Janet Lee Panzer
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June 23, 1944 - June 22, 2014 In San Francisco, on June 22, 2014 the day before her 70th birthday. Beloved wife of Joel Panzer for 47 years; loving mother of J.J. (Michelle) Panzer and Adam (Alexis) Panzer.
Janet was born in San Francisco on June 23, 1944 at St. Francis Hospital and was raised in Antioch, CA. Janet was Valedictorian of the class of 1962 at Antioch High School. She won every competitive scholarship available to her. She attended the University of California, Berkeley and pursued her childhood dream of becoming a teacher. While finishing her degree she met her husband, Joel. They married on Janet's birthday in 1967.
Janet joined the San Francisco Unified School District in 1968 where she began as an elementary school teacher and eventually found her niche as a middle school math and science teacher for English Language Learners. She enjoyed a successful 35-year career in the district, retiring from Presidio Middle School in 2003. She continued to volunteer in the classroom at Presidio to assist her fellow teachers for over six years after her retirement. Janet was recognized as an outstanding "Star Teacher" by Mayor Art Agnos and the City of San Francisco in the late 1980's for her commitment to her students, creativity and passion. She volunteered for many years with "Expanding Your Horizons" to support and encourage young girls to study math and science. Janet was an early supporter of the American Federation of Teachers and was a continuing participant in the United Educators of San Francisco.
In her retirement she and Joel enjoyed boating on the California Delta aboard their boat, "Happy Pappy" where they spent many days with their friends from the Caliente Isle Yacht Club. She enjoyed taking pictures and socializing with everybody, earning her the nickname "Sparrow." The only thing Janet enjoyed more than teaching was learning. Also in her retirement she enjoyed attending the Fromm Institute for Lifelong Learning and became an informal recruiter and promoter for the program. Janet, always a volunteer, participated as a control subject for neurological research at the Veterans' Administration and the Memory and Aging Center at UCSF. She was diagnosed in 2012 with Primary Progressive Aphasia/Fronto-Temporal Dementia, a rare brain disease, which eventually took her life.
Funeral services will be held on Wednesday, June 25, 2014 at 1:00 PM at Sinai Memorial Chapel, 1501 Divisadero St., at Geary, SF, followed by interment at Home of Peace Cemetery, 1299 El Camino Real, Colma. In lieu of flowers, donations to The Association for Frontotemporal Degeneration (AFTD; http://bit.ly/janetpanzer) would be kindly appreciated.
Sinai Memorial Chapel - San Francisco
1501 Divisadero Street San Francisco, CA 94115
Published in San Francisco Chronicle on June 24, 2014