Janet Marquardt July 3rd 1955 - February 12th 2014
The following passages are thoughts I prepared for Mom's funeral:
I never really appreciated how complex a person Janet was. To me, Janet was my kind and caring mother, but after talking with many of her friends and colleagues over the last week, I have grown to appreciate her in a new light and love even more the lady she was.
Janet, or Sissy as her colleagues named her, was an advocate for women and minorities in the workplace, was sassy and smart, and was a bright ray of sunshine in what can be a hard place to work. Be it telling stories of her dogs and travels, sharing pictures of her children and grandchildren, or even decorating her desk for holidays, for 33 years Janet was part of a team of people she loved and they loved her back.
As a mother, colleague, and friend, Janet was approachable in the way few people are. You could tell her about anything and she would listen. She would not judge you, she would support you. When I started farming, I faced considerable skepticism. Where others questioned, Mom supported me.
Janet was not the kind of person to seek out attention, but she was tickled when the spotlight found her. She was often a quiet presence that was always part of the picture, if seldom in it.
She was a lover of animals, especially horses and dogs. Be it cradling a bottle lamb, letting a calf suck on her fingers at the Marquardt farm, or bringing bags of treats for Snip, her horse, and all his friends; Janet loved creatures of all kinds.
She loved history, especially the civil war and world war II. On family road trips we used to sing Goober Peas, Dixie, and When Johnny Comes Marching home. I remember Dad would get tired of it after a while and want to turn on the radio. When Hazel was born, I made it a point to sing these songs from time to time when I put her down for a nap, so she would remember them.
Janet was an avid reader, and ravenous consumer of audio books. She encouraged her colleges through the book club she helped create.
Mom loved living in the present. She loved experiencing new places, admiring the relationship between horse and rider, having fun shopping, going out with the girls. She loved amusement parks from roller coasters to log flumes, but most of all she loved her family. She was a grandmother of four and she found a way to let each of them know that they were special to her.
I will always cherish the memories I have of Mom, and remember how free she was with her affection to her children and grandchildren. I see my mother living on in my kids; in how my daughter will walk right up to a perfect stranger and make friends with them, in how my son at only 15 months will haul a book around and give a pleading squeal asking to be picked-up and read to, and how both of my children have a curiosity and love of animals.
Daring, mischievous, caring, fun, talkative, intelligent, frustrating, friendly, sassy, and compassionate are all words I could use to describe my mother. I love you, Mom.