Janice Kay Janky (Kay), Sept. 11, 1935 -- Dec. 18, 2011

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Janice Kay Janky (Kay), 76, of Holiday Island passed away peacefully on Sunday, Dec. 18, surrounded by her family.

She is survived by her brother, Tom Edmonds, two children, Sarah (Janky) Stowell, and Steve Janky, and five grandchildren.

Kay was born Sept. 11, 1935, to Cecil and Helen Edmonds in Dubuque, Iowa. After completing high school in Dubuque, Kay set off for Coe College, where she received her RN degree in nursing.

She returned to Dubuque to work as a campus nurse at the University of Dubuque where she met Harry Janky. They married in 1960 and moved to Minneapolis, Minn., where Kay worked and took classes at the University of Minnesota.

The couple moved to Albert Lea, Minn., where they made many good friends and gave birth to Sarah Kisti in 1967.

They built a home in Faribault, Minn., in 1968, and gave birth there to Steven Edward in 1970. Kay lived in Faribault for the next 30 years during where she was an active leader in numerous organizations, from PTO to AAUW.

She worked tirelessly to better her community, helping gain support for school bond issues; performing hearing and vision and pre-school screening; and teaching everyone from parents to prisoners CPR and first aid.

Kay loved to learn, and share her love of nature. Not afraid to tackle large projects, Kay worked toward, and helped to found the River Bend Nature Center in Faribault, Minn. Through her many efforts, she received the Service to Mankind Award.

Kay moved to Holiday Island, Arkansas in 1998, where she shared her zest for life and talents with all she met. She continued to be active in golf, teaching line dancing and basket weaving, hiking, and chairing the Friends of the Barn. Kay was a commissioner from 2008-11 and brought professionalism and talents to the job.

Yes, Kay had a zest for life, learning and sharing. She was smart, gutsy and loving. Throughout all of her life, perhaps her truly greatest accomplishment was that she was a good friend to all she met. She will be missed by too many to count.

A memorial and open house to celebrate Kay's life will be held at her home at 19 Lakeside Drive in Holiday Island on Saturday, Jan. 28, from noon to 3 p.m., and another this spring in Faribault at the River Bend Nature Center.

Memorial donations may be sent to the River Bend Nature Center, PO Box 186, Rustad Rd., Faribault, MN 55021.

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