Janice (Jan) Rexford Pyle Park dedicated her life to service, family, and friendship. It was a life well-lived. Neither fire nor wind, birth nor death can erase our good deeds... (attributed to the Buddha)
Born July 23, 1928, in Lawrence, Michigan to Riley and Marian (Howard) Pyle. Married to Arthur G. Park. Attended country schools and graduated from Marcellus High School and Western Michigan University. As an adult she returned to school and earned a master's degree in library science and a teaching certificate.
She is survived by four children: Carma (Gene Sweet), Edwin (Marni Colvin), Collin, and Kristen (Scott Miller); two beloved grandchildren, Cameron and Emma; and a sister, Dorris.
Jan worked as a school librarian in Suttons Bay and Leland schools, at the University Education Library in Superior, Wisconsin, and at the Education Library-Laboratory at LaTrobe University, Bundoora, Australia. Later she was the director of the Charles A. Ransom District Library in Plainwell, Michigan for 21 years. She was awarded the Western Michigan University Alice LeFevre Alumna Award in 1977 and the Michigan Library Association Librarian of the Year Award in 1983.
She was one of the first women invited to join Rotary International, until then an all-male organization, in 1989. She was an active member in the Plainwell Rotary Club and, after retiring, at the Paw Paw Club. As a Rotary volunteer she traveled to Belize and Thailand to help support libraries.
She was a co-founding mother of the Unitarian-Universalist Fellowship of Grand Traverse, now a thriving church, and a longtime member of People's Church, Kalamazoo.
She passed peacefully on January 19, 2024, at Heritage Community, Kalamazoo, Michigan.
A memorial service will be held February 10th at 11:00am at People's Church, 1758 N 10th St, Kalamazoo, Michigan 49009. In lieu of flowers, please consider a donation to the People's Church or Centrica Care Navigators, a hospice and palliative services provider.