers, memorial donations may be made to Valley Family Church for the Friday Groceries Food Pantry or Kalamazoo Gospel Mission.