Janet Elizabeth West


Image of Janet Elizabeth West

Janet Elizabeth West

Janet Elizabeth West was born on September 26, 1950 in Wild Rose, WI to Weldon and Betty (Boire) West.  She graduated from Mishicot, WI High School, and from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point in 1972 with a Bachelor of Science in Psychology.  A lover of learning, she went on to earn a Master of Education degree, majoring in Special Education, in 1975 from the University of Cincinnati.

Jan served passionately in Education her entire career, with teaching and leadership positions in Ohio, Colorado and California.  Her excellent skills were recognized in 2003 when she was honored as a “Who’s Who Among American Teachers”.  A final move brought Jan to Washington state in 1991, where she began as Associate Dean of the Languages & Cultures Division at Seattle Central College.  Under Jan’s leadership this division grew to include more than 12 programs, and after 20 years of faithful service at the College, Jan retired in December 2010 as Dean, Health & Human Services.

Jan loved helping people, especially those with special needs.  She worked tirelessly to fight for their access to services and education.   One of her most significant and fulfilling initiatives was the Mainstay Program at Seattle Central College, which has been instrumental in creating full, inclusive lives for people with disabilities.

Jan also delighted in celebrating the people she loved, searching for “the perfect gift”, preparing their favorite food, and setting a beautiful party table!  She had the gift of hospitality, and loved having guests in her home.  Jan also loved the outdoors, especially hiking and being near the water.  She had an incredible green thumb, and found peace in caring for her beautiful yard and gardens. In her earlier years, she took up the sport of windsurfing and enjoyed numerous trips to enjoy the wind and water!

Jan died Nov. 18, 2020 at Evergreen Health Hospice Care in Kirkland, WA due to complications from liver failure.  She was 70 years old.

Those left to honor her memory include “the love of her life” Richard Pfaff; his children Nicholas Pfaff and Brittany (Nick) Walker, whom Jan loved as her own children for the past 25 years; Richard’s siblings Penny (Kenny) Miller and Fritz (Thelma) Pfaff; her sister Joanne (Steve) Rossler; nephews Jordan and Matthew (Kali Reese) Rossler; cousins Ken Boire; Cheryl Adams; Carolyn Grooms; Cindy Wescott; Greg West; Matthew (Mindi) Huebner, and daughters Meredith (Matt) Fridley and Tori Huebner; Carrie (Mike) Zuehlke, and children Isabella and Preston, all of whom she loved dearly.

Jan was preceded in death by her parents; her sister, Julie Christine; first cousin Lee Ann (Boire) Huebner, who was like a sister to her; Lee Ann’s husband Roy Huebner; her paternal and maternal grandparents; and other aunts, uncles, and cousins.

The family held a celebration of life memorial service on June 4 at 11:00 a.m. at Barton Family Funeral Service in Kirkland, WA – 11630 Slater Ave. NE Suite 1A.   See video of the Life Memorial Service HERE.

A private family burial service will be held in Wild Rose, WI in late summer.

Cards of remembrance may be sent to the family at 19131  136th Ave. NE Woodinville, WA  98072.  Memorials may be designated to Seattle Central Community College Foundation for the benefit of Mainstay, and to Disabled American Veterans.

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