Janet Dorothy Clawson
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Janet Dorothy Clawson

Janet Dorothy Clawson, who was an active participant in each community where she lived as she followed the medical career of her husband, Dr. D. "Kay" Clawson, died on May 11, 2020 in Lexington, KY. She was 91 years of age. Jan was born in Framingham, MA, to George and Elizabeth Smith. Her family dates back to the earliest settlers in America. She was proud to be both a Mayflower descendant and active in the Daughters of the American Revolution including The McKinley Chapter and The John Winthrop Society. While working as a Medical Technician at the New England Baptist Hospital in Boston, she married Dr. Kay Clawson MD. Jan and Kay then spent 5-years at Stanford University Hospital in San Francisco, where Kay completed his internship and residency. There Jan would become the head of the hospitals' laboratory.

Soon after their first child, Kim, was born, they enjoyed a year living in London while Kay continued his studies on a fellowship. Choosing a life in academia over private practice Kay headed the University of Kentucky Medical School as well as served in senior positions at both the University of Washington and Kansas University. He passed away in 2016. Kay was first appointed at UCLA, and soon thereafter they were headed to the University of Washington in Seattle, where Kay became Professor and Chairman of the Department of Orthopedics. Their son, D.R. was born during their stint in Seattle. While living in Seattle, Jan, who always proudly described herself as a "stay at home mom", was President of the Medical Auxiliary. She also found time to be one of the founders and President of the Seattle Opera Guild. During Dr. Clawson's first stay at UK as Dean of the Medical School, Jan became an undergraduate student, earning her B.S. in Agriculture and winning the Gamma Sigma Delta Honor Society Award. Besides her family, she also lovingly cared for a farm with a barn full of horses, 3 dogs and a cat that always had a liter-full of kittens. They subsequently moved to Kansas City, where Kay served as Executive Vice Chancellor at the University of Kansas Medical Center, and Jan was a hostess to dignitaries, faculty and students, many of whom became lifelong friends. She also helped write a book about the historical mansion, Spencer House, that was their university home in Mission Hills, KA. Upon Kay's retiring from Kansas and returning to Lexington, Jan was named a University of Kentucky Fellow, honorary Kentucky Colonel and was an active member of PEO, Chapter F. Jan enjoyed gardening, was an avid reader and loved walking every morning on the closest golf course to her home at the time. She continued to study the genealogy of her early family in the US and England. Jan's baking was a treat; her pies, particularly pecan and pumpkin at Thanksgiving, are a family legend. A Jan secret: she was an avid college basketball fan. True Blue to the Wildcats, she also loved to watch as many games as possible of many teams. One of the joys she found when she lived on the West Coast was, she could start watching Eastern time games earlier, and follow Pacific time games later -- almost 12 hours of college basketball!

Her survivors include her children, Dr. Kim Clawson Rosenstein (Rob) of Lexington, and Dr. David Roger Clawson (Ellen) of Seattle. Jan was most proud of the accomplishments of her grandchildren: Ross Rosenstein; Dr. Kyle Rosenstein (Mary Jane); Jamie Rosenstein Wittman (Jeff); Dr. Kendra Clawson Morgan (Tyler); and Carly Clawson. She was also blessed with a great grandson, Sterling Rosenstein, and was happily awaiting 2 more great grandchildren to be born this fall! One of the tragedies of this virus and this time, that one cannot fathom until it touches you, is the pain to have a family member passing in a visitor restricted seniors community. Jan, a people person with many of her family near-by, passed peacefully, but without all of us being there with her. Our family is grateful for the wonderful care Jan received during her stays at both the Willows at Hamburg and the Legacy at Fritz Farm. From her New England roots through all of her life's travels, Jan was and will be remembered for her kindness, support and loving dedication to those around her, especially her profound love for her family and all of her animals. Funeral services are private. Jan will be buried with her husband at Mt. Olivet Cemetery in Salt Lake City. A memorial service will be planned (hopefully) for this summer.

In lieu of flowers, please send donations to Ashland, The Henry Clay Estate, 120 Sycamore Rd Lexington, KY 40502, for the care of the trees and grounds, or to the University of Kentucky Arboretum, 500 Alumni Drive, Lexington, KY 40502.

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Published in The Seattle Times on May 17, 2020.
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May 20, 2020
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Sympathy Gift courtesy of
Gayle Newton
May 18, 2020
Ellen and DR,
You are fortunate to have had Jan in your life. I know you will carry her spirit forward.
My condolences,
Marcia McGreevy Lewis
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