Janet Lynn Collins

photo of Janet Lynn Collins

Janet Lynn Collins

Janet Lynn Collins, 65, of Kirkland, Washington, a beautiful and loving wife, mother, sister, grandmother, and friend, passed away peacefully in the arms of her husband, on September 23, 2017 at Overlake Medical Center in Bellevue, Washington.

Janet Lynn Collins, was born at Methodist Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, on November 24, 1951 to Robert Everett Greene and Martha Jane La Follette. She was the youngest of their four children, preceded in birth by Leonard Everett Greene, Roy Denzil Greene, and Jo Etta Greene. Janet’s family moved to California in the 1950’s, living first in Southern California before moving later to Sacramento.

In 1966, Janet moved to Seattle, Washington with her father, and would attend Franklin High School. Following graduation, and after a few years of travel, Janet accepted an internship in the King County Assessor’s Office, eventually moving into the position of a commercial real estate tax analyst.

While employed by King County, Janet made lasting friendships with her many fellow appraisers, meeting for lunch regularly up until just a few weeks ago. In 1974, Janet met and married Edward Wright. With the marriage came two young stepchildren, Jeff and Julia Wright, who quickly accepted Janet as their mother. Although the marriage ended in 1982, Janet and her stepchildren remained forever close.

In 1986, Janet moved to Queen Anne Hill in Seattle, and with a little scheming and help from another tenant in the Bonnie Arms Apartments, Janet met Bill Collins. Thus, began a long-lasting love relationship that continues even today. It was love at first sight. Both, having experienced the end of a previous relationship, were very happily in love.

On September 7, 1987, Janet gave birth to a beautiful, healthy baby girl, Carolyn Elizabeth. It was without a doubt one of the happiest days of her life. But an equally happy day occurred a few years later, when on April 6, 1991, Janet and Bill were married in Seattle. And with Bill came three more children, Colleen, Ryan and Timothy Collins. Janet grew to love them as her own children.

By now, the couple had moved to Kirkland, Washington, where Janet and her husband raised Carolyn and often welcomed Bill’s three growing children into their home. As the years passed, the children grew up to become fine young adults and started lives of their own. Colleen, the oldest of the four children married and blessed Bill and Janet with two precious grandchildren. When each of the grandchildren were born, Janet and Bill were on the first plane to California so she could perform one of her favorite pastimes, holding and rocking babies. Janet was often the first family member after the parents to hold her newborn grandchildren, nieces and nephews.

When Carolyn took a teaching position in New Zealand, Janet and Bill immediately jumped at the opportunity to travel to the Southern Hemisphere, on two occasions, to vacation and visit their daughter. They fell in love with New Zealand, the beauty of the land and its people, and even considered retiring there if Carolyn had continued her teaching “Down Under”.

Janet continued her career in the King County Assessor’s Office until 2004, when she retired after more than 30 years of service. She then worked another 10 years as a Senior Property Tax Consultant in the offices of Deloitte, Thomson Reuters, and Ryan, LLC before retiring for a final time in 2014.

Janet and Bill were fortunate to have been able to retire at the same time and together they began a new chapter in their lives, making frequent road trips in their fancy new Audi to and from Thousand Oaks, California to visit their grandchildren. Janet loved watching movies on TV, and was a regular viewer of daytime Soap Operas, The Daily Show, John Oliver, and Bill Maher. She loved the Harry Potter books and movies, and as with her other loves, the British comedy series “As Time Goes By” and the drama series “Pride and Prejudice”, she would watch them repeatedly, each time laughing and smiling as if she was watching them for the first time. She loved Rachel Maddow and all the Talk Show Hosts on MSNBC. One of the last books she read was Al Franken’s Giant of the Senate. She was a proud and “unapologetic” Liberal Democrat, and could go toe to toe with any Republican she met.

