On Christmas Eve, 1959, Muriel Reeves gave birth to her second child, Janet Ellen Reeves, in Eugene, Oregon. Gordon and Muriel had given up on being able to have another child several years after the birth of their first daughter, Marsha. They had gone so far as to sign adoption papers when Muriel happily discovered that she was pregnant with their Christmas surprise' child. When Janet was a year old the family moved to Medford, Ore. where Jan would attend Hoover Elementary, Hedrick Junior High, Medford Mid-High, and Medford Senior High School, graduating in 1977. Jan was grateful for growing up in Medford and the wonderful and lasting friendships that were maintained throughout her life. During the summer before her senior year in high school Jan gave her life to Jesus while attending a Campus Life retreat located on the Columbia Gorge.
At the end of her freshman year at the University of Oregon, Jan participated in the one year national student exchange program at West Chester State College in Pennsylvania. She then transferred to Loma Linda University in Southern California, receiving a BS degree in Medical Records Administration/Health Information Management in 1981. Jan became close friends with several of her Loma Linda classmates, forming a group that faithfully reunites annually. Upon college graduation, Jan passed the RRA/RHIA registration exam and accepted a position as the Director of Medical Records and Quality Assurance Coordinator at Mad River Community Hospital in Arcata, California.
Within two weeks of moving to Arcata, Jan became friends with the former Medical Records Director, Sharleen, who invited her over for dinner one evening. Sharleen's youngest son, Michael Thornton, just happened to be home from college visiting and was introduced to Jan that evening. A few days later, Mike built up the courage to call Jan and ask if she'd like to go on a date with him. Jan accepted, and after two years of dating, they were married at Eastwood Baptist Church in Medford in 1983. Don Hildebrand, Jan's former Campus Life director, performed the ceremony. The young couple lived in Sonoma County, California where Jan worked as a coding supervisor for Santa Rosa Memorial Hospital, the hospital where she would give birth to two of her three daughters, Kelsey Marie in 1986 and Breanne Claire in 1989.
Jan moved with her young family back to Medford in 1990. She worked for Med-Data and helped her husband start his own business, Thornton Engineering, in 1992. Her third daughter, Jessica Leigh, was born in 1993. Jan's primary love and focus was always her family. It was the delight of her heart to take her kids to Bible Study Fellowship, lessons, the library, school, and sports practices. In 2001 Jan returned to hospital work at Medford Providence Medical Center; and later worked from home for the regional Providence Health System.
Her close friends, Gary and Nancy Shaw, built her Jacksonville dream home in 2003. In this home, Jan hosted many Second Sunday Suppers, a potluck gathering for friends and friends-to-be. There was nothing Jan enjoyed more than opening her home and serving others with food, stories, and laughter. She always downplayed her cooking skills, but no one ever went away hungry for food or love.
As her girls left home to pursue education and employment, Jan spent more time traveling, taking motorcycle trips with Mike and cultivating relationships with her many kindred spirits. She delighted in people. She enjoyed nothing more than joining her friends in dance, in laughter, and in acts of kindness. She loved the Lord with all her heart, and humbled us all with her good attitude and great spirit in times of difficulty. She was greatly loved, and she will be greatly missed.
A celebration of her heavenly homecoming will be held 3:30 p.m. Saturday, December 14, 2013 at Jacksonville Presbyterian Church. Jan's desire was for this to be a joyous celebration of her life, and attendees are encouraged to dress in their favorite color. In lieu of flowers
please consider making memorial contributions to Rogue Valley Youth for Christ.