Janet Yamada passed away peacefully at home Wednesday, September 11, 2013. She was a blessing to all who knew her.
She was born Janet Nobuko Tomita to Yasushichi and Rui Tomita in Makawao, Maui, Hawaii on April 5, 1929. She married Gregory K. Yamada in January 1955 in Corvallis, Ore. and moved to Medford, Ore. shortly after.
Jan began her career as a medical transcriptionist at Tripler Army Hospital in Honolulu and continued at Walter Reed Army Hospital in Washington D.C. After moving to the Medford area she worked for 30 years with a caring group of professionals at Orthopedic and Fracture Clinic while raising three daughters on a farm in the Applegate Valley.
As a wife, mom, and friend Jan exemplified the fruit of the Spirit. She was a kind and gentle soul, a patient mom, a faithful friend, and a loving and peaceful influence on all who knew her. With a genuinely humble spirit, Mom was the real deal.
Jan could be found at the gym at 5:30 a.m. nearly six days a week and on daily walks around the neighborhood with her beloved dog, Ben. She and Ben were active volunteers with Therapy Dogs International, visiting patients at Rogue Valley Medical Center and with veterans at the VA Southern Oregon Rehabilitation Center in White City. She also enjoyed attending Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) classes at SOU. Jan was an enthusiastic traveler later in life, and a bit adventurous! She hiked in Grand Teton National Park and Grand Canyon, parasailed off Maui, snorkeled in the Great Barrier Reef, zip-lined in San Diego, tramped across Yorkshire, England, and banana-boated in Bali. She was a wonderful travel companion!
Jan is survived by her daughter Carol Jensen and granddaughter, Jennifer of Talent, Ore.; daughters Karen Yamada and Leilani (Andrew) Yamada Osler of Los Angeles, Calif.; brothers, James Tomita of Ventura, Calif. and Charles Tomita of Kahului, Maui, Hawaii. She was preceded in death by her husband, Greg Yamada and Ben, her furry life companion.
In accordance with Jan's wishes, no service is planned. A celebration of Jan's life will be held from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m., Sunday, September 29, 2013, at Donahue-Frohnmayer Park, located on the corner of Spring Street and Springbrook Road. Friends and therapy dogs are warmly welcome. Guests are invited to bring stories and photos of Jan to share in a memory book.
In lieu of flowers memorials may be sent to Rogue Valley Habitat for Humanity, PO Box 688, Medford, OR 97501; Southern Oregon Humane Society, 2910 Table Rock Rd., Medford, OR 97501; or OLLI at SOU, c/o Sally Klein, 1250 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR 97520.
Mom left this world as she lived in it, peacefully, with beauty and grace. She is greatly missed by family and friends.