Janet was a lover of all God’s creatures. She could sit for hours on the back deck of her home listening to the birds sing and watching the hummingbirds feed in her garden. She would marvel at the sight of hummingbirds hovering near the feeders and hanging plants. A few weeks ago, she discovered a small chipmunk in her backyard and would delight in seeing the tiny creature scamper along the deck near her every day. But Janet had a special fondness for dogs. She simply adored her little Mollie, a gift in a way from her daughter Carolyn, who became a source of comfort and relief throughout her battle with cancer. Janet would seldom travel anywhere without Mollie, and she became a regular passenger on road trips. Janet and Bill would regularly go to “Burgermaster” for dinner and dine in their car, just so Mollie could go along and not be home alone.

Janet was blessed to have had a wonderful family and circle of friends. She was at her best when in the company of those she loved and admired. Janet loved to entertain family and friends for dinners and barbecues, or just have visitors to share stories and good times. She had a big heart, and felt true compassion for the less fortunate. Tears would fill her eyes when she read or saw stories of people living in poverty. In the same way, she would become emotional at the sight of cruelty to animals, whether the abuse of dogs by their owners or the exploitation of the magnificent creature’s in Africa and around the world.

In early February, after surgery, Janet was diagnosed with adenocarcinoma of the small intestine, a rare and very aggressive form of cancer. This was her second major surgery in five years. In 2012, Janet had Cardiothoracic Heart Surgery to replace a leaky aortic valve and repair an aortic aneurysm. In early March she began a six-month course of chemotherapy, and bravely endured the many side effects that came with the treatment. Despite the pain and suffering she endured, Janet and Bill remained optimistic the treatment would be successful and she would be cancer free. She welcomed family and friends to her home for dinners and “therapy”, never displaying the real pain she was experiencing. She made weekly trips to the clinic for blood work to test for clotting. Just getting showered and dressed, putting on make-up and fixing her hair left her tired and weak. When it came time for her final treatments in August and September, Janet was so tired and sick that she spent most of her days lying on the couch and just occasionally sitting outside on her deck watching and listening to the birds. Three days after her final treatment Janet was so ill that she had to be rushed to the hospital by ambulance. It was there that the doctors discovered her cancer had spread to her bones and there was little they could do to stop it. Her family had hoped she could come home to live out the remaining days of her life, but complications from the cancer made that impossible. The night before she died, family and friends were welcomed to show her their love and say their last goodbyes. Janet passed away peacefully in her husband’s arms the next morning.

Janet’s family would like to thank the doctors, nurses and staff at Overlake Medical Center and the Oncology Center at Kaiser Permanente in Bellevue, especially her Heart Surgeon, Dr. Nelson, her Oncologist, Dr. Modarressi, and her General Surgeon, Dr. Stepin and all the Oncology Nurses, especially Jodi, for the wonderful treatment she received while battling her cancer.

Janet is survived by William, her loving husband of 28 years, her brother, Leonard Greene, her sister, Jo Etta Smith, her children, Carolyn Collins, Colleen (Michael) Coley, Ryan and Timothy Collins, Jeff (Melissa) Wright and Julia (Paul) Elliott, grandchildren Marlee and Tanner Coley, Joey and Robby Johnson, and many loving nieces and nephews.
Janet was preceded in death by her parents Robert and Martha Greene and her brother Roy.

A celebration of Janet’s life is being planned for Friday evening, November 3, 2017, in Woodinville, WA. Please contact the family if you wish to attend. Donations in Janet’s memory can be made to the American Red Cross at www.redcross.org/donate.

3 Responses to “Janet Lynn Collins”

  • Leonard Greene says:

    I will miss her so very much

  • Magaret Burnell says:

    Dear Bill and family,
    Thanks so much for giving me the chance to say my good bye to Janet at the hospital the afternoon before she left us. I promised her I would keep an eye on you and I intend to do just that. Remember I am here for you night or day if you just need to talk to an understanding ear. The same goes for all you kids.
    With much love and prayers for you all and of course for Janet.
    Margaret/Grammie B

  • Bill Collins says:

    I miss you so much my love, and I always will.

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